Simcoe Agri-Business Breakfast Meeting Notes – June 4, 2014

May 1 to June 4Norfolk/Haldimand/Niagara 2014 2013
Rainfall + 120 mm + 85 mm
Crop Heat Units ~ 440 ~ 520
Growing Degree Days ~ 295 ~335

Some field work on the weekend ended with another dose of precipitation June 2. Highly variable, most areas received between 5 and 25 mm; with the lower amounts closer to the lake. Rain was welcomed in fields where crusting was impeding emergence and for activating herbicides applied to IP bean fields. Soils remain wet and ideal seedbeds are nearly impossible to establish, even on loam soils. The biggest issue is crust on clay with “gumbo” underneath the crust. Many fields have not been worked. Compaction damage will be higher than normal. In no-till scenarios, there is not enough loose soil to cover the seed. Pre-plant vertical tillage is helping in some situations.

Planting status on the sandy soils is nearly complete, and on the heavy clay soils planting ranges from just started to about 50% completed. Approximately 15% of intended soybeans are planted on the heavy clays. Many acres intended for corn are being switched to beans. Likely about 75% of corn that will be planted is in the ground. Without timely rain showers, many of those acres will have emergence issues.

Hay harvest is underway with volume significantly lower – half of normal – and significantly less alfalfa in the stands mainly from winter killed areas. Alfalfa weevil larvae are feeding and further reducing quality. Scout fields to identify fields above threshold levels. Fields should be cut sooner where more than 40 percent leaf-tip feeding has occurred and with 2 or 3 active weevils per stem. Insecticide application should be considered if two or more larvae are found per crown in new growth after 1st cut, or 4-8 larvae per square foot.

On the sandy soils, rye is headed, tobacco planting is almost completed and vegetable crops are planted and progressing with few issues to date.

Wheat fields are at variable stages within the field with parts of many fields at boot stage. Some mildew is present in some fields. Field variability in crop stage will make timing of fungicide application difficult. For best protection against headblight, go to Weather innovations network for DONcast predictor tool or a general recommendation from Peter Johnson to determine “day 0” for when the best – usually first 1/3- of the field – the plants with the highest yield potential – is heading. Time the fungicide to spray when these plants reach “day 5”. After “day 5” the efficacy on Fusarium control is reduced, however by day 5 a larger proportion of the field will have headed and will also be protected from Fusarium. Aerial applications will not give good enough head coverage for Fusarium control but will help with leaf disease control.

Corn ranges from 5-leaf to still in the bag. First planted fields have variable stands. Replants will be required on the heavy clays due to crusting. Late May planting went into best soil conditions so far and will look best.

Spring combined corn has been surprisingly good in yield and quality, some lodged, but most stood surprisingly well.

Agricorp Report:
• Wheat still at 23% damage reports, 15-18% will get replanted. Still some fields that are too wet and have not had N application.
• Corn damage <7000ac Monday rain will reduce some of those re-seeds. Almost too late to replant corn in some areas. Options will depend on what fertilizer and herbicides have been applied.
• Soys just over 6000 ac damage reports – mostly on heavy clay soils due to crusting.
• Areas with significant unseeded acres include Haldimand, Niagara, Northumberland, parts of Lambton, Prince Edward County, Lucan-Exeter, Peel Region and Halton. What is the best option for managing unseeded acres over the summer? – Cover crops would be ideal if seed is inexpensive. Cover crop options can be found at Midwest cover crop council website: Costs for seed, planting and fuel, plus rent, is higher than unseeded acres benefit will cover.
• Reminder to report acres by July 1st (on line), but recommended to avoid July 1 deadline. – best to report by June 15 if possible, even if some planting will occur after that date.