Wheat Pete’s Word, Dec 8: More magical manure, corn bets, N credits, and wrapping up harvest

It would seem that there’s one thing Peter Johnson can count on from his loyal listeners: a stern finger wagging when he’s got something all wrong.

Such is the case with last week’s episode of Wheat Pete’s Word, where Johnson had the audacity to say manure was anything but magical. Have no fear, dear listeners, this week Johnson better explains what he meant AND has a few cautions, too.

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].


  • Don’t forget about the Ontario Agriculture Conference set for the first week of January
  • Harvest is finally drawing to a close for Ontario’s corn crop
  • Many farmers are out getting fall tillage done — but what’s the cut off for frost, rain, mud, or frozen ground? Looks can be deceiving. Remember, the smear of a plow is seven to eight inches down
  • Safety first, please
  • Early yield data on the soybean crop suggests not a record, but 53 bu/ac is pretty darn respectable (15 per cent above average)
  • What about that corn number 202 right now! Pete might have to buy a steak dinner
  • Tracking DON levels in the corn crop are creeping up, will continue while corn is over 19 per cent
  • Late November had 3 ppm up to 5 ppm, from none in October
  • Shorter season hybrid that gets harvested sooner can be cleaner, even if more susceptible
  • Gantry tractor (see below). Cool concept, but not necessarily new
  • Air-flowing on wheat in December is a high risk venture
  • Oh gosh, manure mayhem!
  • There is more value to manure than just the nitrogen. WE KNOW!
  • Really, manure is more about phosphorus and potassium
  • But it’s also about carbon, feeding microbes and more
  • The caveat, however, is how much farmers depend on manure to supply N needs to the next crop
  • Counting on 25 per cent of the N in the first year? That’s likely too high
  • Can’t band manure phos, remember
  • Want to hear so much more? Check out this Monday’s episode of The Agronomists
  • Manure dragline on wheat in December (early winter) questions. Manure on snow is a no-go. Ditto for frozen ground. Manure is high in salts and tends to melt the soil and pool around the growing point and can kill the plant. But, a light frost, no snow, could be a go for keeping it where we want it. Be careful.
  • How do you save N from being lost? It has to be tied up. And that creates a new challenge (it has to be mineralized)



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