Wheat Pete's Word, Feb 28: Weather swings, winter kill, help for thin wheat, and too many bushels left in the bin


Oh my goodness, what a wild swing in temperatures! Ontario hit some record high daytime temperatures for February, only to have a huge cold front move in that had already socked in the Prairies.

As much as we’d all like to think this is spring, it only feels that way. The calendar still says February, and that means if farmers are asking if it’s too early for… fill in the blank… it probably is. But not for everything, says Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson, and that’s just part of what you’ll hear on this week’s podcast.

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].


  • Welcome Reggie to the Johnson clan! A new grandchild arrived this week
  • Grandchildren are such a blessing. Appreciate your time with them
  • Canadian Farmer Sentiment Index — don’t know what it is? Check it out here (you can participate next time too!). Farmers aren’t feeling super great about the year ahead
  • Have we gotten too optimistic and being too hopeful for above average
  • Stress is increasing too. Added stress can start to really weigh on you
  • Please, pick up the phone and use your Wheat Pete 15
  • Ask, “How are you?” really
  • Dry and warm makes it feel VERY early
  • But… this COLD moving in. A reminder it’s still February
  • What about the wheat and alfalfa? Plants do acclimate but the real risk is the huge swings from too warm to too cold
  • Field cover, even as water, is better than bare. Fluffy snow would be ideal
  • So much interest in winter canola in Ontario. Winter canola doesn’t mind the cold
  • Nature Nut Nick planted oats this week
  • Oats going in on Feb 26 in Ontario (Supplied/N. Stokman)
  • Double cut clover questions this time of year. Plant growth differences
  • Sow thistle control? Rosettes
  • Pasture rejuvenation — spread the seed, let the sheep work it in, but then take them out. Pull them off after 2 weeks or the sheep will nip each little plant off if not!
  • Thin wheat trouble: management to help it? N, but not too early. Weed control for sure. Only single cut clover
  • N loss considerations — what about sulphur early?
  • Trying to determine N rates. Never easy. Try N ramps — 0, standard rate, extra, extra plus
  • Think split apps in dry conditions
  • Fall N and dry conditions? Need more data

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