Exeter Ag Breakfast Minutes, June 11

Synopsis:  Note: the June 25th meeting will be at the Huron Research Station. Excessive rainfall has caused erosion and emergence problems. Corn is recovering from the frost. Zinc deficiency is apparent in corn.  A tremendous amount of spraying needs to be accomplished with soils too wet to carry. Spray based on the growth stage of the weed not the crop! 60% of white beans, 40% large seeded edibles, 80% azuki beans are planted, with growers often unsure if they should plant.  Base decisions on rain forecasts, not temperature.  Soybean replants are centred around heavy clay soils in Lambton and Elgin.  More frost injury on wheat than anyone expected (Johnson missed that call).

Corn:  Corn is greening back up after the frost.  No replants reported in this area.  Zinc deficiency is showing up on eroded knolls: foliar Zinc can be applied, but yield increases are rare.  Warm temperatures and drier soils will correct the problem.  Soil residual herbicides have given excellent control.  Fields without residual chemistry, or yet unsprayed fields have big weeds and yields may be impacted.

The annual pre-sidedress nitrogen survey has been completed.  95 fields were sampled.  Surprisingly, medium and heavy soils are averagefor nitrate, with sandy soils slightly below average.  The amount of nitrate available from fall applied manure, red clover or alfalfa was lower than expected: reduce nitrogen credit by 1/3.  Spring applied manure credit remains normal.  See: http://fieldcropnews.com/2013/06/nitrogen-status-in-2013-corn-fields/  for more details.

Soybeans:  Soybeans in this region look good but other areas have still not finished planting (eg. Owen Sound, Chesley, etc)  There will be considerable replanting in some areas especially on heavy clay.  Many of these fields were planted into moisture during dry condtions (1.75-2.5″ deep) but were then followed by excessive rainfall and cool temperatures. Due to the cool wet weather condition the seed ran out of energy before it could emerge. Seed rot and root rots are prevalent in those fields.  Cool wet conditions are favourable to diseases, slugs, and slow growth. This along with ponding has lead to variable stands in many fields. If the initial stand is more than 100 000 plants per acre on medium textured soil do not thicken the stand. On heavy clay 120 000 plants should be present.  Patching thin stands is still the best way to achieve a good crop.  Aim for a final plant stand of 200 000 plants per acre when thickening a stand. Fields change daily: the decision to replant should not be made too quickly.  Two weeks is not enough time for soybeans to emerge under cool conditions.  Slug feeding is common and bean leaf beetle feeding is being reported.

Cereals: Frost damage on winter wheat was more significant than expected.  Considering it did not get that cold (-2 C) the amount of damage in some fields was surprising. A few fields near Thamesville were replanted to soybeans. There were 54 damage reports on winter wheat mostly due to frost damage. Early wheat is more sensitive and showing more injury. Damage is sporadic, often with heads partially frozen.  Another degree colder would have had serious impact.  Frozen white heads should not be confused with Take All.  If the problem was truly Take All then the whole head and the stem would all bleach white.

The group estimated that 70% of the winter wheat crop receives a fusarium fungicide. Spraying is complete to the south, but the crop has not been ready to the north.  Crop progress has been slow with cool temperatures.  Crop staging has been variable making it difficult to judge what stage a field is at. Even if wheat is past the ideal window to spray for fusarium it can still be sprayed for leaf disease. Most of the yield benefit comes from foliar leaf disease control. According to DONcast the risk of fusarium has been low due to cool temperatures, but conditions change quickly. This morning’s fog is ideal for fusarium. With warmer temperatures, the risk for fusarium may be much higher in the north. Wheat has been very clean of diseases with some septoria where no early fungicide was applied  in the Niagara region, and sporadic powdery mildew.  Septoria can move up the plant rapidly under the right conditions.  There are “background” populations of armyworm in Ontario but this is considered normal.  In the Harrow area one field was approaching threshold. Populations in New York State have crashed due to natural parasites.

Weed control:  Remember to stage weeds and not the crop when spraying soybeans. Weeds are big but the crop is small: controlling the weeds asap is essential.  Prostrate knotweed is the “weed of the year”.  Best control in soybeans is with 2 l equivalent glyphoste (90%), high rate Pinnacle (80%), followed by Classic (75%).

Forages:    Alfalfa yield on good fields has been very good.  Weevil damage is continuing and losses have been significant in some fields.  Frost damage was very limited.

Agricorp Update:     Deadline for reporting acreage is June 30th. There are 5 ways to report:

phone              1-888-247-4999;         (phones answered during business hours)

fax                   1-519-826-4118;

email               contact@agricorp.com (not preferred);

mail                 Agricorp Box 3660, Station Central Guelph, ON N1H 8M4; or

online               www.agricorp.com  (click online tools).

Next Meeting: Thanks to Jim Morlock who chaired this week.  Dave Townsend or Tony DeCorte volunteered to chair the next meeting.  The next meeting is Tuesday June 25th, 7:00 am breakfast at the Huron Research Station.  Meeting starts at 7:30 am.  Plot tour (1 hour) begins at 8:30 am.

If you have questions or comments about these minutes please contact Horst Bohner horst.bohner@ontario.ca or Peter Johnson peter.johnson@ontario.ca