Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes – May 3, 2016

Breakfast Sponsor: Thanks from the group to “Al Spicer/Ray McDonald – CanGrow Crop Solutions“

Synopsis:  The quote of the week comes from Jason VanMaanen who stated “The Wheat Looks Too Good!” which had Peter Johnson shaking his head 🙂

Rain over the weekend and Monday ranged from 0.8 to 1.5″. The cool, wet conditions over the past week has slowed planting progress and winter wheat development which was 10-14 days ahead of normal but now it is closer to 7 days.  Nitrogen on wheat is completed (single/split) with some fields getting a fungicide application also. Corn acres planted in the region range from 30% in the Dover area to 10% elsewhere with very little corn planted on the clays.  Although corn germination has been slow (early corn is just sprouting), seed integrity seems to be still good, perhaps due to fungicide and insecticide seed treatments. Some growers have up to ¾ of their corn planted compared to others who have not yet started. Only a few soybean fields planted to date.  Ragweed is emerging. There is no new information on the status of Roundup Ready Xtend. Be aware of compaction and take into consideration both tire pressures and axle loads impact especially when soils are wet.

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) (note that Janice’s email address has been corrected, for anyone  who tried it earlier without success) 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!

Winter Wheat:  The wheat continues to look good but the cool, wet conditions since the last meeting has slowed development which was 10-14 days ahead of normal but is now closer to 7 days.   The most advanced wheat is in Essex County and is at growth stage 32-33, and the flag leaf should emerge in 7 to 10 days. Nitrogen on wheat is completed with some fields getting a fungicide application. Those areas which were affected by frost have for the most part grown out of it.  Red clover establishment has also been slow, variable and some killed due to the cold nights. The disease levels in the wheat continues to be low in the area although powdery mildew in some fields has started in the lower and mid canopies (London area).  Disease is always a concern especially when the wheat is lush and thick this early, but the cool temperatures of late has however reduced disease development.  This can change quickly if the forecast for intermittent rains and warmer temperatures develop over the next week.

Besides powdery mildew, septoria and tan spot in wheat, be on the look out for stripe rust and leaf rust over the next two weeks. These diseases are blown in each year from the US and they started their journey north early this year.  Stripe rust was found this week in East Lansing, Michigan, although at very, very low levels.  With warmer temperatures (>25C) the risk of stripe rust is reduced. The fungus that causes stripe rust produces a yellowish or orange spore, and pustules appear in a row on infected leaves, giving it a “striped” appearance. It is important to consider variety susceptibility to diseases such  as powdery midlew, Septoria, stripe rust and leaf rust (gocereals.ca) , the growth stage of the crop, weather forecast and disease spread before applying a fungicide this early.

Dave Hooker field crop agronomist with UG Ridgetown and Albert Tenuta scouted fields in the Ridgetown area after the meeting and they did notice typical virus symptoms in some fields. Virus diseases of wheat are notoriously difficult to tell apart in the field, and therefore, require laboratory testing for accurate diagnosis. Infected plants typically first appear in uneven patches in low or poorly-drained areas of the field.  Plants are yellow or light green within a field, which can be confused with nitrogen deficiency or winter injury. The cool temperatures we experienced over the last two weeks enhanced symptom development of virus diseases in infected fields. Warmer temperatures will help reduce the appearance of symptoms and plants will appear to recover.  Several wheat viruses may cause these symptoms, and if you suspect virus infection contact your ag retailer or consultant.  The University of Guelph Pest Diagnostic Clinic in Guelph does provide testing for the presence of wheat spindle streak mosaic virus (WSSMV), soil-borne wheat mosaic virus (SBWMV), and various strains of Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV).  For an accurate diagnosis it is important to dig and submit entire plants exhibiting symptoms -. UG Pest Clinic submitting samples website

Plant Growth Regulators (PGRs):  Earlier this year, the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) and the Ontario Agri Business Association (OABA) were involved in broad industry discussions regarding the implications of using ManipulatorTM, a plant growth regulator, in the 2016 wheat crop.  ManipulatorTM is not registered for use in the United States so the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has zero tolerance for any residues of the product.  As a result, Ontario farmers are encouraged NOT to use Manipulator™ on the 2016 Ontario wheat crop due to the inherent market risk.  For more information please visit the following links: GFO GPR for Ontario Wheat– and  Field Crop News Article

Ethrel from Bayer is an option but it was noted that phytoxicity injury can occur, especially at specific stages of development, if temperatures are above 28oC so staging across the field and weather conditions at time of application critical.  Consult the Label.  Apply when most of the tillers are between early flag leaf emergence to swollen boot stage (Zadoks 37–45). Do not apply after more than 10% of the awns have emerged (Zadoks 49). For more information refer to the New 2016 OMAFRA Publication 812 – Field Crop Protection Guide which was released last week.  If you want to order a book call the Ridgetown OMAFRA office (519-674-1690) or your local office.


