Wheat Pete’s Word, Feb 14: Living oats, renovating hay stands, mild winter considerations, and supporting corn yield

A good portion of Ontario is nearing the end of what has been a very mild winter. Bare and sometimes thawed ground has many farmers asking if it’s too early for clover, for frost seeding, for tillage, and for patching in wheat crops.

There’s also a saying that goes, “just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” so Peter Johnson, host of Wheat Pete’s Word, is here to help answer which one of those questions is a should or a should not.

Plus, in this week’s podcast, hear about comparing DON levels in corn hybrids, renovating hay stands, and spreading vs. baling soybean stubble.

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].

Summary

  • Happy Love Day!
  • Pete is in Nova Scotia. There is so much snow!
  • 2023 was super, duper wet in Atlantic Canada
  • What does that mean for the wheat crop? Not as bad as other crops
  • Don’t pass a tractor on a hill, please
  • Dicamba label issue in the U.S. does not impact access in Canada
  • Read more on the dicamba situation here
  • Agriculture is 2% of the population and accounts for about 10% of the GHG emissions
  • It’s OK to want to reduce that
  • Should we use corn for ethanol?
  • Carbon from the atmosphere and cycle it through, that’s got to be better than taking new oil out of the ground (re: climate)
  • Ethanol cycles current carbon, is the thinking
  • DON screening report is ready. GoCorn.net
  • 3-year data, not all hybrids
  • There’s great information to comb through
  • Oats in southern Ontario are still alive. White roots! What do you do?
  • There will be some early, early weeds ready to roll as soon as spring actually arrives
  • Disease impact in a mild winter? Minimal
  • Some insects will be an issue. Bean leaf beetle
  • Clover is going on in some areas. February in the most southern areas can work. March is better
  • Frost seeding oats? If conditions are right, get on out there, don’t wait for the snow to go in a year like this one
  • Patching in the winter wheat crop with spring wheat — do you add fert?
  • Remember, it might be feed, depending on the mix
  • Plowing and ripping in February? Ouch. Let’s hope for some freeze thaw
  • Earlton area: old hay stand, do I need tillage? Disc rippers are a no-go, plow does work. Try, and go slow, and learn your way
  • Without wheat and covers in the rotation, corn is the real poverty grass. Wowza!
  • Question what you do, even if you don’t change a darn thing
  • Rotation ideas: Go: grass/cereal to legume, to broadleaf, but don’t lock in your rotation six years out, consider profitability and don’t short-change the soil!
  • Sawdust, cardboard, straw
  • Remove soy stubble vs. spreading it well: what’s it worth? What’s the impact on wheat?

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