Central Ontario Crop Consultants Meeting- April 22, 2014

Central Ontario Crop Consultants

Refreshment Sponsor: Jim Coffey, Pioneer

Next meeting:  Tues May 6th, 7:30 am @ Felix Weber, Agri-Coach, Palmerston

Synopsis: Wheat survival is generally good, but with poor survival on heavy clay, variable drainage and wheat planted after thanksgiving.  Nitrogen application starting this week.  Oats, barley acres will be higher; soybean & , white bean acres will likely be at there highest ever. Some seeding of spring cereals on lighter ground. Many growers did not get the fall tillage done last fall they wanted to, and afraid that there will be a rush to get fields worked before soils are fit. Soil conditions at planting most important factor in stand establishment.


  • Forage rainfall plan has changed, with several enhancements including ability to insure up to the harvested value, not just standing acres and a change in  the method of relating rainfall amount and yield: http://bit.ly/1lNXvi6.
  • Wheat:  Most of the wheat damage claims are for October planted wheat after thanksgiving (‘black hole’), with some November planted wheat looking better. Majority of claims to date are from Kent, Essex, Lambton counties.
  • Important for growers to report yield from 2013 corn harvested this spring because it impacts their average farm yield and prevent problems with claim history in the future
  • May 1 is deadline to enrol, make changes, or cancel production insurance
  • Remind growers when making a damage claim, to contact the Agricorp contact centre by phone or email for the fastest service, rather than contacting directly their adjuster. In some cases growers have left adjuster phone messages when  the adjuster is fact away or unavailable
  • Adjusters are making efforts to respond to winter wheat damage claims quickly
  • Wheat not insured last fall, can still be inspected and insured. May 1 deadline to report

Wheat:  nitrogen application starting this week, with some foregoing split N application although the wheat would benefit from splitting the nitrogen.  Some wheat fields started to green-up only to go backwards due to heaving, water damage, snow mould, poor root system.  C & M seeds is interested in evaluating stands with their varieties with poor survival. Seed placed fertilizer made big difference in stand growth. Good interest in using NIR imagery of fields to help assess field damage levels. Ground proofing and imagery at two timings will help to assess this technology. Growers planting spring wheat into bare areas of winter wheat fields need to check their contract or with end user.  Some growers don’t realize this could be an issue. This may only work for fields in hard red winter wheat.  Fungicide timing also becomes an issue. Spring wheat supply is good on Wilken, while others are in sold out position. If growers plan is to use for feed, best option is to plant barley into those areas.  Some growers hessitating on putting redclover on wheat with later application date. Concensus was red clover can still do well in May.

Forages: To early to assess winter survival. Some application of fertilizer, with interest in applying nitrogen along with sulphur and potash. Thinking is, that N applied early when rhizobia are not fully active can give alfalfa and grass an early boost. Increased interest in including boron in fertilizer mixes. Growers watching with interest contract production of hay with Bruce Agra Dehy (Tiverton) and ability to accept all hay contracted.

Corn: No corn planted to speak of. Early maturity hybrids are sold out for some. Provincially some seed companies report seed sales down 5-8%. Pioneer has been evaluating corn  grown under plastic in early 2500 HU  zones and seeing a good response to date of up to 20 bu/ac+. Corn was up to 12 days earlier to VT and grain moisture was 4 points lower. For more information : http://bit.ly/RTvZCt.  Spring harvested corn yields have varied from 80-100+bu/ac and low grain moisture (12%), with light bushel weight. Don’t delay planting of corn, to harvest last years corn. Growers need to pay more attention to soil conditions than the calender right now in deciding when to plant. There is not the concern with soil temperature, if soil conditions are good. Some seed companies do chilling test on seed on both corn and soybeans. Chilling rain within 24-36 hours after planting is concern for both corn and beans. Imbitional injury occurs when seed imbibes cold water during germination and cell tissues that become less elastic and rupture during swelling. Symptoms include swollen kernals that fail to germinate, slow/no growth of radicle root or coleoptile or corkscrew mesoctoyl. If this is a concern delaying planting if a cold rain is approaching.

Lots of interest in splitting nitrogen application between preplant and late vegetative (10-14 leaf).  To save on cost, some are planning to use spinner spreader on a high clearance machine.  Dry nitrogen falling in whorl, may cause yellowing of leaf area, but not a yield concern.  Benefit of ESN is hard to predict and depends on conditions that year.  ESN is in tight supply, becuase of Agrium plant shutdown.

Soybeans:  Seed  & IP contracts sold out or in tight supply.  Pre-treating seed with inoculant is strategy for getting seed supply in place and reduce time constraints.  Germination has been an issue with some seed coming out of bin storage. Growers are encouraged to talk to their retailer about herbicide program and supplies given the likely high acreage of IP soys. IP  growers encouraged to read contract on which pesticides are permitted e.g. in some cases Fierce and Focus herbicide are not permitted. Priaxor fungicide not permitted this year on IP soybeans.

Other:  Great Lakes P reduction strategy being developed. Concern that practices in the USA states may reflect on perceived practices by Ontario growers which are different.  Livestock farms tend to have higher soil P levels (ie Poultry>Dairy> Hogs/beef). Lots of manure to be applied.

Spring Tillage:  Growers need to use care in selecting spring tillage and not going to field before fields are fit.  Many good reduced tillage options. Growers need to consider a burndown herbicide in reduced til situations, but the time crunch may mean growers forego this important tool.

Canola:  Acreage will see the largest drop in northern Ontario where growers are increasing acres of oats and soybeans. A new Swede midge management strategy for 2014 is now available and includes revised thresholds and spray timings. Recommendations for 2014 can be found at: http://bit.ly/1mNLvww. Field and research trials this year will hopefully lead to improved control BMP. The Ontario Canola Growers have hired a student to help growers and agronomists in setting up and advise on monitoring for swede midge. Trap supplies are being subsidized by the association where swede midge trap count information is provided to the association for producing timely map updates. Note that where Lumiderm seed treatment is used Coragen cannot be applied for 60 days.  Lumiderm offers improved stripped flea beetle control, and improves control under wetter soil conditions

Corn/Soybean seed treatments  and bees: DuPont is researching a new product classed as group 28 that has excellent bee safety. Still some confusion over fluency agency and which planters require its use. Good grower uptake on fluency agent. For more information refer to Tracey Baute’s article on fieldcropnews.com : http://bit.ly/1imrk6N

Ont. Soil & Crop is sponsoring a field trial to demonstrate the benefit of insecticide seed treatment. Purpose is to assess economic impact of neonic seed treatment on early season corn soil pests and to determine key soil insect pest maps for Ontario. Joceyln Smith, RCAT  and OMAF wll be conducting field insect pressure assessments. For more information contact Jocelyn Smith, RCAT; Information: http://bit.ly/1lPZjHg

OMAF/MRA is co-operating with Health Canada, Ministry of Enviornment to survey corn and soybean growers within 1 km radius of selected bee yards to evaluate their knowledge of best management practices and planting practices.  This voluntary survey is needed to further study why some bee yards are being impacted and the cause. Grower information to be kept confidential and only aggregate data shared.

Crop Insurance deadlines:

May 1: New applications and coverage changes

June 15: Last day to report unseeded acreage.

June 30: Spring seeded final acreage reports due.

July 10: Premium