Winchester Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes June 10, 2014

Conditions:

Crop Heat Units from the May 1st are right about the 30 year normal.

Winter wheat:

In the case of highly uneven fields, spraying is recommended when about 25% of heads are emerged for 5 days (and head past ligule). The idea is that the first 25% are probably the better heads anyways and waiting may push past the window to get the product on well. The spraying window is expected to be in the next few days.

Spring cereals:

Spring wheat is elongating and at about 1-2 nodes. For those looking at disease control, about a week is expected for flag leaf. Earlier wheat seems to have a nice, even stand, but some of the later planted wheat is pretty uneven. We saw more later planted wheat this year with the bulk being planted from the 1st-20th of May.

Forages:

Alfalfa is mostly at the bud stage and may be approximately 5 days late. Grasses are in full head. Lots of hay is off the field and at least 75% of Alfalfa is cut. Good quality yields are being reported. Many new seedings are at the first trifoliate. Moisture on the top 3-4 inches of soil is really low this year in forage fields, but there is a surprising amount of moisture underneath.

Corn:

Corn is pretty well all in. The Agricorp/ Crop Insurance planting deadline was June 10th. Emergence and plant population are good to fair. However, several fields were planted in cold, wet conditions and there may yet be repercussions. There have been very few issues/complaints from growers about the use of fluency agent. The most advanced corn growth stage is around V6 (leaf over method). When dealing with wireworm concerns, it is important to get the crop out of the ground very quickly.

Stink bug damage is showing up. Characteristics include yellowing bands, or if there are holes in leafs, yellowing halos and it can be confused with chemical damage. This has significantly impacted population in some fields. Stink bugs go at the base and try to chew on the tender growing point.

Growers with pre-emerge herbicides should be checking those fields.

The benefit of sidedressing is evident in variable soils. Some growers are done, while others are starting to side dress this week.

Corn acreage is down a bit overall, perhaps 10% from last year and approximately 5% from intended.

N-Test:

There is a blitz Nitrogen Test coordinated by Greg Stewart, OMAF/MRA this week to get a handle on soil nitrogen levels. Soil samples have been collected from across the province and results should be available by the start of next week.

Soybeans:

Soybeans are almost all in. June 30th is Agricorp/ Crop Insurance planting deadline for soybeans. The early planted fields are close to the 2nd trifoliate and the rest are mostly at the unifoliate or first trifoliate. Growers still planting should probably increase the seeding rate and use narrower rows if they have the option. If using a good drill, a minimum of 7 to 10% difference has been seen with 15 inches versus 30 inches. Calls are now coming in for ragweed issues.

Update from CFIA:

As of April 1st 2014, the majority of pedigree seed fields will be inspected by private people. They are trying to switch over 80% of acreage from what was done by federal employees to private people. Thus, seed growers pay an inspector who is licenced and approved by the CFIA. Inspectors are crop based and can work anywhere in Canada for those crop types (if in those section 2 or 3 crops).

As of April 16th oilseed soybeans and forages are in part 3 of variety registration so they do not need to go through merit trials, but just need to be listed. There is not much to change with wheat, canola, and flax, which are still variety registered.

Next and final meeting:

7:30 am, June 24th, Country Kitchen Restaurant, Highway 31, Winchester, ON.

Important Dates:

July 9 and 10, 2014 – Ridgetown Diagnostic Days

July 15, 2014 – Eastern Ontario Crop Diagnostic Day, Winchester Research Farm.

July 17, 2014 – FarmSmart Expo, Elora Research Farm