Exeter Agribusiness Minutes – April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016 – Malibu Restaurant, Exeter

Chair for this meeting was David Townsend

There was an excellent turnout and good discussion to start the first meeting of the 2016 growing season. David Townsend was the chairman and BASF sponsored breakfast.  Thank you. The next meeting will be on April 26th starting at 7:00 am for breakfast (meeting starts at 7:30).  Meetings finish no later than 9:00 am.

Synopsis: There has been relatively little field work to date and the amount of nitrogen applied to wheat has been limited.  Interest in split applied nitrogen is high but since little has been put on to date weather and workload will dictate how much can be done now.  Growers may shift to just putting on one application now.  There is still red clover seed going out.  The weather forecast looks favourable for the next week or more.  It’s entirely possible some corn will get planted by the weekend on lighter ground.  Spring cereal seed sales are down from last year’s large crop. The winter wheat crop looks excellent and is one of the best in recent memory. Corn acreage will be the same as last year or may even be up in some areas, weather permitting. Soybean acreage will be down after a record 3 million aces last year. Small seeded edible bean acres will likely be down 10% while large seeded acreage will be closer to average.  Overall in this area it should be a more normal year in terms of crop acreage with soys down, corn the same, and wheat up.

Chris Gillard is looking for a 3 acre research site to conduct the 2800 soybean performance trials.  Ideally it should be along the Hwy #4 corridor.  Peter Sikkema’s program is looking for an Eastern Black Nightshade site.

Wheat:  The winter wheat crop looks excellent.  There is lots of growth with excellent yield potential.  There is a fear that putting on too much nitrogen at once will cause stem elongation and lodging.  For nitrogen strategies on wheat see the article: Wheat Nitrogen Strategies.  A fungicide application will help the wheat to stand.  A few growers have been trying a 3 pass fungicide strategy so the first application may be as early as next week.  Mixing a fungicide with a herbicide will increase surfactant burn. The “cut-off” date to apply herbicides is highly dependent on the mode of action.  Wheat is very sensitive to 2-4D and dicamba.  Very cold temperatures can impact the amount of burn.  Some agronomists use a rule of thumb that there must be 3 days with nighttime temperatures above 3 degrees C.  The day before, day of, and day after application must have a nighttime temperature above 3 degrees C.  There is still a risk whenever temperature falls below 5 degrees C.

Glyphosate Resistance: Canada fleabane has been found in 30 counties from Essex to Glengarry county. 20 of these counties now have multiple resistances. Canada fleabane is already very large and could bolt by next week in the southwest. Control will be a challenge as the plants get so large. At least two modes of action are required and using 20 gallons per acre of water is also recommended. Trials have shown that spraying before 9 am or after 9 pm will give reduced control. Infinity herbicide is the best choice available for the control of fleabane in winter wheat.  2, 4-D may cause injury to the wheat.  Control in soybeans is the real challenge and results have been variable from field to field.  Glyphosate plus Eragon plus metribuzin has given more consistent control compared to just Glyphosate plus Eragon.  There are no in-season herbicide control options that work in soybeans for resistant fleabane.  Tillage must be very aggressive to do anything on fleabane.  Three passes with a cultivator still leave some fleabane able to make it through. Fall herbicide application on the corn stalks can go a long way to reduce pressure. Glyphosate resistant waterhemp has been confirmed in Lambton and Essex. Glyphosate resistant common ragweed is present in Essex county.

Peter gave a quick synopsis on lab trials that have shown yield loss associated with the size of weeds in a corn crop. It suggests that a complete post emergent herbicide program could be giving up considerable yield.  Weeds that were 1 inch cost 2 bu/ac in yield.  Weeds that were 4 inches cost 8 bu/ac.

Soybeans:  Xtend soybean varieties have not gained approval by the EU. It was expected that all approvals would be granted by now. Generally, seed companies suggest that this week is the “deadline” from a seed logistics perspective. Seed needs to be treated and shipped. If approval is not given by the end of this week it seems unlikely there will be Xtend soybeans planted this year. Market penetration was highly regional and depends largely on the amount of glyphosate resistant weed pressure.

There was discussion on commercial fertilizer application timing during the growing season.  There is growing awareness that the majority of P losses from fields is during the non- growing seasons. (Late fall and early spring)  The vast majority of commercial fertilizer is applied in the spring prior to planting.  After winter wheat is harvested is also a popular time to apply fertilizer. Probably not more than 10% of the fertilizer is applied in the fall.  There is almost no fertilizer applied from the end of November through March.  There is growing interest in banding fertilizer to maximize return and minimize any environmental impact.

Corn: Does corn require sulphur? Removal is 10-20lbs/ac. Symptoms of sulphur deficiency are similar to nitrogen deficiency except that sulphur is not mobile within the plant, so the whole plant remains light green. There was general agreement that corn is most responsive in low organic matter, sandy fields. Trials in 2012-2013 showed a response to S on corn about 50% of the time in fields that were likely to have a yield gain.  There is no way to predict a response, leading some growers to apply a small amount as “insurance” on sandy soils.  Mineralization has likely been slow this year so it might be a year to expect more of a response.  Of the three big crops wheat is the most responsive, corn second, and soybeans have not been shown to respond to S.

Agricorp:  Renewals have been sent out. Please visit the webpage for a wealth of information including premiums. (Agricorp.com)  Adzuki beans now have their own plan.  There is an important change in the unseeded acreage coverage.  A grower is now able to choose their dominant crop.  This must be completed by May 1st.

May 1: New applications and coverage changes

June 15: Last day to report unseeded acreage.

June 30: Spring seeded final acreage reports due.

July 10: Premiums

CropLine – 1-888-449-0937

Field Crop News Website – https://fieldcropnews.com/

Upcoming Events:

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days – July 6 and 7, 2016

FarmSmart Expo – July 14

Eastern Crops Day – July 28


Stratford Crop Technology Contacts:

Horst Bohner, horst.bohner@ontario.ca

Joanna Follings, joanna.follings@ontario.ca

Meghan Moran, meghan.moran@ontario.ca

Jake Munroe, jake.munroe@ontario.ca