Wheat Pete’s Word, Mar 15: What field patterns tell us, banding vs. broadcast fertilizer, and a bright future

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Is liquid fertilizer more or less available to the plant than granular? Is planting barley after potatoes a bad idea? Why would some soybean plants be green in a field of yellow plants?

There are just a handful of the questions posed this week to the host of Wheat Pete’s Word, Peter Johnson. In the podcast below, he also covers several follow up questions on buckwheat as wireworm control, and why snow mould in wheat could be an issue in some regions.

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].

Summary

  • Peter got to speak to the University of Guelph soil and crop club!
  • The future of agriculture is bright
  • Maple syrup run has been spectacular for some areas
  • Just getting started in other areas in the wet and the east
  • Pete was in Idaho last week, with seven to eight feet of snow in the mountains
  • Decent snow fall in the west
  • What about snow mould? Can happen when there’s a slow or drawn out thaw
  • Vermillion, east of Edmonton is dry dry dry
  • South of Saskatoon, super dry fall too
  • The patterns in the field tell us stories
  • Popular poplars! What are we going to do with poplar wood?! Remember that innovation all starts somewhere
  • Buckwheat questions: cereal as a cover crop, how much do I add to knock back wireworm?
  • 100 per cent down to 20 per cent range. At 20 per cent, still saw the same amount of control on the wireworm, but the numerical values started to drop
  • Give the buckwheat a chance — don’t let the cereal crop outcompete it, if wireworm suppression is the goal
  • What’s the forage value of buckwheat? But be careful, buckwheat is somewhat poisonous to sheep and horses, not to cattle. Can cause photosensitivity
  • Buckwheat as bedding, it’s almost too palatable
  • Pasturing may not be ideal, and keep it in a blend
  • Haney soil test cheerleaders. Are they right?
  • Haney soil test is for soil health, not fertility or pH based, necessarily
  • The trouble is, not all the results are transferrable to management
  • New Brunswick, broadcasting fertilizer and thinking about moving to banding fertilizer
  • Cut the rate, yes, because it’s more efficient, and also that it reduces salting or burn effect
  • Barley after potatoes, lodging could be a big risk. Barley has weak knees
  • Liquid fertilizer salesman says it’s more available…is this true?
  • On a decent soil, you have about 2″ in topsoil that’s available to the plant
  • 27,000 gallons in an inch, do you think that 5 to 6 gallons as liquid fert really have a huge impact vs the 27,000 gallons diluting the dry
  • Liquid has a salt content too, and it will take water before the seed does
  • There isn’t a difference in availability, as a rule

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