Wheat Pete’s Word, Oct 11: Brown layer corn, road safety, broadcast wheat, and the difference a day makes

Red clover (Lyndsey Smith, 2021)

If you’re waiting for a sign to pick up the phone and check in with a friend, this is it.

Yesterday was Mental Health Day and host Peter Johnson wants you to take the Wheat Pete 15 challenge and call up someone just to chat.

That’s just one tidbit from this episode of Wheat Pete’s Word. Also included is a discussion on brown layer corn, if soybeans adapt to cooler temps, and whether or not your rig is road safe.

Have a question you’d like Wheat Pete to address or some field results to send in? Agree/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].


  • The temperatures have just crashed
  • 3.5″/90 millimetres of rainfall over the Thanksgiving weekend in parts of Ontario.
  • Some ground was way too dry and hard as a rock, but one rain made it perfect
  • Yesterday was Mental Health Day, take the time, make the call, Wheat Pete’s 15
  • Safety note: A 7600 John Deere, three 600 bu gravity boxes behind…not acceptable. Maybe you can pull ’em, but can you control them or stop ’em?
  • Tomato wagons: you could see the tractor lights, but not the wagon lights! Road safety is super important. Find more here
  • Avoid the tendency to criticize, condemn, complaining
  • Agronomy aggravations: brown vs black layer corn
  • 80 day vs 85 day corn, 4 per cent moisture difference, but a nice yield bump but barely black layered. Lots to consider
  • Risk tolerance matters
  • Wheat at 2.2 million seeds/acre at Oct 5 on heavy clay — is that enough?
  • On incredibly heavy clay, is there benefit over 1.6 or 1.8 million seeds per acre. The research isn’t done under the really poor conditions
  • Under really tough conditions, you can lose easily 40 per cent of the seeds you put in the ground
  • Often growers will go to 2.5 million seeds under adverse conditions
  • Now, what happens if you get  2.5 million plants?! That’s why you don’t do it in September
  • The value of one day on winter wheat. Oct 1: headland done, stopped and had to come back a day later
  • The heat of that first day mattered that much. One day in seeding can mean 5 days difference in growth
  • Row-width discussion: A try at broadcasting wheat and working it in with Horst Joker wheat seed
  • Some work says that 1 cm apart is the minimum, so broadcast CAN work
  • We haven’t seen more yield potential but we haven’t seen a yield loss. And thinking back to that one day difference…
  • Do you plant the headlands first or last? Last, if you can — compaction happens
  • Rye in the seed tender, spread it with the wheat. Just plant it
  • Some rye may grow but may not set seed
  • Should you clip the fleabane above the clover? Yes! Great idea
  • Draper versus auger heads versus air reels
  • PAMI (The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute) has done some good work on this. Air reels to capture more yield. Draper is better than auger, air reel adds to that
  • 10 bushel yield per acre advantage on soybeans in 2023 to tile drainage
  • Hope for double crop beans
  • Crops do adapt to cooler temps if over time
  • Next week: red clover and alfalfa will keep until next week!

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