Wheat Pete’s Word, Aug 5: Post-anthesis N, oats vs rye for cover, and glorious rain

There comes a time when the questions, comments, and follow ups become so numerous, you’ve simply got to dive in and start handing out answers.

For this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson is taking the “Farmer Rapid Fire” approach and answering as many listener questions as possible in 16 short minutes. In this episode, hear about oats vs. rye cover crops, liquid vs. dry manure ahead of wheat, plot results, post-anthesis N and so much more! Listen now, or scroll and hit download to listen later.

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]


  • SLOW down on the roads, everyone — farmers, too. But especially those on roads full of summer sun seekers and more
  • Wheat is off, straw is coming in, cover crops going in, manure is going out, it’s still a busy time but take the time to reach out to your neighbours and friends and build community
  • Yes! There was glorious rain across a huge part of Ontario late in the weekend, even in the east!
  • Wheat crop was quite disappointing in some areas, sub-80 bu/ac yields, because of heat and drought
  • About an inch, up to six inches and more rain over the August long weekend. The drought is broken!
  • 43 inch high soybeans in one area. Holy smokes, there’s some Garden of Eden crops out there, but the rest of us will have to do with average
  • 2020 high yield wheat to beat: 145 bushels per acre. Got better? Send in those results.
  • $15 in N for $45 in protein? Post-anthesis N is so worth it, y’all
  • Plot results: [email protected], please and thank you
  • Oats as a cover crop vs. fall rye. Why push one over the other? Fall rye has turned out well for a farmer with good root growth and biomass. Oats is very soil-bug friendly. You can use barley for sure, especially if cheaper, but fall rye has to be killed or we run into issues in the spring.
  • What about oats and rye together? Well, one will die, one won’t. One farmer left it, strip-tilled corn in to 18 inch high rye and had major slug issues
  • Wheat Pete does not want you to plant corn into cereal rye until we sort this out. OK? You need 2 weeks between dead rye and planting corn, and we’re just not sorted yet.
  • Early to mid-October kill of rye could be a great weed control, it’s just different management.
  • Tillage radish to break up compaction? It doesn’t do as much as you think. Sweet clover? Establishment year all it does is grow roots!
  • Cover crop — regardless of fancy mixes — matters more than none, vs. the details of what’s in it
  • Oats for emergency forage, you WILL have to spray for rust, and pay attention to pre-harvest interval. Minimum of 50 pounds N. As you add N, you’ll get more K in the oat crop as-fed.
  • Oats and peas after peas? Heck, yes. But not oats on that piece next year
  • Strawberry field has oat as a cover crop/rotation, and where the berries were, the oat never does as well. Why? It’s a mystery! But there’s something going on
  • Manure before cover crop? Or do I put it on after? You can go in after you plant cover crop, dry manure plus wet soil could mean compaction and you could set the cover crop back
  • Liquid or dry before wheat? Dry manure N will take longer to release
  • Winter wheat in 15 inch rows, you’ll lose some yield but gain some efficiency. BUT you’re going to have less weed competition. May need an annual grass herbicide
  • Saskatchewan farmer asks, can I use flat fans with 28% to desiccate a crop? Well, ish. It will burn (dry down) but not kill the crop.
  • Too early for pre-harvest glyphosate? Watch that video, here.