Simcoe Agri-Business Breakfast Meeting Notes – June 5, 2013


Severe soil erosion following 100 mm rain  in conventionally tilled  Norfolk field.
Severe soil erosion following 100 mm rain in conventionally tilled Norfolk field.

Synopsis:       Frost damage and problems caused by excessive rains such as erosion, uneven soybean emergence on clay due to dry, then wet conditions. Rains in next few days will help resolve this. Corn drowned by 100 mm of rain near Lake Erie will likely get replanted. In the past two weeks 90 to 1125 mm of rain have fallen of which about 25 to 30 mm was really needed, in Haldimand, Wentworth, Niagara Peninsula and Norfolk

Cereals:     Wheat frost damage was insignificant in terms of total acreage, but sufficient to require replant in a couple of fields near Thamesville.   Advanced wheat was at a more sensitive stage. In some areas like Parkhill, frost damage was sporadic with heads partially frozen.  This occurred mainly on lighter ground with less moistureSeptoria has been observed where no early fungicide was applied to wheat in Niagara region. Leaf disease in wheat is low in Huron Perth Grey and Bruce despite some warm temperatures. More Prosaro is being applied than in past years in Haldimand Wentworth.  Prosaro is finishing up today in Norfolk, ahead of the next rains. Fungicide application began yesterday in Oxford and much will go this week. Wheat and rye are short this year, the effect of cool nights on stem elongation, however total straw weight should be similar.  Volume of straw harvested will depend on stubble height.

Corn and Soybeans:    There were relatively few damage reports due to last weekend’s frost: 4.5% of total acres planted in Ontario. The majority of the re-seeds were east Chatham Kent and west Elgin with corn at 4.5% (1000 ac) and soybeans at 4% of total acres.  Some April planted corn in Norfolk was affected.  The corn replant trigger, considering recent research data, remains at populations of less than 18,000 viable plants. What constitutes a viable plant is controversial. Frost damage to corn and soybeans was more prevalent in minimum till than worked ground and in low areas, in particular the April planted soybeans in Norfolk. The trade-off is that the tilled ground has suffered excessive soil loss by erosion. Damage from excessive rain is being reported to Agricorp this year. While 100% of soybeans were planted in Norfolk, approximately 90-95% will be harvested due to wet holes, ditches etc that will not get replanted. In Haldimand/Wentworth/Niagara  5-10% of soybean acres remain to be planted.  Fertilizer burn is being observed on sandy hills where liquid popup (5 -6 gal/ac) in combination with preplant urea potash blends were applied, as a result of the dry conditions earlier. In Norfolk Oxford corn is 5-7 leaf and side-dressing is in full swing.  With 6-7 leaf stage corn, early fungicide application may have been missed. However few apply at 5 leaf and it is a questionable practice anyway due to the limited foliar coverage

Based on nitrogen research done on tobacco that revealed 800 mm of rain over a 2 day time frame can leach nitrate out of the root zone.  For sandy soils @cheekyfarmgirl recommends adding 15 lbs to side dress applications where some nitrogen was applied at planting..  On heavy soils, recent rainfall will have resulted in some denitrification (estimate 10 to 15% of total applied).  Nitrogen sampling is being done across the province to give a better picture of nitrogen status and recommendations.  Results should be posted before June 10.  Yield loss is probably higher due to lack of oxygen to the roots than to nitrogen loss in saturated soils.

Forages:    The hay crop has improved significantly after insecticide spraying for weevil plus rains, and producers are pleased with their first cut yields and quality.  Red clover establishment is looking very good in wheat. New seeding alfalfa is getting beyond the stage for herbicide application, which means careful attention to herbicide rate and weather conditions or timely clipping as the best alternatives.  No army worms infestations have been reported in Simcoe region.

Weed Control:   Much weed control remains to be done. Some soil applied herbicide pre beans did not get completed due to weather conditions (wind, rain) and busy planting schedule. Re-sprays on early corn where applied herbicide was inactive due to dry weather, are getting done now. Many fields require only touch-up spraying in areas of weed escapes, since recent rain have activated herbicides.  PPI chemicals generally are doing an excellent job.  Although re-spray in corn and beans is sometimes necessary, soil-applied remains a superior alternative to having no early spray as the weeds have been weakened and are more easily controlled and touch-up spraying is not as time sensitive. Areas in the field where no herbicide was applied (misses) make an excellent comparison to demonstrate how well herbicides are working. 

Prostate knotweed is a problem this year. Use touchdown /peak for rescue or Primextra. Fall applied atrazine appears effective. This weed is increasingly a problem due to lack of atrazine and overuse of glyphosate in recent years.

Other Crops:     90% of tobacco is planted. There were 62 frost reports comprising 32% of growers or 1700 ac, and 600 ac replanted, about 2% of total acreage. 2 greenhouses were lost to herbicide spray drift. 2 reports of potato damage in Grand Bend area. All peppers in Elgin have to be replanted. Melon had 8 damage reports (239 ac). These are being sprayed with fungicide to inhibit disease spread (emergency measures).  Asparagras had some damage but it didn’t prevent harvest.

Agricorp Update:     Planting deadline is June 15 for corn and June 30 for soybeans and a reminder that 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).

 Next Meeting – One additional meeting may be held on June 19th depending on crop issues in the next 2 weeks.  Decision is deferred to June 17. Everyone is invited to attend the Ridgetown or Huron Station plot tours that will be part of the next Ridgetown breakfast meeting June 18 or Exeter ag breakfast meetings for June 25.

Check Exeter and Ridgetown breakfast meeting notes for details.