Winchester Ag Breakfast Meeting Notes, May 29, 2012

From May 1st to 27, eastern Ontario accumulated about 400 CHUs, which is close to the 30 year average. Precipitation was also close to average for the month of May.

Forages: There was concern that hay/haylage would be in short supply this spring due to reduced number of acres in forages and the amount of alfalfa winterkill. Alfalfa growth in many of the fields that had a fourth cut harvested last year is significantly reduced this spring. Taking alfalfa stem counts in the early spring gave a real good indication of the potential yield. Fields with more than 40 stems per square foot are yielding well. For more information on Alfalfa Stand Assessment, see . Most of the early heading grass species such as orchard grass, bluegrass are now in full head. The later heading species such as timothy and brome grass and the new later heading varieties of orchard grass are now in the late boot growth stage. Most of the alfalfa is now in the bud growth stage. Fields with higher grass content have been or should have been cut in the past week for high ‘dairy’ quality hay/haylage. Most of the higher alfalfa content stands will be cut in the next week. Stands that were fertilized this spring in anticipation of lower yield potential are generally yielding well. OMAFRA is currently doing a tissue sample survey of a few alfalfa stands to look at sulphur levels.

Winter Wheat: The winter wheat acreage is up this year. Winter wheat stands look excellent in most fields. Most stands will be fully headed by the end of May.

Spring cereals: Stands generally look good, with the exception of a few barley fields. Some observations of poor fertilizer/nitrogen application patterns with the spinner type spreaders, particularly compared to nitrogen applied with the streamer nozzles. Some of the problem with the spinner-spreaders could be poor calibration and the influence of the wind on spread pattern. Fields planted in early April will be heading in early to mid-June this year, about two weeks earlier than normal. This will mean that growers should be ready to apply a fungicide for fusarium head blight control earlier also. Aphid numbers in the south-western Ontario are above threshold, but have not yet being a problem in eastern Ontario. Armyworm arrival reported to be earlier than normal in south-western Ontario and in Quebec. BASF recommends not to tankmix an insecticide with the fungicide at the heading stage of the wheat due to added stress on the wheat crop.

Soybeans: Most of the soybeans have now been planted with the exception of a small acreage to be planted following an early, 1st cut of hay. Growers with crop insurance need to contact Agricorp to have these fields inspected since growing soybeans after 1st cut falls under double cropping. Soybeans emergence has generally been good. The exception is some very dry areas and where the soybeans were planted too shallow. IP Soybean growers need to continue to plan for group II herbicide resistance.

Corn: Corn acreage is up slightly over last year. The very early (mid-April) planted corn struggled through the cool temperatures and a population drop of 10 to 15% is not uncommon. However, very few acres had to be replanted. Most of this corn is now at the 4 to 6 leaf stage. The Ontario Corn Replant Decision Aid, developed by Greg Stewart, Dr. Dave Hooker and Ken Janovicek is available at . Early planted corn emergence was better in fields planted at a depth of 1¾ inch, than in fields planted at 2 inches or more. Fields planted in the first few days of May have good plant populations and are now at the 4 to 5 leaf stage. Only about 70% of the corn fields have been sprayed for weed control to date. Unsprayed fields are losing yield and need to be sprayed a.s.a.p. Some bill bug and cutworm damage has been found. High cutworm moth numbers have been recorded in parts of Quebec. If needed, spray now to control cutworms. For more information see Corn: Black Cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon) at . More growers are moving to side-dress nitrogen application. Early soil nitrate tests show slightly higher than normal soil available nitrogen levels, indicating growers can reduce the amount of additional nitrogen required to be applied at side-dressing. Nitrogen supplies of both liquid and dry fertilizer are tight, but a vessel is to be coming in later this week.

Issues: All crops are competing for sprayer time to get the herbicides and fungicides applied.

Crop Insurance: Some questions/concerns, but no corn replants. Agricorp needs to be contacted for a field inspection if a crop is to be planted following an early, 1st cut of hay harvest. Final acreage report deadline is July 1 for Agricorp.

Eastern Ontario Crop Diagnostic Day will be held on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at the Winchester Research Farm, Kemptville Campus -University ofGuelph

Next Meeting: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 at 7:30 a.m. at the Country Kitchen Restaurant, 31 Highway,Winchester,Ontario

Crop Technology Contacts:

Scott Banks, 613-294-4436

Gilles Quesnel, 613-294-4457

 NEXT MEETING: 7:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 12, 2012, Country Kitchen, Winchester, ON