1st 2017 Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes (April 4)

Breakfast Sponsor: Thanks from group to “Stephanie Divirtaris – Syngenta Seeds“

Synopsis: The quote of the week comes from Dr. Peter Sikkema – “Start Clean – Stay Clean”! The group acknowledged the passing of Morris Sagriff and Alan Spicer both regular attendees at the meetings. Their interesting contributions to the discussion will be missed. Corn acreage is expected to be similar to last year or down slightly, maybe 4%. Final acreage will depend on the weather at planting. Soybean acreage is expected to be up. Weeds are larger than normal due to the mild winter.

Winter Wheat: Winter wheat acreage is down from last year, 1 million acres in 2016 compared to 900,000 acres this year. Winter wheat fields that were sprayed for weeds last fall are clean. Those that weren’t have a lot of weeds. The recent rains have left water lying in some wheat fields. Red clover is on much of the wheat. It was applied to about 50% of the acreage. Red clover can still be applied if it is not on yet.

Stripe rust has been confirmed to have overwintered in Wisconsin; however, it has not yet been found in Ontario. Dave Hooker and Albert Tenuta looked at the plots at Ridgetown and didn’t see any. There is some powdery mildew in fields. These will likely need an early fungicide application. Most canopies are thick with high tiller counts. Nitrogen management will be important.

Sulphur should be applied at the insurance rate of 10 lbs/ac. Historically responsive fields should receive 15 to 20 lbs/ac. Low organic matter level fields are likely to be responsive. If high nitrogen rates are being applied apply sulphur. Apply one pound of sulphur for every 10 pounds of nitrogen. Sulphur strips are a good way to determine if the field is responsive. C & M Seeds have launched an electronic newsletter providing agronomy and marketing updates.

Weeds: Glyphosate resistant Canada fleabane is now in 30 counties in the province from Essex all the way to Glengarry in eastern Ontario. 23 counties have multiple resistance (group 2 & 9 herbicides). Canada fleabane can be controlled with glyphosate plus saflufenacil (Eragon, Optill or Integrity) plus 3/8 lbs metribuzin. Good coverage is needed for control.

The newest glyphosate resistant weed is waterhemp that was first discovered in 2013. It is now found in 40 different fields in Essex, Kent and Lambton. 60% of fields have resistance to groups 2, 5 and 9. Peter Sikkema’s research shows glyphosate resistant waterhemp is best controlled in soybeans with Fierce soil applied. Authority, Supreme and Boundary were the next best.

A two pass weed control program is the best option for weed control and to maximize profitability. It also reduces selection for herbicide resistance. One pass weed control has a hidden yield loss due to late herbicide application. A herbicide delay of 24 hours caused a 3 bu/ac yield loss in corn in a competitive environment.

Extend soybeans are available this year and companies are getting the word out about stewardship of the technology. The recommendations include the use of drift reducing tips, the use of several modes of action, awareness of temperature inversions, scouting to determine the weed spectrum and spraying dicamba early (on the first pass pre plant or early post application). TTI tips are recommended. Extend kits are available with example tips. The label states that the product must be sprayed with tips that produce coarse droplets. This formulation of dicamba will drift the same but the volatility is less than the previous formulation. It is expected that about 30% of soybean acres will be planted with Extend soybeans.

Horticultural Crops: The re-evaluation of a number of products by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) could have a significant impact on the horticulture industry especially for disease control. The PMRA was good in the past about bringing in new products but now it is much more difficult. Awareness of the issues needs to be increased. The users need to realize that these products are tools and they need to be used appropriately. Everyone should be using integrated pest management and not relying on a simple spray plan.

The tomato acreage will be down a little this year. Sugarbeet price is $32.50 U.S.   which is down from the $50 it was a few years ago. Planting will begin once the soil is fit. The choice of fungicides for disease control is getting limited. There are a few potatoes planted near Leamington.

Edible Beans: It was reported at a dry bean meeting that variable rate fungicide application, based on NDVI, resulted in less product being used. Variable rate seeding for dry beans was opposite to other crops as populations are lower in the growth areas of a field and higher in the poor areas. Dry beans are more responsive to variable rate seeding than corn. Dry bean acreage is expected to be the same to up slightly.

Other: Seacliff Energy has digestate they are providing for free for application to farm fields. The only cost is $50/ac to cover the cost of application. The product comes from Leamington. Contact Bob Booth for more information.

Cover crops/Soil Health: A number of growers will be planting green again this year. Regardless of whether the crop is being planted into living or dead cover crop don’t forget basic production practices. Ensure good seed to soil contact, proper seeding depth, good seed trench closure and plant when it is fit to name a few. Soil erosion has been a significant problem in several fields. Minimize tillage this spring and leave at least 30% residue cover after planting. Install erosion control structures in areas of the field that are a problem year after year.

Publications: There is a new Soil Health in Ontario publication which gives a good overview of soil health. There are a number of soil health factsheets that will be available soon. A new Problem Weed Control Guide is available from your local OMAFRA office. There are also a number of new disease publications and resource materials available. Contact Albert Tenuta to obtain copies.

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 April 18, 2017.


Upcoming Events

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days (University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus) July 5 or 6, 2017

FarmSmart Expo 2017 (University of Guelph, Elora Research Station) – July 13, 2017

Eastern Crops Day (U. of G., Winchester Research Farm) – July 19, 2017

Southwest Agricultural Conference – January 3 & 4, 2018