Chair for this meeting was Steve Johns.
Chair for next meeting will be Eric Richter.
Synopsis: Considerable spring cereal acreage has now been seeded, although not as much as intended. Hopefully the weather stays dry so that growers can finish up with cereals this week. Some oat fields have now been seeded for over 10 days. A few fields of corn have been planted on lighter ground. Little ground has been worked between Ridgetown and Exeter but things are drying up quickly. Planting is expected to start in earnest on Thursday or Friday in this area. There is still indecision on what crops to plant by some growers. If the weather is dry during the first half of May more corn will be planted than was originally planned. Most areas are now finishing up with the nitrogen on wheat, although Wellington County is only half finished. Agricorp has received about 530 damage claims on wheat with the bulk coming from Lambton, Middlesex, and Huron counties. Later planted wheat is worse than earlier planted wheat. Some forage stands also suffered from last winter and have bare patches. This Friday is May 1st which is the last day to make changes to crop insurance coverage.
Wheat: Overall, the wheat appears to be in better shape than was first expected. Late planted (November) wheat is now the main concern. November wheat further north actually looks quite good but in the Mitchell areas it looks poor. If the plant stand is reasonable these fields still have a 75-80 bu/ac yield potential, but they will require more inputs such as weed control to achieve their full potential. Remember to look across the rows not down the rows when making a stand assessment. 10 plants/foot of row still has a potential of 80 bu/ac. There are some issues with poor vigour which can be traced back to old seed being used. Normally wheat seed can be kept without any issues but for some reason the vigour was impacted last year in some cases. Weeds are starting to show up in some fields but have been slow so far. Winter annuals should be sprayed this week in winter wheat. Wheat spraying is always a challenge because the timing overlaps with corn planting. If the field has annual weeds there is still considerable time to spray. Do not spray Infinity on oats. Infinity has activity on wild oats so it will do damage to cultivated oats. Growers should be aware that soft white winter wheat basis is up $2.50 per bushel. This price should help keep more acres.
Soybeans: Essentially no soybeans have been seeded yet but if things stay dry it’s expected to start this weekend. There was discussion on how to handle first time soybean fields. It’s surprising how many first time fields there still are in Ontario, especially further north. Last year considerable acreage had nodulation “failures” even though they were inoculated. This is more common in cool springs like we had in 2009 and 2014. This was not a problem with any specific inoculant but rather a weather induced issue. The consensus of the group was that 2 inoculant sources should be applied to be safe on first time fields. In other words “double inoculant”. For example if the seed is pre-inoculated also add a peat or liquid at seeding time. This will greatly reduce the likelihood of having inoculant problems. Although nitrogen applications on history soybean fields very rarely provides extra yield applying up to 50 lbs/acre of actual N is a reasonable strategy to mitigate sluggish growth on first time fields. This amount of nitrogen will not significantly inhibit nodulation. Fields that are being converted from hay often do not yield as well as could be expected when seeded to soybean for the first time. This is likely due to a lack of nodulation, low potassium levels, and insect feeding. Using glyphosate resistant varieties, a seed treatment, and applying fertilizer will go a long way to ensure a reasonable crop. Planting corn after hay, especially if there was alfalfa makes better use of residual nitrogen and may be a better choice. Low temperatures are not generally a problem when applying burndowns as long as there is green leaf material glyphosate will do its job. Keep in mind that glyphosate can be very slow acting when things are cool.
Corn: A few acres were planted in Kent County on April 18th but so far only light ground has seen planters do date further north. (Dashwood, Varna, Strathroy) No corn has been planted in the St Mary’s area and only 1-2% has been planted in the Granton area. This will change very quickly as the weather looks dry for the rest of the week. Soil moisture management should start now. There was another discussion on interseeding corn with cover crops. It’s expected that up to 60 000 acres could be interseeded in Quebec this year with a cover crop. Cover crop mixtures can be a challenge when choosing a residual herbicide program. See the table #1 for a list of herbicides and their impact on annual ryegrass and clover.
Table #1. Potential for injury to ryegrass and clover cover crop interseeded in corn
|Callisto||Some injury – some stand reduction||Injured **|
|Engarde||Some injury – some stand reduction||Injured**|
|Integrity – Set up rate||Safe||Not injured|
|Integrity – full rate||Injury – stand reduction||Some injury|
|Primextra||Injury – stand reduction||Some injury|
|Lumax||Injury – stand reduction**||Injured**|
|Treflan/Prowl||Injury – some stand reduction*||Some injury|
|Focus||Injury – stand reduction**||Slightly injured|
|Frontier Marksman||Some injury – some stand reduction **||Some injury|
(*)Indicates severity of damage, more * = more damage
Source: Dr. Darren Robinson, University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, project funded under GF2
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