Wheat Pete’s Word, Sept 15: Black layer corn, tar spot, heavy beans, and the push test

The warnings about tar spot that started several years ago were, unfortunately, bang on.

In this week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson shares some scouting stories from several counties where tar spot has been found in corn, and what farmers will likely have to plan for in 2022. Also in this episode, Johnson discusses why stalk integrity is becoming an issue in corn crops and why some soybean pods are flat, flat, flat.

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].


  • Wind, hail, rain, and twisters! Damaging maturing crop. Not good
  • Even the dry east is getting some rain, but please, keep the tornadoes that-a-way
  • Harvest reports coming in
  • Edible 40 hundred weight/acre
  • Quality has also been excellent
  • 30 tonne corn silage too! Blow your mind good
  • 240 to 250 bu/ac range equivalent (corn)
  • Silo gas alert! The canary in the coal mine is sometimes a laying hen
  • Black layer corn on September 14 in Lambton County
  • Next question: how quickly will it dry down?
  • September is often warm and can be dry  — could lose more than 0.5% in moisture per day, if the husk is loose/open, and conditions are right. October more like 0.3 to 0.4% per day
  • Sure could save on drying costs
  • Edible bean growers harvested before the rain, very dry beans, higher moisture now. Do you wait to dry in the field or pay for drying?
  • Tar spot moving rapidly in some crops
  • Corn crops dying bottom to top. Is it pre-mature death? Could it be N deficiency? Could be too dry. Could be stalk rot.
  • Start those push tests!
  • Corn on corn and tar spot incidence: inoculum, host, and environment. July 2 to now? Entirely dead where fungicide was not applied
  • Toronto south and west, tar spot is there
  • Spore load will be regional, not field specific
  • Rotation won’t save you on tar spot
  • Flat pods in soybeans!
  • Hail shattered pods of soybeans and edible beans…going into wheat. Are volunteers going to be an issue? It won’t hurt yield! You will get some N credit
  • Canola hailed out. What’s left of the fertility package? Quite a bit, however, will be somewhat more prone to losses, N especially
  • Cereal rye to bump up a hay field being taken out next year? Yes, do it

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