Wheat Pete’s Word, July 24: Heavy rainfall, leafhopper frenzy, and yield-robbing wind

There’s been a mixed bag when it comes to weather across the country. Some places can’t beat the heat while others are getting poured on —up to five inches in an hour!

In this week’s Word, Peter Johnson covers what to do when it’s wet as it’s a disease year, when to spray when leafhoppers’s are in a feeding frenzy, some tips for newly seeded alfalfa, and Johnson answers all your agronomic questions!

Have a question you’d like Johnson to address or some yield results to send in? 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].


  • Holy rainfall! Some people reported five inches in an hour… However, others such as those in the areas near the grey bruce peninsula, where there’s bin ZERO rainfall, same goes for parts of Western Canada.
  • Wind is also playing a major factor when it comes to damaged crops. Green snap in the corn crop is resulting in total yield loss.
  • Reminder! Soil compaction day, August 8th in Shedden, Ont. Also one in Dundas, Ont. on August 29th. Topics covered:
    • Talk to the experts about compaction mediation
    • Cover crops
    • Up to 60 different units to see what works
  • The really good wheat looks to be around the 125 bu/acre mark. If you have over 130 bu/acre, email Pete!
  • Big yields for wheat were expected because of cool temps, but it looks like the cloud cover limited the photosynthate
  • Warm and wet weather has caused lots of black point in the wheat — no toxins to be worried about BUT it is a grading factor, if you’re over one per cent black point, a producer can be downgraded to a grade three, over five per cent, you can get below grade three
  • 159,000 and change in wheat acres re-seeded — that’s essentially one in four acres from Agricorp that got taken out and re-seeded — very unprecedented.
  • Still unknown what unseeded acres are at this point, once I know, I’ll be sure to share with you!
  • HOLY LEAFHOPPER! Picture this: Diagnostic days in eastern Ontario last Thursday, 10 inch high Alfalfa plots, the threshold is supposed to be around one leafhopper per sweep — they’re getting 40-45 PER SWEEP!
      • Threshold: if the alfalfa is under four inches high, it’s one leafhopper in five sweeps.
  • For the love of agronomy: If you have newly seeded alfalfa — even if it’s a leafhopper resistance variety — you need to be scouting!
  • Spray that regrowth early if you’re above threshold to minimize the chance of establishing a bad plant.
  • It’s time to spray for white mould and edibles! It’s 20 to 50 per cent flowered which is typically when one starts to see a pod develop on a plant which gets you into the pin bean stage.
  • Grow soybeans? It’s getting to the later part to be able to spray for the early seeded soybeans as they’re around R3 growth, but it’s that R1.5 to R2 range that you want to spray at.
  • PRO TIP: Use Sporecaster for the soybean crop!
  • Giberella in your corn? You MUST spray when there’s green silk.
  • Hi Owen and Dave! Both were worried about spraying their wheat where they have red clover, or weedy spots — will eragon sterilize the green heads in the wheat crop? I say, absolutely not! It doesn’t translocate well, it doesn’t have a lot of activity on grasses, it’s registered, don’t worry about it from that standpoint. BUT, NO GLYPHOSATE if it’s going for seed. Full stop.
  • Can you plant wheat after alfalfa? yes, but be careful of take-all.

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