Wheat Pete's Word, Jan 3: A historic start, goals for agronomy, PGRs, corn harvest, and cooling those bins


Happy New Year!

What an incredible start to the year with the launch of the Professional Women’s Hockey League. Toronto lost, but so did Ottawa (in OT) on January 2. Not the greatest start for Ontario teams, but host Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson will take it.

On to agronomy, this week’s challenge is to think about what you learned in 2023 and share it with Pete — plus what your agronomic goals are in 2024. He’ll share them on upcoming podcasts! For this week, learn about dryness in the west, sound-waves on seed, clover considerations, and the importance of checking those bins.

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].


  • A historic week in sports! The Professional Women’s Hockey League launched on January 1
  • What are your agronomic goals for 2024?
  • What did you learn in 2023, agronomically? Seed by temperature, not by the calendar, says Jim Hale (for cereals)
  • Ontario Ag Conference is happening this week
  • Catch the in-person event in Waterloo; Kemptville is sold out in person — but online is available!
  • The PGR puzzle with Dave Hooker
  • The rotation advantage: should premiums be tied to rotation? The UK says yes, and have worked it in to insurance premiums
  • December was warm in Ontario. Is the wheat still growing?
  • It could be. It all depends on where you are
  • Similar conditions to 2015. The 2016 resulting crop averaged 96.7 bu/ac
  • Fall tillers add to yield potential
  • The wet conditions may be a negative
  • Finland is FROZEN. It’s not a mild winter everywhere
  • Fraser River in B.C. is low and very little snow pack on the western side
  • Dryness continues south on the U.S. range too
  • The impact is: already concerned about forest fires
  • Check those bins! And get that grain cooled


  • Eastern Ontario is getting the last of the corn off with some cooler temps to firm up the ground
  • Tillage done when it’s too wet causes compaction and plow pans. The freeze/thaw will only fix the very top
  • Frozen ground with no snow: is it clover time? For the east…too risky. If it grows too early, it’s at high risk of freezing as a seedling
  • How late can you put cereal rye on? After corn harvest in December/Jan — the question is, what crop is next?
  • Soybeans should go in very early, early May. Cereal rye growth isn’t going to offer much benefit
  • Cover crops and moisture conundrum — organic matter matters but you can’t give up the water
  • Hyper-sound seed treatment? So many things we’ve tried! Research matters

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