Wheat Pete’s Word, Jan 17: Cold temps and dead plants, crowded seedlings, and most limiting factors for yield

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Winter is making itself known across all of Canada this week, after a polar vortex descended on Alberta, all the way to Ontario getting hit with snow, wind, and cold temps (for Ontario, mind you).

That sparked some questions on fall-seeded crop survival, including canola, alfalfa, and wheat, which host Peter ‘Wheat Pete’ Johnson answers is this week’s podcast episode. There’s also talk of broadcast wheat pros and cons, the most yield-limiting factors by acre, and what to do with pesky trees.

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].


  • She’s cold, baby
  • What about winter canola, winter wheat, and alfalfa survival? Snow cover is key
  • Remember that wind chill isn’t a factor for crown survival, they’re too close to the ground
  • A warm December has probably been more detrimental to wheat
  • Alfalfa and canola have probably been impacted most of the three
  • Really wet conditions in Europe/UK could impact the wheat crop significantly, though they are still planting, but in to poor conditions
  • What’s TEC Talk? It’s like an after party for a SWAC/Ont Ag Conference topic
  • Wheat Pete is the moderator. Next week is all about fertility
  • Thank you to Ava at Lakeland College
  • Encourage each other!
  • Coated vs uncoated clover seed — is there a benefit? Fewer seeds per pound and no benefit that Pete can see
  • NO the winners of the Great Lakes YEN didn’t ALL broadcast seed. Only one winner, and that was for percentage of potential
  • Treated wheat seed in soybean sample is all bad, so broadcasting is a risk
  • What is common between the YEN winners? Narrow rows (5″ spacing) and split app N
  • High speed disc vs cultivator after broadcast wheat definitely a benefit
  • Wheat seed that gets crowded will compete with each other. Hello spill drill crowding/clumps
  • Split app N doesn’t usually add yield, but it does allow for higher management of N rate, less lodging, better for the environment
  • Get the N on early, though
  • NO nitrogen on snow. It doesn’t work and it’s a huge loss
  • What are the top 5 things to build big wheat? Base fertility, planting date are the start but all factors depend on the situation
  • Most limiting soil function by field: drainage, base fertility, pH
  • Treeline trouble
  • Perhaps do a strip of permanent cover. 30 feet of flowers and grass
  • 1 bu yield gain for zero till. Economically, a win
  • Remember that the tillage pass costs fuel and time and wear and tear (and the equipment). Does an extra three bushels pay for the added pass?




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