Wheat Pete's Word, May 31: Stranded K, T3 fungicide decisions, first-cut hay, and slow soybeans and corn


Sluggish soys and crusted corn has many Ontario farmers wondering what the heck is going on with these crops. Well, when you look at the weather data for the month of May, the answer becomes pretty clear: this latest heatwave notwithstanding, it’s been cool to cold for much of the month!

Is there anything that can be done to get these seeds up and going? What happens if not enough soys make it? And ohmygosh is a fusarium spray even worth it in such dry conditions?

Check out Peter Johnson’s answers to these questions and so many more in this week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word.

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].


  • Tomorrow kicks off meteorological summer!
  • It’s a wee bit too hot for the wheat and barley crops, especially at anthesis
  • What about crop heat units? Ontario is actually a little behind last year by about 100 or so
  • That’s why we have some slow emergence
  • When will wheat harvest start? Million dollar question — start counting from April 1, we’re on the 11 year average. Right on time
  • Six weeks from heading to harvest, 42 days ish. July 15 is the way it’s looking for the London area
  • Tick attack! Do a tick check, Lyme disease is all bad
  • Yes, it’s dry right now in Ontario, and farm equipment traveling can kick up so much dust and that’s a visibility challenge. Be safe!
  • Excellent haying conditions for first cut, but recognize second cut may not be so sweet
  • May, for some areas, was the driest in decades
  • Wheat needs rain for good yields (grain fill)
  • During all this heat, let’s talk frost injury
  • Three or four mornings in a row there was frost or nearly frost for some areas
  • Corn and soy running out of or ran out of oomph to get out of the ground
  • The vigour has been sapped from the seeds
  • Cool temps have really slowed them down
  • Do you replant soys? Dig ’em up and see where you’re at
  • 100,000 plants is the tipping point
  • Run the drill over crusted corn if it is stick
  • Edible beans really suffered from the cold, sloooow emergence (early planted)
  • High temps, in to moisture, those beans will pop
  • Not cutting hay and have weevils? Cut it! Want to spray? Can’t use lambda-cy. 10-day to 28 day PHI (dimethoate)
  • To spray or not to spray, that is the question…fusarium risk is low, low, or as close to zero as ever
  • Why spray at all? Average is 8.8 bu/ac response, even with no pressure you’ll likely get more than 5 bu response
  • Check out Monday’s episode of The Agronomists. Talked lots of the why and how of this question
  • There is some powdery mildew out there
  • If you sprayed at T2 do you go at T3? Likely not, with no disease pressure
  • Colourful wheat, but not in a good way. Peter wrote up lots more on this here
  • Already have tramp lines and looking amazing? Get out there and get your T3 on. But multi-coloured, stressed, not as good looking and no tramp lines? Maybe leave it 1.5 per cent yield loss just from the tramping
  • YEN growers are pulling tissue samples and the flag leaf test has K levels in the sewer. Some are showing P reduced too. Drought/dry conditions = low K (it’s in the top 6″ and without moisture, unavailable)

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Wheat Pete's Word (view all)Season 9 (2023) Episode 30

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