Simcoe Ag Breakfast Meeting Notes – May 8, 2013

Synopsis:  Amazing how so much fieldwork can be accomplished in 1 week of ideal weather.


  • Light textured soils are 90+ % planted for corn, while heavy textured clays of Haldimand and Wentworth are just getting started with about 10% planted; Niagara (Wainfleet area) about 30%.  On the Haldimand clays, more beans are planted so far than corn due to gummy soils beneath surface.  Overall estimate that 15% increase in planted acres per day with overall 60 to 80% corn is planted.
  • Fertilizer capacity is not able to match the capacity of the ground or equipment able to the plant the corn, soybean and specialty crop acreage in Ontario when it is already in the same week.  The result:  some growers are done planting corn while others have not started.
  • With increased planting capacity – larger planters that cover more acres per day – and farm owned spray equipment, it may be a prudent strategy to have some nitrogen stored at the farm.
  • Predicted rain and cooler temperatures over the weekend will give retailers a welcome reprieve and also activate a lot of the residual herbicide chemistry that was applied this week.
  • Wheat is growing well, almost all the nitrogen is on and 1st herbicide and/or fungicide application is being applied not.  Red clover stands are emerging well.  Temperatures are about 5 degrees C cooler near the Lake (Bimbrook area) due to south east winds off the lake resulting in wheat that is not as far advanced as other areas of the province.
  • Wheat claims 2% of planted acres most is east or in Grey Bruce to 400 hwy – one third of the damage is east of 400; 1 wheat damage report in Norfolk.
  • Alfalfa damage reports are mainly from eastern Ontario.  Only 1 damage report west of Hwy 400 out of 27,000 insured acres for 2012 alfalfa plantings.  Insurance is establishment based (used to be re-seeding based). A claim can be made when there are less than 6 plants/ft2 .  There are no restrictions on how the crop is handled subsequently; it can be re-seeded or can have a cutting followed by planting to corn.
  • Dandelions are a problem – they can be controlled with higher rates of glyphosate + either  2,4-D ester or  Eragon + Merge,  however killing dandelions with a healthy tap root full of reserves is difficult since adequate reserves limit downward translocation.  A suggested strategy for this fall is to apply 1 L glyphosate after frost this fall.  A frost triggers dandelions to take up nutrient reserves in preparation for winter and spring.
  • Zucchini is currently being planted under plastic tunnels.  Crop will be harvested in about a month followed with planting to tomatoes or peppers.  About 15% more tobacco is planned for this year compared to last season due to Chinese market demand.
  • Mark the date: Soil Management Workshop is planned for August 8 near Mitchell. More details will follow.