Simcoe Ag Breakfast Minutes – May 23, 2012

Synopsis:   In the past 2 weeks general rainfall has been less than 15 mm and about 200 chu have been accumulated – 300 from May 1. Conditions are dry for the middle of May.  A gentle, all-day rainfall would be welcome to help with pre-emerge herbicide activation, crop emergence and crop growth.

Corn planting is complete on lighter soils and 95% complete on heavy clay soils. Corn stands look good with most advanced fields at 5-6 leaf stage.  Side dress nitrogen applications are beginning and areas with little rainfall could reduce nitrogen rates since spring N losses from leaching and denitrification have been lower than normal.  Some corn planted in April, that had a heavy rain, is leafing out under the soil so some type of tillage operations are being carried out to help get it to the surface. A very small percentage of corn fields required replanting.  There are some corn vigour and population issues, especially with corn planted between April 17 to 22.  Several of these fields had high millipede populations, though hard to say what role they played. Corn population, as it relates to replant decisions was discussed and there were questions around thickening up stands versus ripping up and replanting.  See   Replant decisions will vary from year to year but should be based on calendar date, soil conditions , soil moisture levels and time/equipment availability.

Black cutworm damage has been reported, but there no hot-spots reported yet and there is not as much damage as was anticipated.  Scouting should continue.  Western Bean Cutworm traps are going up this week as the scouting period begins.  Lures need to be kept frozen until use.

Aerial application of schedule 2 pesticides need an MOE permit.  These permits can be applied for ahead of time with an “intend to spray” comment-even if it is not certain any pesticide will be applied.

Weeds are emerging with corn in some fields where applied herbicides have not had enough rainfall for activation.  A lot of re-spraying is anticipated.  For many pre-emerge herbicides it will take 12 to 18 mm to activate.  The pre-emerge herbicides are not expected to deteriorate, resulting in continued control for new emerging weeds.  Most corn is glyphosate tolerant, so there are alternatives, though tank mixes are encouraged as part of a resistance strategy.

Soybean planting is 80% complete.  Beans planted to moisture are up; shallower beans still sitting in dry storage.  The early season has more producers interested in double cropping soybeans after peas.  Soil moisture conditions after pea harvest or early wheat harvest will determine how much double cropping occurs.

Winter wheat crop is starting to head.  Wheat crops will be shorter than usual.  Growers may start spraying Caramba or Prosaro Friday or Saturday both for fusarium and rust protection. Wheat that was not sprayed appears to have more powdery mildew past flag leaf stage in some areas..

Hay harvest has started. By cutting early the quality of the crop will partially be preserved.  As suspected, forage yields are way down.  Alfalfa weevil (larvae) is attacking the alfalfa making the decision of best time to cut easier.  Early cut fields may need to continue scouting for potential larva feeding on new re-growth.  Larvae usually enter pupa stage in late June, and hatch to adult stage 1 to 2 weeks later.  Damage from adult feeding throughout the summer is not significant.

In expectation of a hay shortage, some growers are looking at emergency forage options, including silage, rye, oatlage, barlage, new seeding. Website MCCC has some options for emergency forages with a cover crop selector tool that now has an Ontario specific section.  There are a lot of questions about pre-harvest glyphosate on forage – older stands that were coming out of forage – some may have changed their mind due to shortages, especially where moisture is a concern.  Some poor stands, especially those with higher grass content may get improved yields from added fertility.  More manure is being applied after 1st cut to improve regrowth and yields.  It is important to get an analysis of the manure to keep track of how much P and K is applied.  Potash content is often less than expected.

New seeding planting is complete with crops emerged, but are variable due to dry weather.  One concern in Haldimand and Niagara is the large number of fields invested with bluegrass. Mike C will add some info

Final acreage report deadline is July 1 for Agricorp.

Some neat apps are available for i-phones:

1) T-jet nozzle app for nozzle selection, and

2) Scout Doc app (only for ipad -about $40 and works with google earth)


Next meeting will be Wednesday June 6