Freeze injury is a significant concern in the winter cereal crop with the very low temperatures of April 27/28/29. Leaf damage is significant in most fields, but it is head damage that is critical. Split stems in frost prone areas. Heads should be bright green to yellow. Discoloured or water soaked appearance of heads indicates death of the head and zero yield potential. See http://bit.ly/agi9Zn. Scouting to date indicates head damage only in the most frost prone areas, but SCOUT! Very little herbicide has been applied. Winter annuals and dandelions are past control. Disease pressure remains low in many fields, with powdery mildew just beginning to show. Spring cereals appear to have tolerated the snow and cold temperatures well. Moisture was welcomed on fields planted shallow or overworked with dry soil. Herbicide application timing should be now on early planted fields. Disease pressure remains very low.
Written by Peter Johnson
Former OMAFRA Cereals Specialist