Wheat Pete’s Word, Sept 29: Stalk rot, mushy beans, cloud cover, and soil tests

It’s time to get pushy with your corn crop, Ontario! Wet fall weather is testing farmers’ patience and the standability of the Ontario corn crop.

In this week’s Wheat Pete’s Word, host Peter Johnson encourages farmers to check on stalk integrity and prioritize fields with less than stellar stalk strength. Also this week, there are reports of mushy beans, disappointing soybean yields, and sky-high fertilizer prices. What to do, what to do? Soil test, of course!

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].


  • September 30 is the first national Truth and Reconciliation Day. Please wear orange!
  • Peter is proud to be Canadian, but we have to recognize how we got here
  • No one had any leads for a used Redekop spreader for Pete’s combine
  • Make sure you leave lots of messages! Questions, comments, and more! Call in, email, or tweet
  • 9.3 inches of rain in September in some areas — 200 to 300 per cent of normal
  • What has happened? Sprouted edible beans, mushy beans
  • Mould is a risk. Get those edible beans out of the field if you can
  • 2021 first summer ever that Ottawa didn’t get at least 400 hours of bright sun
  • 12 per cent less bright sunshine this summer. So, is this why soybeans weren’t filled and ready to come off already? Could have been higher yields, for sure
  • Corn lodging and stalk rot alerts!
  • Tar spot showing up in many areas. Fungicide made a difference. Hybrids make a difference, too.
  • Stalk integrity: some rots are late, but do the push test and prioritize fields with lower stalk integrity
  • Shanks? If they have been compromised could see cob drop
  • Giberella is caused by fusarium pathogen (same as in wheat), and same that cause stalk rot and ear rot. Stalk rot doesn’t always move to ear and vice versa
  • Can’t have early wheat if you don’t plant it early
  • Tile wheat? If after 10 days and no sprouting at all, will likely have to replant
  • What about winter barley? You can plant it late September! Just bit higher risk
  • How late can winter wheat go in? Quite late, but make sure you’re increasing the seeding rate every week
  • Don’t plant into mud (or yields will thud?)
  • Fertilizer prices are way up, but it’s not just about price, supply may be a huge issue for spring 2022
  • Fewer mixes, might be short 28 per cent
  • Use 28 per cent (liquid) in wheat, and go dry in corn
  • Phosphorus will be in high demand, too
  • What’s the smartest thing you could do? Soil test, soil test, soil test
  • Save where you can, and you won’t know that until you test
  • Don’t burn your winter cereals! Manure well before planting or after emergence, but not right before

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