Simcoe Ag Breakfast Meeting Notes – May 22, 2013

Planting conditions have been excellent with greater than 95 percent of corn and over 75 percent of soybeans planted. Rainfall is needed to activate pre-emerge herbicides and capitalize nitrogen applied to wheat crops after the rains stopped. Alfalfa weevil populations are high and control is recommended in fields where harvest is still over a week away.

Recent rains have been sporadic ranging from none, to 5 mm, to heavy rains north of Kitchener. The lack of moisture is an issue. Forage and wheat crops will be shorter than normal. Rainfall amounts required to activate pre-emerge corn and soybean herbicides are one-quarter inch on moist soil or one half inch on dry soil, received at once. Several light rains of a few mm at a time will not initiate activity. If activating rains are not received within the next 5 days, rescue spraying should begin.

Cereal Rye has headed in Norfolk. Winter wheat stage varies from about 4 days pre heading for the most advanced, to tillering in late planted fields. Early October planted wheat is 2 weeks or more away from heading in Haldimand. Powdery mildew has been observed in lush, early planted fields. An observation comparing nitrogen application using a 3 streamer nozzles with 5 and 7 streamer nozzles showed notable streaking in wheat.

Producers are being trained on staging for fungicide applications. Estimates are that over two-thirds of wheat acres get at least one fungicide application and 15% of acres get a second application. A third application is only recommended for high yield potential (95 bu) and pricing. First fungicide application is most important for improving straw quality. First fungicide application is complete in Norfolk, most in Haldimand. A second application will be applied in a week to 10 days for late September/ early October planted wheat. The second application is more challenging for timing as due to spatial variations in heading within fields. Most producers spray one application, while the second is variable.

Corn and Soybeans:
Corn and soybean planting is all but completed in Norfolk and Niagara, and 95% for corn and 75% for soybeans on heavy textured soils. Most advanced corn is at 3-leaf stage and most advanced soybeans are at first trifoliate. Emergence has been good. More soybeans have been no-tilled this year compared to last year when time consumed by vertical tillage operations gave no pay back.

With alfalfa forage harvest just over 1 week away for farms planning 4 cut harvest, forage growth is shorter than normal and The other major issue is alfalfa weevil, which is being sprayed in Niagara east, Haldimand and Norfolk. Pre-harvest is 3 days where matador is used. Dry conditions combined with weevil damage will contribute to a continued forage shortage.
Rye cover crop harvested as forage is more common this spring to meet forage shortages. A forage rye field harvested at head emerging, near Tillsonburg, yielded 3-5 ton wet/ac of feed (2-2.5 dry ton). Yield from a field comparison where rye was harvested last fall and this spring was equal compared to a field harvested just this spring.

Weed Control:
Most of the burn down for soybeans has been completed in Norfolk. Calls are already being fielded for weed escapes such as lambsquarters. Dealing with glyphosate resistance varies among producers. If the dry weather continues, in emergence problems will occur for corn and soybeans planted more recently (last week) and not into moisture. Some large weeds are being observed in wheat fields. Some thick crops of Dandelions are difficult to control this time of year and should ideally be attacked in fall after soybean or wheat harvest when glyphosate has best chance to provide good and economical control.

Other Crops:
Tobacco started last week, vegetables are going in, ginseng seedlings and potatoes are emerging, tunnels are being cut open to let zucchini out, and sweet corn is at 4-6 leaf and some fields are being irrigated.

Agricorp Update:
The deadline for reporting acreage is July 1. There are 5 ways to report:
phone 1-888-247-4999; (phones answered during business hours)
fax 1-519-826-4118;
email (not preferred);
mail Agricorp Box 3660, Station Central Guelph, ON N1H 8M4; or
online (click online tools).

Quiet year (so far) for Agricorp claims. Oxford, Middlesex Elgin, this year has had exceptionally few claims with 1500 ac total compared to 2,500 ac to east (most from Grey, Bruce, Wellington, Waterloo). Chatam Kent area reported 3,300 ac. Most reports are from East of 400 (particularly Ottawa Valley) and are for wheat and new seeding alfalfa. There has only been 1 new seeding report from this area. There was one frost affected vegetable claim in Leamington area; and no field crop frost damage reports.