Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes – May 17, 2016

Breakfast Sponsor: Thanks from the group to “Richard Anderson– BASF“

Synopsis:  The quote of the week comes from Morris Sagriff, “It is a different ballgame this year!”

Corn planting has progressed well on the sands and loams but the clay soils in the southwest have been slow to dry, keeping the planters out of the field. Rains last Thursday/Friday (May 12/13) ranged from 6/10 to 1.5” for most of the area and limited field activity on the weekend. The tomato crop dodged a bullet from the cold temperatures this past weekend. The winter wheat crop continues to look good, disease levels continue to be low and growth remains 5 to 7 days ahead of normal. Soybean planting has begun but many growers delayed planting until after the cold weekend weather. The sands were blowing in Norfolk County.

Winter Wheat:  The winter wheat crop continues to look very good. The flag leaf is half extended in some fields. Disease levels remain low. Powdery mildew continues to be found in many few fields but for the majority, the disease continues to be on the lower leaves. Septoria has been limited and a few reports of stripe and leaf rust have been observed but overall still very light.  If night time temperatures increase significantly disease could move up the plant rapidly so be aware, scout and if necessary a flag leaf fungicide application may be warranted.

Sulphur deficiency is apparent in many fields. There are several reasons we could be seeing more deficiency this spring: there is less sulphur deposition as industry in the U.S. has reduced their emissions; this spring most of the weather systems have come from the north; and temperatures have been cool this spring. The response to ammonium Thio-Sul and potassium Thio-Sul has been very slow this spring. Dave Hooker reported that it takes 1 to 2 weeks for the microbes to convert the Thio-Sul to sulphate. The wheat crop is shorter than expected due to the cool weather so lodging should be less of an issue than expected. Head set is very good. There have been reports of crop injury from fungicide/herbicide tank mixes.

Fusarium Head Blight risk may be higher this year as a result of the weather conditions. The cool conditions may result in delayed spore dispersal this year which may correspond to the critical wheat heading stage.  Growers are advised to scout their fields, note variety susceptibility, weather forecast and  DONcast to best coordinate need for FHB fungicide application at flowering.

Weeds: Weed control has been a challenge as the weather has not been favourable for herbicide application. Peter Sikkema had a call about atrazine residues in a spray tank and its potential effect on soybeans. Peter has applied 1 Ib/acre of atrazine and seen no injury on soybeans and other times has applied 0.1 Ib/acre and killed the soybeans. There are several factors that can affect the impact on the crop including: varietal differences, soil texture, soil pH and organic matter and the growing conditions. No new updates on Xtend soybeans and growers are beginning to switch their order to other soybean varieties. Growers who planted soybeans without a burndown are now wondering what to spray. The best way to control glyphosate resistant Canada fleabane is before the soybeans emerge.  Apply RoundUp + Eragon + Sencor + Merge within 3 days of seeding soybean.

Mike Schryver has completed screening the waterhemp collected from 26 fields in the area. The waterhemp in all 26 fields was resistant to group 2 herbicides. The waterhemp in 18 of the fields was resistant to triazines and it was resistant to glyphosate in 19 of the 26 fields. 10 of the fields were in Lambton (8 on Walpole Island and 2 in the rest of the county), 7 were found in Essex county and 2 in Chatham-Kent. Of the 19 glyphosate resistant 12 had a 3 way resistance to groups 2, 5, and 9. The group 14 and 27 herbicides are good options for control.

Eragon label is for pre plant application. It has been extended to 3 days after planting or seed swell. If application is made beyond that the grower risks potential crop injury. It should not be used on soils with less than 2% organic matter or less than 12 CEC. Canada fleabane can be sprayed up to 20 to 30cm (8 to 12″) high but 20 gallons of water must be used to achieve good coverage. Always add surfactant (Merge) and metribuzin can be added to help with larger weeds.

A United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) report stated glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans” exposed to it through food.

