Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Minutes, May 6, 2014

Synopsis: The growing point is moving in advanced wheat, making weed control critical. N loss from early applications is not expected to be significant due to cool temperatures. Annual weeds have emerged and pressure is high in many fields. Early corn has barely sprouted, with little field activity to date. Corn under plastic is emerging. Early reports indicate deflectors on planters are not impacting performance.  Some concern over fluency agent and clumping or difficulty in mixing. Forage stands have been severely impacted by winterkill. A resistant strain of fusarium found in New York State validates the need for resistance management and rotating fungicides.

Wheat: Wheat has “jump started” with warmer temperatures and nitrogen applications. Fields with early nitrogen have fared much better than where growers chose to wait and see.  This is the “monkey” effect: if you have a monkey on your back, either shoot it or feed it, because if you starve it to death it will just keep biting you (Al McCallum). Some fields originally considered replants will be kept, other fields thought okay will go.  Even the best fields look to have 5-10% “holes” in them.  Between 10 and 30% of the wheat will go depending on area.  Agricorp reports 1560 damage reports in the province to date.

Advanced wheat is approaching GS 31 (first node). Weeds are coming gangbusters, with ragweed, giant ragweed, wild buckwheat and smartweed all reported.  Weeds at GS 31 reduce yield, so weed control should be raised on the priority list.  Some had been holding growers off due to cold temperatures and stressed wheat, but don’t hold them off any longer.  Bluegrass is an issue in winter wheat in Essex: there are no controls at this point. Some products are available in the US.  Peter Sikkema will be doing research on control options this fall.

The value of fungicides in many fields with little growth is very questionable: it is a year when the fungicide application should be split out and delayed until there is more plant tissue in most fields.  Disease pressure remains very low.  Clover stands look excellent.

Nitrogen loss: With soil temperatures <10°C, N loss under saturated soil conditions is only 1%/day.  At 25°C, loss jumps to 4-5%/day.  N loss from early N applications should be minimal with cool conditions to date (Dave Hooker).  http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2010/0614sawyer.htm

Fusarium resistance: A report from New York state of a strain of fusarium resistant to tebuconazole (Folicur).  Fortunately, it was still susceptible to metconazole and prothiaconazole. However, this drives home the point that resistance management is incredibly critical.  Genetics, rotation, and fungicide management are all important factors to avoid the development of resistance.  Listen to a full discussion from Albert Tenuta by clicking here:

Forages:  Stands are hard hit by winterkill. Yields will be reduced. Many growers are considering taking a first cut, and then reseeding with an annual forage like sudan grass to supplement supplies.  Others are seeding annual rye and red clover into dead spots.  There will be increased interest in emergency forage following wheat again this year.

Corn: Planters will roll today (Tuesday) but rain is in the forecast.  Early corn has barely sprouted, with corn under plastic just emerging.  Millipedes are feeding on corn that has been planted.  Discussion around high populations and the interaction with high nitrogen. Pioneer and Pride will both be running trials on this effect.

Neonic management: Deflector units that were of concern because of slightly reduced air flow appear to be working well.  Any issues would be appreciated.  Concern over clumping of Fluency Agent: one grower uses a flour sifter to break it up and spread it.  Questions were raised over temperature, and impacts of high temperatures if left in the truck cab.  Again, little known, feedback appreciated.

There is still not 100 neonic research trial sites with Jocelyn Smith.  Chatham-Kent is a gaping hole in the locations.  If you know of anyone that would do one, please have them contact jocelyn.smith@uoguelph.ca.  P0216 is still available as fungicide only from a grower, and there may be some DKC50-78 as well.

Hort Crops: Sugar beets are 75% planted, and most fields are already above economic threshold for stand.  Giant ragweed has emerged at high levels in a number of sugar beet fields: if glyphosate resistant, the only option would be Lontrel (Darren Robinson).  Peas, carrots and sweet corn planting are underway.  Earliest plantings are just emerging. Tomato plantings will start later this week if soil conditions allow.

Breakfast was courtesy of Roger Bourassa (DuPont Canada

Next meeting:

7:15 am, May 20th, Willson Hall, Ridgetown Campus, University of Guelph

Important Dates:

July 9 and 10, 2014 Ridgetown Diagnostic Days

January 6 and 7, 2015 (Southwest Agricultural Conference) – Ridgetown

Questions or comments on these minutes please contact: Albert Tenuta (albert.tenuta@ontario.ca) or Peter Johnson (peter.johnson@ontario.ca)