Wheat Pete’s Word, Nov 7: Combine mods, cereal rye, and soy storage tips

Photo via Lexion.

Let’s start this week’s Word on a super positive note — Peter Johnson is a grandpa for the sixth time! Host Johnson takes that wonderful piece of news as inspiration for this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word and tries to keep it upbeat and positive (meaning, yes, he talks corn, but mostly not, OK?)

From winter wheat deadlines, to safe storage of beans, and on to combine modifications for a cleaner crop, this week’s episode has something for everyone. Don’t mind the slight change in audio at about the 8 minute mark, please. Pete had some technical issues we couldn’t fix in time for a re-record.

Have a question you’d like Johnson to address? Or some yield results to send in? Leave him a message at 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected]


  • We start this week with a positive, sunshiney host — who announces the arrival of his sixth grandchild, Emery, born Monday night, yay Wheat Pete!
  • Have you registered for SWAC’19? It will sell out, so register now or be disappointed. And, no, they don’t take walk-ins
  • The crop insurance deadline for winter wheat was November 7. Did you report? Even if it’s zero! Call it in. 1-877-247-4999
  • Cereal rye into corn stalks —  it’s wet, but one farmer has been doing this for 7 years, and soybeans following cereal rye has yielded 50 bu/ac
  • Soybeans are still out — even some for seed. Seed testing is your friend.
  • In the bin: a farmer has soybeans in storage, average moisture, and uses Bincast to turn fan on and fan off, but he has hardly had the fan on. Just haven’t had the right conditions. But be careful! Get that air moving regardless, if it’s been a few days
  • What moisture can you store beans? 13%-14% is safe, but they are a high oil content seed and at 15%-16% they will turn quickly. Don’t take the risk.
  • Good news: feed industry says yes there’s problems with this corn crop, but in many cases DON levels are OK. Swine industry is the most sensitive, but feed mills are putting in the extra work to put rations together that are safe
  • Massive yields out there in the corn fields, 240-250 bu/ac. Incredible!
  • Industry is meeting weekly — there’s discussion of ethanol plants throwing open the doors, so stay tuned (discount of $1.70-$2 bu possible?)
  • Can you teach old dogs new tricks? Well, the young guns can teach Wheat Pete some things — Dave Killins, custom combine operator, walks you through how to clean this corn crop IN the field (Watch the video here). Blow out, shake out that DON-infested corn! Perhaps 10 ppm to 4.5 ppm ….not likely that good every time, but adjustments help.
  • What about rotation, variety? Strip till? Rotation and variety plays a much larger role than tillage, but weather really was the driver this year
  • Dust coming off the corn crop, 5x more DON/myctoxin — update your cab filters, wear your mask when unloading. Test the dust as a means of measuring DON? They are in some areas of Europe doing it.
  • Quick testing for DON is a huge headache. Read more here.
  • If we have to destroy some of this corn, what’s the best unit? Big forage harvester? Need a diverter head to spread the flow. What about compost? So much work. There are no great answers.
  • Wheat: seed and fertilizer is already mixed and time is getting tight? What happens to germ? By next September, there’s a 50/50 chance of it being OK….it might just be cover crop seed
  • Sow manure, can I spread on emerged wheat? Where you turn, it’ll kill it. Salt concentration can kill it later, if it freezes up quickly now.

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