Exeter Ag Breakfast Meeting Notes (April 25, 2017)

Thank you to Martin Harry who chaired meeting and to Secan that sponsored breakfast. The next meeting will be on May 9th starting at 7:00 am for breakfast (meeting starts at 7:30).  Joanna Follings will be the chairperson. A special welcome was made of the considerable number of students present at the meeting.  It’s great to see new faces and enthusiasm in agriculture.

Synopsis: Considerable rain fell at the end of last week ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 inches with less further north. The majority of the wheat has now received nitrogen in this area.  How much N was lost due to the rain?  Generally, it’s only about 1-2 % per day if the soils are saturated, the upper limit being 5% a day.  It is still better to have applied the N for the wheat than to have no N available to the crop if nothing was applied yet. The wheat continues to look tremendous in this area and compares to last years excellent crop.  Fields in Lambton and Eastern Ontario do no look as promising.  Red clover stands are excellent.  Although some forages have been seeded considerable acreage has yet to be planted.  Some corn has been planted further south but essentially none has been planted in this area with the exception of one or two fields (Mitchell, Cambridge, etc.).  A few fields have emerged with examples given from Amherstburg and the Rodney area.  It was noted that one field of soybeans was seeded on lighter soils closer to Lake Erie.  Considerable manure has gone out but much more needs to be applied.  Things are just getting started in the Owen Sound area.  Weeds are getting large in untreated fields.  There has been some disappointment in dandelion control from last fall’s glyphosate application.  Dandelions were knocked back but the concentration of herbicide was not enough to actually kill them.  Spring cereal seeding intentions are down by as much as 25% but product is moving when the weather is good.

Wheat:  The wheat is roughly one week ahead of long term average development.  Some is at the 1st node stage putting it past the weed control timing window.  The good news is that winter wheat is extremely competitive and yield losses associated with weed competition in research trials is only about 3% on average compared to a 50% reduction in corn (these are average numbers given for the purpose of comparison.  Results from individual fields will vary, depending on weed pressure, species, etc.).  Rust has been found in Indiana but none has been reported in Ontario. Interest in split applied nitrogen has declined this year due to the weather.  There is more focus on getting the job done now than taking the time to split the nitrogen.  Split applied nitrogen in Ontario often does not significantly increase yield but is used to manage lodging and protein.   Most of the wheat crop now receives sulphur as a standard practice.  Considering that temperatures have been reasonably warm this spring mineralization of sulphur should be good this spring.  Manganese (Mn) deficiency has been seen in some fields on eroded knolls.  These symptoms are being found in fields you would typically suspect to see a deficiency (high pH soils).  A foliar application of 2 lb/ac of Mn is the recommended remedy.  When you see the first yellowing symptoms it is not too late to apply Mn to increase yields.

Soybeans:  Last year’s growing season has caused issues with this year’s seed.  In some cases seed size is very large.  In fact the seed is so large with some lots that the standard 140,000 seeds/bag will not fit into one bag.  On the other hand some short season varieties may be hard to find due to seed quality issues from cracked seed coats.  There is seed available but it may not be the exact variety requested.   Is sulphur required for soybeans?  There has been limited research from the US showing yield responses in soybeans in a few individual trials.  One example was given from an Ontario double crop field last year where there was a yield increase in the part of the field where S was applied to the previous wheat crop.  Pioneer will be conducting agronomic trials in 2017 to evaluate potential yield responses in soybeans.  Keep in mind that soybeans require a small amount of S compared to other crops (5 lbs/ac).  Previous trials conducted in Ontario have shown little response to S on soybeans.  Perhaps higher yields, new varieties, or lighter soils would be more responsive to S application.  Of the three big crops wheat is the most responsive, corn second, and soybeans the least. Therefore, the conversation should likely have been more focused on corn than soybeans.  Symptoms of sulphur deficiency on corn are similar to nitrogen deficiency except that sulphur is not mobile within the plant, so the whole plant remains light green. Trials in 2012-2013 showed a response to S on corn about 50% of the time in fields that where likely to have a yield gain.  There is no easy way to predict a response, leading some growers to apply a small amount as “insurance” on sandy soils.

Planting Green:  If a cover crop was seeded last year with the intention of directly seeding into it this year when should the cover crop be terminated?  Now, or do you wait until the primary crop is seeded and then spray off the cover crop?  The consensus of the group was to apply a burndown now so the cover crop does not become too large.  There were considerable issues in fields last year where cover crops were left alive too long.  It should be sprayed off 2-3 weeks before planting corn.  The annual rye is getting large and will be a challenge to terminate.  If it is at growth stage 30 apply at least 2 L/ac of glyphosate (old formulation) or add the full rate of Assure or Venture if it grows much longer.  There can be yellowing of corn if it’s planted immediately after application but this is still preferable over not killing the annual ryegrass.  Cereal rye is much easier to kill than annual rye.

Glyphosate Resistance:  Glyphosate resistance has become a major component of Peter Sikkema’s research program.  Glyphosate resistant fleabane can be found right from Essex County to Eastern Ontario.  Unfortunately 23 counties now have both group 2 and group 9 resistance.  There are 3 counties with glyphosate resistant waterhemp.  60% are group 2, 5, and 9 resistant.  Multiple resistant weeds are a major challenge for those growers dealing with those weeds.  His program is also testing a number of new bio stimulants and fungicides which are designed to help the plant overcome herbicide induced stress.  There are also new group 27 herbicides being tested.

Agricorp:  There have only been about 120 damage reports in winter wheat to date mostly from Essex, Lambton, and Bruce counties.  Winter wheat can still be insured (next Monday, May 1st is the last day) but must be inspected this spring for coverage.

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

Report Damage as soon as it occurs.


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


Upcoming Events:

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days – July 5 and 6, 2016

FarmSmart Expo – July 13

Eastern Crops Day – July 19


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