Exeter Ag Breakfast Meeting (April 15)

Synopsis: Much of the nitrogen on wheat has been applied further south (Essex) but progress has been spotty in this area.  Much of the wheat further north has received no nitrogen yet which will probably mean that only one application of N will occur. (no split application) Overall the wheat looks good and Agricorp has received few calls on damage so far.  There are still IP soybean contracts as well as edible bean contracts available.  The rain that fell in April was needed in many areas as conditions have been relatively dry over the winter.  There was some discussion that soil test values continue to slip.  The most likely explanation is higher yields over the last few years resulting in greater crop removal.  It’s important to recognize that appropriate levels of fertilizer are needed to maintain desired yields.

Wheat: The winter wheat crop looks excellent for the most part and nitrogen applications will get completed quickly once the weather allows.  Due to equipment and time constraints a split application of N may not be possible.  The problem with one application of a higher N rate is that it will promote stem elongation and may cause lodging.  A split application would help reduce this risk.  It’s thought that de-nitrification has not been a major concern in this part of the world so far because of cool soil temperatures.  There is research underway to verify a modeling system called NLOS that predicts the amount of N loss based on a number of factors including soil type and weather.  Therefore if on April 1st,  112 kg N/ha (100 lbs N/ac) was applied as urea in Delhi, the model would predict  2.8 kg N/ha (2.5 lbs N/ac) leached on sand and 4.5 kg N/ha (4 lbs N/ac) denitrified on clay.

Sulphur yield response was higher in 2011 than it was in 2012.  So far research results indicate 10 pounds of S as SO4 is sufficient to alleviate deficiencies, and while every field is not deficient, there is no predictive tool. See http://fieldcropnews.com/2013/04/do-i-need-to-apply-sulphur-to-winter-wheat/

Boron. No yield response in south-western Ontario has been shown to date.  There were lots of tissue samples last year that came up deficient but remember the critical values are for a specific growth stage so values taken at any other time will be inaccurate.  Samples should be taken from both good areas as well as bad areas in a field to get a comparison.  The value of a tissue test is often suspect.

Huron SCIA Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) Survey: The Huron SCIA is conducted a SCN survey in Huron County.  There are growers in the county that are unaware they are losing yield due to SCN. Tom Welacky from Agriculture Canada has agreed to run soil samples to test for SCN.  It would be helpful to submit as many samples as possible this spring.  That way if SCN is found there will still be time to make appropriate management decisions like growing an SCN resistant variety this spring.  If anyone is interested in participating please contact Wayne Wheeler (wayne@howsonandhowson.ca)

Bees and Neonicitinoids:  Syngenta handed out a one page information bulletin on the subject.  More information can be found at www.beehealth.com  A number of growers are considering planter deflector technology but large equipment manufacturers are not interested in pursuing deflectors.  There are smaller companies perusing this technology.  There are some deflectors being used in Quebec. Last spring was a unique set of environmental circumstances that exacerbated the situation.  One message that needs to get out to growers is that excess talc should not be used in vacuum planters.  This adds to the amount of spent dust entering the air.  These seed treatments are designed to remain on the seed and put in the ground.  New lubricant technology may significantly reduce the problem.  If there are any incidences of affected bee hives this year please contact:

Linda McIntosh Regional Manager Pesticide Compliance Program – Health Canada 255 Woodlawn Rd W, Unit 109 Guelph ON, N1H 8J1 Phone: 519-826-2895

Tracey Baute and Art Achaafsma are spearheading research into dust management and new polymer technology to reduce “dust off”. Co-operators are still needed. http://fieldcropnews.com/2013/03/sw-ontario-corn-growers-wanted-for-corn-planter-dustbee-study/  Chad Anderson provided this file from Health Canada pollinator-protection-pollinisateurs-eng

Long Season Soybean Variety:  Over the last number of years growers have seeded some of their acreage (10-20%) to long season varieties in an attempt to increase yields.  Ontario research has shown that this strategy does work, and if long season varieties are seeded early they will mature at the same time as adapted varieties planted in a normal window.  See: www.ontariosoilcrop.org/docs/v9crpadv_soy4-2012_evaluating_early_planting_and_long_season_varieties_of_soybeans_final_report.pdf

Since April planting is now unlikely should growers switch back to adapted varieties?  The quick answer is no, unless they plan on seeding winter wheat in that field.  Research conducted over the last 3 years has shown that on average longer season varieties will yield more even if planting is not early.  They will however also take longer to mature in the fall.  Selecting a variety that is one full maturity longer (200 CHU) has not been a problem.  This strategy is not intended for fields going to winter wheat.

Cover Crops: There continues to be a tremendous interest in cover crops. Keep in mind that if cover crops are removed for feed there is significant nutrient removal that must be replaced. Herbicide carryover can significantly impact cover crops. The midwest cover crop selector can be found at: http://mcccdev.anr.msu.edu/

Crop Insurance:  With fluctuating commodity prices there is more interest in the Risk Management Program.  Growers need to be enrolled in Agri-Stability and Crop Insurance to be eligible to participate.  See www.AgriCorp.com

Crop Insurance deadlines:

May 1: New applications and coverage changes

June 15: Last day to report unseeded acreage.

June 30: Spring seeded final acreage reports due.

July 10: Premiums

CropLine – 1-888-449-0937

CropPest Website – http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/field/news/news_croppest.html

Stratford Crop Technology Contacts:

Horst Bohner, 519-271-5858 or horst.bohner@ontario.ca

Peter Johnson, 519-271-8180 or peter.johnson@ontario.ca