Wheat Pete's Word, July 12: Dormant seeding spring wheat, soybean aphids, tar spot, and targeting dead zones


Corn growers who dodged the tar spot bullet last season are unlikely to be nearly so lucky this year, as the disease has been identified in southern Ontario and conditions are conducive to its spread.

Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson has that discussion on this week’s edition of Wheat Pete’s Word, plus an insect alert, an update on dormant seeding and ultra-early spring wheat in Alberta, and some tips on identifying where fields need the most manure.

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].


  • Leamington sweet corn is READY
  • Parts of Alberta have had less than 5 mm of rain all season
  • But 8″ of rain has hit in ONE week in other areas of the east and into the U.S.
  • Microbursts can be intense
  • 2/10ths in all of June for some areas of Ontario, which is very low for those areas
  • Brian Beres at Lethbridge doing ultra early seeding trials
  • Spring ultra early, but what about fall and trying dormant seeding? 86 mm of rainfall total since spring thaw isn’t amazing but it’s definitely ahead of the later spring wheat
  • Any of the wheat seeded before the soil warmed to 6 degrees C
  • Big yields in Ontario rolling in. Same for Michigan —  but only in some areas. Eroded knolls bring the average yield down
  • Total yields about average. Some 138 bushels of wheat per acre. Some barley is better
  • 215 bu/ac barley where double digestate was put down
  • Dry weather will scare you, but wet weather will starve you
  • Get the wheat out of the field! Falling number is OK but it will degrade quickly with rainfall events
  • Already seeing some black combines — it’s alternaria, no yield impact but it does cause smudge. Could get blackpoint, and that could impact quality
  • Miravis Ace does control it, but it’s not a yield benefit. Will make cleaner straw
  • Soybeans are struggling with the wet feet
  • Get a drone map or satellite of the winter seeded fields. What a soil story they tell!
  • Premature dead wheat this year? Add OM on those spots first. Add more manure or other organic material
  • Should we be focused on sub-soil management?
  • Eastern Ontario corn grew 2 feet in 5 days
  • Canopied beans in some areas
  • ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! Soybean aphids — can’t use Matador
  • Count your beneficials, and take care of them
  • Potash deficient beans might be hit harder
  • Potato leaf hopper in the alfalfa way over threshold in the east
  • Tar spot showing up in corn, says Alberta Tenuta. Target green silk timing. Get the Tarspotter app
  • 7 hours of leaf wetness = problem
  • Manganese issues: what happened? Muck soils
  • Where deficiency is present, you need to use manganese sulphate (need a pound or two of actual manganese) and don’t forget the surfactant
  • We need nodulation in beans to make sure they make their own N
  • A new cropping systems expert is coming to Ontario soon
  • Late weed control in soybeans — go or no go? Check the label
  • Clover and radish for cover. Does radish help with compaction? Radish will pop UP not burrow down. The clover won’t be able to compete. Oat/clover/low radish is probably a better mix
  • Panorama soybeans and not many flowers yet.. daylength differences, but they’ll come. It’s just silly soybeans!

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