Wheat Pete's Word, Oct 4: A late heat wave, long-season headaches, gib, and high-selling pies


What do you call an early October that feels more like summer than early fall? A lucky break for those with corn that’s a fair ways away from black layer, that’s what.

Ontario’s corn growers are counting their blessings this week, as very warm sunny days are helping move the crop to maturity. But all those sunny days have also dried out field conditions, making wheat planting more of a challenge, so that’s what host of Wheat Pete’s Word, Peter Johnson, spends some time explaining this week.

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].


  • What would you pay for a pie? $2,000!?
  • How about this heat wave? Wheat going in warm in Ontario
  • The corn crop needs it
  • To the end of September, heat units about 6 days behind the 10 year average
  • Black layer has happened in some areas, and drying fast
  • But plenty is still 10 days or so from black layer
  • Some areas are a bit damp for wheat, but most areas are dry
  • Napanee – 43 days without rain. Hard soil
  • Super hard ground for wheat planting
  • Pounding rain compacts the soil surface
  • Chasing the combine with the drill
  • Soybean yields are incredible this year
  • Some 80 bu/ac yields some over 100 in spots
  • Other areas, small beans, mediocre yields
  • Pete says over 50 bu/ac average. We’ll see!
  • Kentucky set a new winter wheat record
  • Phil Needham doing good work
  • Bayer and glyphosate on trial: nine wins in court to date
  • Feedback! Call me back, Pete
  • Aggravations this week: gibberella in the corn crop. Tight husks at higher risk
  • What do we know about DON levels? Not nearly 2018, but worse than we’d like
  • Second cobs are dirty — WBC, gibberella symptoms
  • DON levels increase over time, until it cools off to well below 9 degrees C
  • What about right-sizing heat units for your area? Added yield of longer season varieties/hybrids pays for the drying in the fall
  • 1.6 maturity vs 1.3 maturity soybean can mean 10 bu/ac MORE
  • Chasing the combine with the drill — can you spray the next day? Yes, you can, but you may want to give it a few days for more surface area
  • You likely only have a 3 day window. Wheat is not glyphosate tolerant
  • Super dry, dry, and tillage. It’s not always a straight forward answer on moisture in Ontario
  • Min-till can deliver really big yields too
  • Soy-on-soy with tillage out-yielding no-till and rotation. What’s happening? So many factors!
  • White mould hitting eastern Ontario by 8, 10, 12 bu/ac. Zero till to fight white mould?
  • Big drills are good for downforce at seeding, but check on those tires and the compaction action
  • Mixing fertilizer with seed: is it too hard on the drill? Need a better-built unit, easy enough
  • Spend your first fertilizer dime on lime

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