Wheat Pete's Word, May 17: Frost impacts, planting soybeans to moisture, slugs, and tillage as a system


Chilly to downright cold nights have some Ontario farmers worried about alfalfa, wheat, and beans. Of course, if you look west, the heat is on and so are the wildfires, obscuring the sun for much of Alberta.

For this week’s around-the-horn on agronomy updates, host of Wheat Pete’s Word Peter Johnson tackles the frost question, plus a rapid-fire of questions on slugs, sandhill cranes, sulphur and crusted soybeans.

Have a question you’d like Johnson to address or some yield results to send in? Disagree with something he’s said? Leave him a message at 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected].

  • It’s a busy time of year. Lights on for safety
  • New Liskeard got snow
  • Low temps to frost on a few nights and tonight
  • Will alfalfa be OK? New seedlings may be hit
  • Winter canola will be OK
  • Cold nights are stressful!
  • Kansas wheat tour has started. Super dry fall, winter kill in January and more is suggested 30 bu/ac, worse than 2022, which was bad
  • El Niño can make for slightly above average yields, but we’ll see
  • It’s go time in PEI! #harvest23 underway there (lobster season)
  • Cement season for heavy clays?
  • Running out of moisture in some areas of Ontario
  • How deep do you plant beans? 2.5″ might be too far in tough soil
  • The soil is cool to cold, those beans may struggle to pull those leaves out of the ground (hypocotyl extension)
  • In July, that’s a different story
  • Deep ripping makes for a rough surface, corn had to go in 3″ deep
  • Tillage is a system, not an event
  • Chaff, straw and windrows behind the combine…can make such a mess if it gets left out
  • Tickle the surface, get the tedder out
  • A chopping head that left a mat on the surface, what to do
  • Baled straw= no issue, incorporated straw left on the field = issues
  • Strip-tillage year, baby
  • High speed discs, are they really low-disturbance? Watch the dust, please
  • And what about herbicide? Soil-incorporated, it could be a factor, but no real research to say for sure
  • April planted beans are tight in the ground. Will they push through?
  • Wheat! Harry and Pete saying the wheat is still off-coloured, with N added. Over the tile runs is perfect. End of April, cool wet weather could have impacted the roots
  • Sulphur deficiency could be a factor
  • Slugs in the fencerow. Not just a cool band name
  • Sandhill cranes by the hundreds — good problem to have?
  • Revenge spraying! Know when it’s time to stop
  • Xtend beans, what should we do for tank mixes on fleabane?

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