Wheat Pete's Word, July 26: Wild parsnip control, adding N to ugly beans, fire risks, and nodulation woes


July is winding down and some Ontario crops are having a sad time summer. Wheat that’s still in the field is suffering quality loss with every heavy downpour (there have been many), and edible beans and soybeans are yellowing from excess water and/or poor drainage.

What can be done about this week’s challenges? Host Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson has at least some of those answers, including when to do nothing at all, 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].


  • Let’s get through as many questions as possible
  • Safety safety safety
  • Make sure you have lights!
  • Combine fires are a risk, make sure your fire extinguishers work
  • So much rainfall in some areas of Ontario
  • Double crop beans emerged in 4 days
  • The water sledgehammer has beat up soybean and edible bean crops
  • Not going to wheat? Perhaps red clover or clover and let it grow for a few weeks
  • Tile map got lost? Get an aerial photograph in those bean fields. You’ve got your map
  • Over the tile run you get deeper roots, water table is the lowest
  • Yields are incredible! 197 bu/ac winter barley on the home farm same as 160 bu/ac of winter wheat for weight
  • Sharp sand knolls = 30 bu/ac, the good areas 130+ bu/ac
  • That sand is hard on yield
  • Falling numbers and sprouts happening in wheat
  • Harvest weather has not been kind to the wheat crop
  • Feed market doesn’t care much about falling number
  • Falling number is a measure of sprouting so variety differences can be huge
  • Early wheat pays…most of the time
  • Make sure that volunteer wheat is dead 2 weeks before a new crop is up
  • Broadcast wheat into standing beans did better than later drilled wheat
  • Broadcast wheat is often only better because of date
  • Dandelions = 22 yield bu penalty in beans. Kill them in the fall
  • Fleabane question: prevent from going to seed. Go with MCPA, ester
  • -5 bu/ac to 9/10 bu/ac increase in a fungicide trial
  • Send Pete those results!
  • Alert in the dry areas — soybean aphids are exploding in some areas. Sefina takes longer to kill, but does stop the feeding immediately. More here.
  • Aphid numbers do eventually crash, but can cost 50 per cent yield potential
  • Western bean cutworm moth flight still hasn’t peaked, and the corn is a bit slow
  • Scout, scout, scout and be ready to control at the right timing
  • Wild parsnip is out of control. Too late this year for any control. Focus on the fall control. 2, 4-D, Classic in the spring, but Distinct in the fall can give 85 per cent control. After 8″ in height, really impossible to kill
  • Off-colour, struggling beans — should you aerate?
  • If 2/3 of the field looks good, don’t add N
  • If roots are flooded and can’t nodulate, added N may not fix your problem, anyway. Dead roots don’t eat
  • Remember white mould
  • Can you rescue inoculate?
  • Peas before wheat, clover before corn not the other way around

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