Simcoe Ag Breakfast Meeting Notes – April 10, 2013


Glyphosate resistance: hot button issue over the winter has been glyphosate resistant weeds, particularly Canada fleabane.

  • Awareness is good at retail, but not at farm gate, where it varies from excellent to “what does fleabane look like?”.
  • From Essex to Niagara, assume that fleabane is resistant. Control options are limited in no till soys after emergence because it is also group 2 resistant.
  • Eragon and Merge control fleabane; include 2L/ac (old rate) glyphosate to control dandelions. Metrbuzin high rate (600g) provides control, but is expensive and not safe on light ground.
  • Fields should be scouted in fall before tillage to apply herbicide pre- or to till more aggressively if flea bane is present.  Vertical tillage is often not enough .
  • Farmers are concerned about glyphosate resistant fleabane and willing to put $ into another mode of action. There is increased awareness on modes of action and switching them up. New products with new modes of action are not coming quick enough.
  • Next problem weed will include Resistant Palmer Amaranth (pigweed family) which is already in Michigan fields, and is expected to become a big problem in Ontario, particularly in soys. It is multimode of action resistant. Is being manually removed in areas where it is a problem in southern US. Weed control in soybeans is changing – cost of weed control will increase.

Weed Pressures and Control Options: The second major weed problem in the area is annual bluegrass; (third is Nutsedge)

  • Difficult to differentiate from meadowgrass, or roughtsock bluegrass (herbarium id) and is actually a perennial. It is moving west. It is a problem in hay – new seeding, soy after soy, and wheat. Triazines hold it back in corn.
  • By late May it sets seed and turns yellow and hard as straw; spoiling hay.  Root systems attract grubs. Seed has long dormancy.
  • The increase is attributed to less tillage, less atrazine, sub lethal doses of glyphosate, low residual activity herbicides and seed contributions from the sod industry. Control options are higher rates glyphosate (2 L/ac), which will give early control but not the second flush. Fall Atrazine helps.
  • Callisto residue after corn benefits the subsequent bean crop, an advantage of rotation.
  • Herbicide supply will be limited for some products – growers are encouraged to pre-order their needed herbicides.

Wheat Update

  • Wheat is variable but without much winter kill. Lot of chickweed is up in wheat. In Haldimand/ Wentworth, wheat looks great other than a few fields late planted with poor drainage. Not too much heaving has been observed. Fields were getting alarmingly dry but current and forecast rain makes this a non-issue.
  • In some areas (Niagara peninsula), more than 50% of the urea has gone on and UAN is moving now – some fields with full rate and some split application. In Haldimand/ Wentworth / Norfolk the majority of N is not on; most of what has been applied was part of the N rate and potash.
  • From John H’s experience with denitrification in wet springs – A good rule of thumb for the area is urea after 21 April; UAN the last week of April. Considering the rains this week it is good that most N was not yet applied. There have been queries from growers about poly-coated urea.
  • In Norfolk/ Haldimand, last week hay (grassy type) was fertilized with N, and K if not for dry cow, due to the need for feed. Fall seeded rye planted for rescue feed (most was cut last fall) was also fertilized with N. It will get cut and then go into corn.
  • Conditions were good for frost seeding. Frost seeded barley went in well and lots of clover was seeded in past weeks.

Other Comments: Soil Conditions – Fertility Issues:

  • Low soil potash levels are being observed, especially on alfalfa fields. Alfalfa tissue samples are also testing low in K.
  • Germination testing at cold and warm temperatures of different corn hybrids is ongoing as growers are requesting this.  Maixez is providing this service to local growers
  • Ground is mellowed by dry summer and deep cracks in 2012 followed by good frost over winter. Rainfall over past 24 hours is resulting in a lot of soil erosion as rills and sedimentation.
  • Lots of interest in cover crops – planning for fall cover crops starts now.  Below is one year data from Darrin Robinson (U of G-Ridgetown Campus) showing herbicide impact for cover crop germination after 4 months and 12 months.  Research is being repeated.

Cover Crop Sensitivity to Herbicide residues (Dr. Darren Robinson):


Vegetable Crops:

  • Sweet corn and oriental vegetables have been planted. For early potatoes, fertilizer is going on. Apples look good.

Agricorp Update:

  • In the Risk Management Program (RMP) production insurance target prices for 100% coverage are $5.62 for corn, $13.24 for soys, and $6.42 for soft white winter wheat.
  • Premiums are 5 cents for corn, 6 cents for soybeans, and 3 cents for soft white wheat. Lesser rates of coverage (80, 90%) are available.
  • May 1 is the deadline for most programs. Winter wheat can be insured now as an established stand – winter kill is not covered in that situation.
  • Contact the call centre if you need clarification 888-247-4999.
  • The provincial program covers 40%, and pays twice per year. If triggered pre harvest, it pays 40% of the difference on 50% of the acres. RMP has a cap of $100 million. It is not known how this will affect payouts. Producers need to be enrolled in Agri-Stability.
  • Agricorp is developing a ginseng insurance pilot project for establishment costs by area.

Simcoe meetings are scheduled every 2 weeks on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 at the Little River Inn (Best Western) in Simcoe.  Next meeting will be April 24th . Please send questions, comments and/or key observations if unable to attend.