Exeter Ag Breakfast – June 23

Thanks to Pioneer for sponsoring Breakfast.

Chair for this meeting was Aric Bos.

These meetings have been a great success because of your attendance and participation.  Thank you to all those who took the time to participate in 2015.  All the best for the rest of the growing season.

Rainfall was widespread last night and considerable in some areas. Clinton received 0.1”, Varna 0.25”, Tavistock 0.5”, Stratford 0.5”, Exeter 0.5”, Ilderton 1.0”, Ingersoll 1.7”, and as much as 5.0” fell in the Strathroy area.  Over the last 2 weeks some areas have now received over 10.5” of rain.  There were actually corn stalks reported on the road from flooding.  Many corn fields look extremely variable with drowned out spots.  Fields in low lying areas were hit with two frosts followed by complete flooding.  It’s still uncertain if these fields will survive or not.  There have been 1900 damage reports to AgriCorp to date mostly from water damage to soybeans and edible beans. 86 000 acres of soybeans and 23 000 acres of corn have been reported to have some damage.  June 30th is the last day to report acreage.  Remember this can be done online now. The edible bean crop is in very poor shape.  There are essentially no perfect edible bean fields in Ontario although considering how much rain some of these fields have received many look better than was expected.  Up to 25% of the crop has not been planted.  At least 25% of the planted crop would be replanted if time allowed and there was seed available.  Considering the date many “border line” fields will now be left for harvest.  June 30th is the deadline for production insurance for edible beans.


Corn is variable.  Some fields that have missed the excess rains and frost have grown rapidly over the last two weeks and will be waist high by the first of July.  Much of the crop in this area is in tough shape.  Fields that were hit with a frost did not recover as well as was expected.  This year is a “one off” in terms of the frost damage with multiple stresses affected the impacted plants.  Those fields that were replanted have done much better than those impacted with frost and left to recover.  Fields in a good crop rotation have done much better than fields in a poor rotation.  This is often the case in years with multiple plant stresses.  N losses are considerable in those fields that have received massive rains.  If there was more than 8” of rain, research has shown than N losses can be considerable.  Nitrate samples continue to show dropping nitrate levels. Those fields that were side dressed have not been able to take full advantage of the N placed between the rows.  Excess rainfall has pushed the N down the soil profile and the small corn roots have not been able to reach it yet.   Is there anything that can be done to help these corn crops impacted by excess rain?  The only thing than can be done is to apply more nitrogen when possible although much of the corn will be too large for side dressing by the time fields dry up. 


Early planted spring cereals look excellent.  There has been some lodging from heavy winds and rains.  There is more cereal leaf beetle pressure than usual this year.  It was reported that one field was sprayed near Varna.  Armyworm pressure was isolated this year and it’s too late for control now anyway.  Fusarium could become a significant problem this year.  There is significant disease pressure at the Woodslee variety trial.  It’s too early to tell further north.  Foggy morning will spread the disease.  Nights below 9 C will slow it down.  Heavy rains of more than 3” will reduce the amount of inoculum but because of all the moisture present overall disease pressure is unlikely to be reduced by heavy rains.


The soybean crop is also variable.  Overall growth has been slow and herbicide damage from soil applied chemistry is evident.  There are significant differences in varietal tolerance to metribuzin.  Soybeans recover completely from this damage but regrowth has been slow this year.  There are extreme cases where the plants are actually killed but this is usually only a small percentage of the plant population.  It was the correct decision to replant fields severely impacted with the frost this year.  The new stands are much more vigorous than frost damaged plants.  Thickening stands was also the right decision as new seedlings are only 1 or 2 V stages behind the first seedlings.  This will make little difference in the fall in terms of maturity.  There is much more seed corn maggot damage evident than usual so far this year.  Keep and eye out for bean leaf beetle and soybean aphids this time of year.  So far levels are very low.  With all the moisture there is considerable concern over white mould.  A foliar fungicide can help suppress white mould in soybeans but it is not a cure.  In trials conducted last year 2 applications of a foliar fungicide were necessary to adequately suppress white mould.  A yield gain of over 5 bu/ac was shown.  However, in severely impacted fields even two applications of fungicides will not hold the disease back in soybeans.  If applying only one application of a foliar fungicide growth stage R 2.5 is suggested.  If spraying twice aim for R2 followed by a second application 10 to 14 days later.  It was suggested that the first pass of Allegro should be applied even earlier (R1).  Should fungicides be mixed in with the second pass of roundup during the V stages to clean up septoria brown spot evident on plants?  Generally, there has been no yield benefit to this practice in research trials conducted to date.  If applying a foliar fungicide the early R stages is considered to be the best time for maximum economic returns.