Wheat Pete’s Word, Aug 28: Relay wheat in canola, potash power, sulphur release, and weedy field help

Farmers are watching the 14-day forecast like hawks in both Western Canada and Ontario, as cool conditions have slowed down crop development. Cereals in the west need time to mature, and the Ontario corn crop is weeks and weeks away from mature.

Even with harvest underway, some are thinking about next year….because the winter wheat prime seeding window is also rapidly approaching. In this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson tackles weedy field help ahead of planting, some cool relay crop stuff happening in the north, a combine rodeo, and why your soybeans might be turning yellow.

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].


  • Nighttime temps in Ontario are staying in 10 degree-plus range, which is crucial. It slows the corn crop development down, but it doesn’t stop. And so far, so good.
  • The same can’t be said for Western Canada which is experiencing very cool to cold temps, and crop development is crawling along
  • Relay crops: Some have heard of soybeans and wheat (alternating rows), sure, but a farmer at Matheson, Ont., has been trying to figure out how to get winter wheat in rotation (it’s a challenge because of the shortfall). So, this farmer planted canola in 15″ rows in May of 2018, and in late June plants winter wheat in between the canola rows. Now, 14 months later, he’s combining winter wheat! About 80 bushels of acre.
  • In Soda Springs, Idaho, a farmer is combine shopping for a Class 7, and now on September 10th, there will be a combine rodeo! We’ll see if all the manufacturers show up (see tweet below)
  • Corn fungicide evaluation day: Albert Tenuta, OMAFRA, led the charge to look at application methodology, over, under, and in between. We’ll keep you posted on the findings.
  • Potash deficiency in soybeans showing up. Late season symptoms are much different than early season. In late season, potash deficiency can be just a general yellowing, if you soil sample you’ll likely get a borderline level, but high yield areas with lower root mass may struggle to draw enough potash during grain fill. But double-check! Make sure it’s not soybean cyst nematode, and it’s a heads up to think about potash management longer term.
  • Sow thistle problems keep coming up. Control in the fall (ahead of corn).
  • Dog strangling vine — an invasive, aggressive weed. Most will reach for glyphosate — but it has an extensive root system, and you’ve removed all the competition around it. Just stop! Something like this needs more selective action: Milestone or another hormone herbicide option will help, with multiple applications, but keep the competition there. (Full disclosure: this weed has not been found in the Ottawa Valley. Lyndsey was touring a pasture in another county).
  • Non-planted acres full of all sorts of weeds, going into winter wheat— are you going to work it first? Many weeds will be fine, but for mare’s-tail (also called Canada fleabane) is likely glyphosate-resistant and tillage aren’t effective enough. Need to spray before you work it down and before you plant, pre-emerge/pre-plant.
  • Can you store certain fertilizer over the winter safely?
  • Sulphur availability — what’s the difference between sulphur fertilizers when it comes to availability timing?


Wake up with RealAgriculture

Subscribe to our daily newsletters to keep you up-to-date with our latest coverage every morning.

Wake up with RealAgriculture