Wheat Pete's Word, May 24: Controlling alfalfa weevils, a lingering haze, and slugging through cover crops


What do armyworms, alfalfa weevils, physiological fleck, and wooden heads have in common?

They are all a part of this week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word with host Peter Johnson. Listen below, in your podcast app, or browse the quick summary listed below the podcast!

And don’t forget, if you don’t have time — you can always download to listen later.

Have a question you’d like Wheat Pete to address or some field results to send in? Agree/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]


  • Life is good, but it can be tough
  • Conditions in southwestern Ontario have been darn near perfect
  • The corn is essentially in, most of the beans are in
  • There’s always areas that didn’t get quite enough rain, or no rain at all, or too much…
  • Eastern Ontario had tricky soil conditions earlier this year, there were some tough conditions that had to do some replant
  • Even in areas that aren’t experiencing high amounts of smoke from the Alberta forest fires — there is still a bit of a haze lingering. Even this impacts the crops that are growing right now. Not so much on the soybean front, but definitely for the wheat crop and winter barley crop. It’s at that stage where those crops need to be at maximum speed and they need to just be flying from a photosynthetic standpoint. Less sunlight is not a good thing
  • Microclimates can be fascinating
  • Oh no…the slugs are moving in to some  areas. You do cover crops, you feed the slugs, and the slugs will come
  • All the dust we are creating is creating visibility issues on highways…if you slow down, it equals more dust. It’s just the engineer aspect of physics of doing tillage. Doesn’t mean we don’t still have to be cognizant of the impact we have on the people driving down the road. We know we’ve got a job to do, but we just have to be aware that we impact other people and other people’s safety
  • Seeing physiological fleck on wheat — which is essentially sunburn on wheat leaves. Nothing you can do about it. You can’t spray for it
  • The colder wet soil in April did some damage to the roots of the wheat crop
  • Wheat is an interesting animal…er, plant
  • Barley yellow dwarf virus has been found in the winter barley, you can see in the photo below
  • How do you control that? It’s insecticide seed treatment when you plant in the fall
  • On the insect front, there hasn’t been hardly any armyworms
  • We haven’t had many thunderstorms come up from the U.S., so looks like we shouldn’t have army worm this year. Never say never…but, unlikely
  • Go to Western Canada, the Prairie Pest Monitoring Network (PPMN) is already sending out alerts about grasshopper nymphs
  • Alfalfa weevil is at threshold levels in lots of places. If you aren’t going to harvest immediately, you need to control those weevils
  • Soybeans have enough surface feeder routes that broadcast phosphorus works on soybeans. Do not do it on corn
  • With pre-emerge herbicides, you need a half to one inch of rain within seven to ten days after application. Five to seven days is better. But if you do get that half inch of rain, seven days after you use that herbicide, you will get your 90 per cent weed control. If you don’t get that rain, or if if you get no rain whatsoever…instead of 90 per cent control, you’ll get 70 per cent control, so it’s still really worthwhile
  • Keep the feedback coming!

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