Corn: Corn is about 85% planted. The clay soils in Essex, Lambton, Kent and Middlesex are dry on the surface but are wet below. These areas are only about 15 to 20% planted. As growers are kept out of the field and soybean prices rise a few growers are switching their acreage to soybeans. Corn in many fields is taking about 3 weeks or more to emerge. This may increase the risk of insects or disease attacking the seed. The heat unit accumulation would suggest that corn should have emerged sooner than it has. Soil temperatures have been low delaying emergence.

The debate continued this spring about whether to plant early and have the corn sit or plant later and have the crop emerge quickly. Randy Dowdy talked about plants that emerge 12 hours or more behind neighbouring plants reduced yield. Bob Thirwall, Jason VanMaanen, Peter Johnson and Richard Anderson are monitoring the corn plant emergence in several fields flagging plants that come up on day 1, 2, and 3. Dave Hooker explained that there are many reasons that contribute to plant to plant variability such as planting depth, fertility, fertilizer placement, etc. If comparing plants with different emergence you also need to compare plants that are uniform. Research has shown when 1 in 6 plants is delayed by 2 leaves yield is reduced by 5%. If one in 6 plants is delayed by 4 leaves yield is reduced by 10%. Seed corn planting is just getting underway.

Soybeans: Soybean planting is underway. About 15 to 20% of soybeans are planted. Many stopped planting approaching the weekend due to the forecast cold weather. Fields planted last Wednesday and Thursday should be fine as they had a warm rain Thursday evening which the seed would have taken up before the cold weather set in. Soybean emergence and growth is affected if the first water taken in is cold.

Crop Loss Assessments and IPM Course- A Field Crop News article to assist in “Stand Loss Assessments for Ontario’s Neonic Regulations” by Tracey Baute, OMAFRA Field Crop Entomologist can be found at: field crop news articles on crop loss assessments.  IPM certification courses free until August 31, 2016 and more information can be found at IPMcertfied.ca or call 1-866-225-9020.

Horticultural Crops – There has been no processing tomato planting for the past week due to the frost concern. Some growers have not started planting yet. The tomato crop did not suffer any frost injury this past weekend despite the snow on Sunday. The crop is growing but needs heat to get going. Cutworm injury has caused up to 5% stand loss in some fields. Wireworms are also causing some injury to the crop on sand knolls. Seeing metribuzin injury on lighter soils. A few sugarbeet fields are still to be planted. Stands range from very good to okay. Sugarbeets are a cool season crop but even they have been slow growing in this weather. The rains were timely for sugarbeet emergence. Emergence and crop growth has been slow. Sweet corn under plastic is at the 4 leaf stage.

Forages: Rye forage harvest began last week. Alfalfa hay harvest will begin next week. New seedings are doing well.

Agricorp: From May 3/2016 to May 16/2017, there were approximately 15 damage reports affecting a little over 2200 acres. Crops most affected were corn and soybeans with excessive rainfall as dominant peril.

Albert Tenuta (albert.tenuta@ontario.ca) is looking for soybean cooperators for sudden death syndrome studies as well as locations for a Provincial corn and soybean nematode survey. Janice LeBoeuf (Janice.leboeuf@ontario.ca) is looking for tomato cooperators for a nematode as well as phosphorus/soil health studies. If you have or know of cooperators, please contact Janice or Albert.  Thank-you!

Next Meeting: Ridgetown Agribusiness meetings are held in the Willson Hall Campus Centre (downstairs) at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. Meetings start at 7:15 with breakfast and every two weeks on Tuesdays.  Next meeting is Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

Upcoming Events

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days (UG Ridgetown Campus) July 6 or 7, 2016 REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN www.diagnosticdays.ca

FarmSmart Expo 2016 (University of Guelph, Elora Research Station) – July 14, 2016
Eastern Crop Diagnostic Day (U. of G., Winchester Research Farm) – July 28, 2016
Southwest Agricultural Conference – January 4 & 5, 2017