Simcoe Agri-business Minutes – June 6, 2012

Synopsis:  In the past a general rainfall of about 58 mm fell across the region and about 300 chu have been accumulated – 600 chu since May 1. The rainfall was welcome and helped crops struggling to emerge as well as under-seeded red clover and new growth alfalfa.  Rainfall was enough to finally activate pre-emerge herbicides and also to boost crop growth and weed growth.

Every year corn crops are sampled with the Pre-sidedress nitrogen test to evaluate the fate of nitrogen depending on spring weather to date.  For the 2012 season, dry soil conditions have resulted in generally less nitrogen losses than years with wet spring soil conditions.  The results for heavy clay soils differ from loam soils and from expectations.  Nitrogen Status on corn results can be found at

Army worm is very active, having started in hay fields and advanced into wheat and rye, and now moving into corn since hay is being cut. About 20% of wheat acres have been sprayed in this area. Spraying of corn fields began June 5 – beginning with fields that are surrounded by rye or hay. Matador is becoming short on supply. Silencer and Lannate are alternatives. Worms are present in all sizes; most half inch. Situation is not as severe as occurred in 2008—yet. Armyworm moth egg laying occurred in early spring into fields that were green and most advanced.  In Simcoe to Niagara region this would be hay fields and rye fields.  Therefore as hay crops are cut and rye is reaching maturity the armyworms are attracted to new green areas; are moving across roads, into home yards and into corn fields. It is important to scout corn that is beside hay, rye, or early wheat for clipped heads.  More details on scouting, thresholds and controls at

Weed control: Re-spaying of pre emerge treated acres with glyphosate is occurring. Volunteer corn is a major problem and Nutsedge is also more common this year. There was activity on pre-emerge – just not complete kill – just look at the check strip that missed the herbicide application.  PPI was better than pre-emerge. Many fields are being re-sprayed where herbicide activation has just occurred, but ragweed and pigweed are 1.5 inches high with 2-3 leaves. Observations are that there are many fields with a lot of weed pressure that have not had weed control applied yet.  Glyphosate  mentality causes a tendency to delay spray timing.  Many fields are missing the critical weed free control period.  The yield reduction of a weedy field during that critical period will often be higher than the cost of two timely herbicide applications.  Ideally scouting would identify problem weeds at different times in the rotation to target herbicide applications over the whole rotation as opposed to a piece-meal approach.

Forage yields in the Simcoe to Niagara area were lower than normal, but fields fared better than in other areas of South-western Ontario.  Second cut hay regrowth is thin.  Manure application has helped many fields and the weekend rainfall will help regrowth.   Rainfall also helped the new forage seedings.  Some double cropping of soybeans or silage corn is occurring after hay.  Soybean double crops will also occur after peas.  Pea harvest will start this week.  There continues to be a big interest in double cropping soybeans after wheat harvest since not a lot of yield is required for payback, but soil moisture will be the critical factor.

Agricorp is investigating wildlife damage to crops.  Examples include damage by geese, wild turkeys, crows, deer, racoons etc.  One field lost 5 ac to crows.   Damage claims to agricorp from field crop producers have been lower than normal so far; some claims include drought damage on knolls, frost damage that killed the germ of corn (one field about 10% of corn). Unseeded acreage deadline is June 15th and final acreage reporting is due June 30th.  Final assessment on apples and other tree fruits will occur within the next two weeks.  Strawberries crops have not been as severely impacted by early frosts.

Upcoming events:

  • Ridgetown Diagnostic Days – July 4th and 5th
  • Forage Expo – July 11th – Milverton area
  • FarmSmart Expo – July 12th – Elora
  • Soil Quality Workshop is planned for Aug 2nd in the Dunnville Area.  Theme of the workshop is From Field to 300 bushel Yield.  Call the Woodstock OMAFRA office 519-537-6621 for registration details.  Brochure will be available shortly.