Wheat Pete’s Word, March 31: Weird Wheat, Slugs and Shotgun Blasts

In this week’s Word, Peter Johnson, resident agronomist for RealAgriculture, examines everything from erosion and weird wheat to cover crop management and insect pests. Have a question for Wheat Pete? Call 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected]

Highlights:

  • There are huge amounts of erosion in high tillage zones in Ontario. “We simply have to do better.”
  • Less tillage, more crop rotation, more cover crops — these are things we must strive for.
  • Purple wheat on the knolls — that’s an indication of poor root growth. Try to build up the soil structure in those areas.
  • Manganese deficiency — look for plants turning white. “I think we have to correct it…so get out there and spray.” Shot-gun blast products almost never put on enough manganese.
  • Clover turning brown where ATV or manure spreading occurred — what’s the deal?
  • Ryegrass cover crop unexpectedly living past winter. Get on it early, say experts. Information out of the U.S. suggests 1.5L/ac glyphosate as early as possible. Mike Cowbrough says go in with 2L/ac to be sure.
  • Corn seeded into cereal rye and there’s an allelopathic affect. The shorter the time between the kill of the crop and seeding, the more root disease that shows up.
  • Some interesting research in annual ryegrass and insect pressure.
  • Should soybeans be planted right on top of cover crop row or to the side?
  • Wheat/red clover tends to build slug populations. Check for them before deciding on soybean row width.
  • Black beans tend to have a wimpy root system. No-till can work, but any compaction might cause issues.
  • Weighing the options for closing wheels.