Wheat Pete's Word, June 28: Late rain and grain gains, insect alerts, the green bridge, and a sad loss


Perhaps Mother Nature heard the call for rain just a little too loudly, as some areas of Ontario experienced violent storms and huge downpours over the last week.

The early dry conditions did set the cereal crops back, but this moisture could make for a tidy yield improvement, says host of Wheat Pete’s Word, Peter Johnson, so long as the crop wasn’t physiologically mature. For what that actually means, plus alerts on several insect species, some talk on nitrogen needs, and a philosophical challenge, listen below!

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].


  • Ontario agriculture lost one of the good ones late last week with the passing of Ken Janovicek. Ken was a behind-the-scenes person but had huge impact on several projects in Ontario’s agriculture extension, including the Ontario corn nitrogen calculator. He will be missed
  • Philosophy for the day: Judge people not on the mistakes they make, but by how they correct them
  • Safety, safety, safety. Think twice, act once. Agricultural accidents are on the rise in Ontario
  • On to the weather. Welcome to Ontario; the weather is ridiculous
  • Some pockets are bone-dry, while others have now gone through one or two absolute deluges
  • Plenty of rain has come with violent storms, including hail. Soybeans with many growing points should recover
  • Deep topsoil makes for the most excellent corn, you know
  • Corn and corn can be profitable, but this year in the east, it’s struggling
  • Corn on wheat? Forget it! Try corn on sunflower stubble. Just beautiful
  • Will this last week or 10 days of rain actually help the maturing wheat crop? The later-maturing varieties will likely benefit most. So long as the peduncle is still green, the rain will help boost 1,000 kernel weight
  • 1,000 kernel weight can make a 10 to 15 per cent difference. So there is hope for the wheat crop yet
  • Some wheat is lodging. Poor wheat doesn’t lodge
  • What’s “dry” for delivering wheat where you farm? It varies, apparently
  • Frozen wheat, from frost in May, is alive and thriving. Amazing!
  • Fungicide pass made a difference
  • Alert on wheat streak mosaic virus, spread by the curl mite. It needs a “green bridge,” so more early wheat could make it a growing concern
  • Scouts are finding armyworm at Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph in the performance trials t
  • Get out and pay attention! Armyworm tend to put notches in the leaves if you’re seeing tons of notches in an alfalfa crop that is not close to harvest, you might have to look at spraying
  • Be on alert for soybean aphids and potato leaf hopper in newly seeded alfalfa
  • Watch for thrips too, and spider mites
  • Watch the edges of field and scout along the edges of a soybean field that has grass alongside of it on a dusty gravel road because the dust helps dry out the leaf. And when it’s dry, we don’t get the fungal pathogens that will really take down those spider mites
  • Ryegrass and corn issues: is it an N problem or allelopathy?
  • Stalled out corn? No tilled soil is firm, and without moisture it’s way harder for those roots to grow through that dry soil


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