Corn: Corn acres planted in the region range from 30% in the Dover area to 10% elsewhere with very little corn planted on the clays. Although corn germination has been slow (early corn is just sprouting) seed integrity seems good perhaps due to fungicide and insecticide seed treatments. Some growers have up to ¾ of their corn planted compared to others which have not started.  Based on 18 site years, there was only a 2% drop in corn yield potential between May 1 and May 20 planting dates in the SW part of the province.  There was a large difference in grain moisture of 5-7% between those dates of the same hybrid.

Most of the parent seed corn is in province and will be distributed shortly, but seed corn is not expected to be planted till next week at the earliest. Should see a small increase in seed corn acres this year. Dave Hooker discussed corn planting dates impact on yield.

Weeds: Roundup Ready Xtend: No new news over the past two weeks in regards to EU approval of Roundup Ready Xtend.  Some growers have returned seed but others are still hanging on to the seed, hoping it will be registered in time for this season but time is running out. Growers generally have a back-up seed order just in case. There is a good supply of seed but growers should check with their seed supplier.

Peter Sikkema and his graduate students presented their research. The following is preliminary results from Mik Schryver who is investigating Ontario waterhemp populations for herbicide resistance and their management. Thanks Mike for sharing.

Glyphosate Resistant Waterhemp Interim Survey Results from 2015



Resistance Incidence #  of fields


#  of fields


# of fields

Chatham Kent

9 36 % 4 4 0
5 50 % 6 5 0
2 100 % 9 11 2
14 0 % 0 0 0

*interim results from 22 of 49 total samples             (Schryver and Sikkema 2016)

  1 Way 2 Way 3 Way
County # Incidence Group # Incidence Group  # Incidence Group
Essex 2 2 3




3 9,5,2
Lambton 3 2 3




1 9,5,2
Chatham-Kent 2 2 0 0

*interim results from 22 of 49 total samples                                                                             (Schryver and Sikkema 2016)

There is interest in inter-seeding annual ryegrass and clover into corn and the following article by Darren Robinson (UG Ridgetown Campus) and Mike Cowbrough (OMAFRA) summarizes options and will assist with herbicide selection. See more at: Field Crop News – rye grass and clover sensitivity article

Correction: In the April 19, 2016 Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Meeting minutes a reference to Engarde™ herbicide (Dupont) was confusing and was in response to a question about using the product very early preplant (3 weeks+).  We are sorry for the confusion and not putting the comments in proper perspective.  Engarde™ is used early in corn to remove early season weed competition through the critical period.  In a glyphosate tolerant system, the recommendation is to follow up in-crop with a glyphosate application by the 6-8 leaf stage.


Class 12 seed treatment regulations – Concerns were expressed about replanting and matching paperwork with fields in this situation.

Horticultural Crops – Early-planted field peas have emerged.  Early sweet corn under plastic has been planted. Asparagus in the Simcoe area is now availabe.  Approximately 80% of sugarbeets in Ontario and in Michigan through the sugarbeet co-operative are planted but have been slow to emerge.  Sugarbeet planted 12 days ago have not emerged to date.  One early March-planted field did germinate but with the wet, cool conditions resulted in tight soils, swollen hypocotyls, resulting in the crop being removed.  No field tomatoes have been transplanted but they should start on weekend and full out starting next week but that will depend on the weather. Plug tomato plants in the greenhouse look good.

The OMAFRA Field Crop Protection Guide Pub 812 and the Vegetable Guide Pub 838 supplement are out and available at the OMAFRA Ridgetown office (519-674-1690).

AgriCorp Report provided by Leon Walczak:  45 damage reports for winter wheat to date which cover 1491 acres with dominant peril  being excessive rainfall.  For unseeded acres, growers can now choose their dominant crop. Majority of these acres have recovered and we are anticipating minimal reseeding.  Machine and hand-picked cucumbers, adzuki beans now have separated insurance plans as well as oats/barley have been separated from spring grains plan..


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 May 17, 2016.

Upcoming Events

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days (UG Ridgetown Campus) July 6 or 7, 2016

FarmSmart Expo 2016 (University of Guelph, Elora Research Station) – July 14, 2016

Eastern Crops Day (U. of G., Winchester Research Farm) – July 28, 2016

Southwest Agricultural Conference – January 4 & 5, 2017