Winchester Ag Breakfast Meeting Notes – April 11, 2017

General Conditions:

Currently some growers are beginning to spread manure and applying fertilizer on hay and winter wheat stands. To date very few fields have been cultivated due to the wet weather. Field conditions are more like a normal year.


Most forage stands appear to have survived well. However, forage stands south of Highway 43 appear to be a little slow to getting going. Some concern that Round Up Ready alfalfa fields haven’t over wintered as well, but not sure if this is because of variety hardiness or the field. Overall, forage inventories coming out of winter are lower than the last few years, but few farmers are buying hay yet. First cut forage yields are anticipated to be down. This will likely increase the new forage seeding acres this spring than was originally planned. Only a couple forage grass fields and peas have been seeded to date.

Forage stand can removal a lot of fertility and it is important that growers apply at least enough fertilizer to meet the crop removal requirements to maintain good soil fertility levels. On higher grass content forage stands, nitrogen should also be applied. Some growers are also applying sulphur fertilizer. Ammonium Sulphate is main product used.

Insects: Some early reports of alfalfa snout beetles have been spotted in a few forage fields


Winter wheat survival is good with the exception of a few pockets in the field. Agricorp has had 3 damage reports so far; most are for damage/ poor survival in small areas within fields. It appears that the winter wheat has gone backwards in the last few weeks. At the Winchester Research Station there is a notable difference in plant survival and health depending on seeding depth, planting date, and areas of compaction. Some geese feeding damage in the area, they seem to have moved out now. It is estimated about a 5% yield loss. The feeding damage will affect the wheat heading date and create unevenness in the field, making Fusarium head blight fungicide timing more difficult. Cereal rye not as attractive to the geese as winter wheat. Geese will only feed on the cereal rye if no other crop is nearby.

Remember that winter wheat has 30% yield advantage over spring wheat so this needs to be considered before thinking of re-seeding with spring wheat.

Most stands have yet to have nitrogen applied. Several growers are going to split apply the nitrogen with 70 pounds per acre in first application and 50 pounds per acre in the 2nd application.

Seeding red clover with winter wheat; it was suggested that growers should focus on one crop at a time, wait for red clover until after wheat harvest. Combine operators hate harvesting winter wheat with clover. Crop insurance is available for red clover establishment for $3-4 per acre. Red clover can fill in holes where the winter wheat did not survive. Crop insurance inspects in August or September and anything less than about 6/ft square could warrant a claim. If going to frost seed red clover, insure it.

Spring Cereals:

Intended acreage is about same as usual; mostly planted for straw.

Yield losses due to delayed seeding dates in April are not much; ¼ to ½ bushel per day delayed. In mid-May, delayed seeding yield losses can be 1 or more bushels per day. Some growers have planted at end of May and still yield well, but the stand needs to be managed well; fertility, fungicide, etc.

Scenario: Winter wheat with clover frost seeded now looks like it won’t make it. Plan is to seed with spring wheat. Winter wheat control – use Poast or Assure and then it will leave the clover. The issue with this is the clover is ahead of the spring wheat. Other option is to spray with roundup and it takes out some clover


Only one field in near Napanee has reported to be planted to date. Expected corn acres to be planted are about the same or slightly up this spring.

Seed treatments – 30% alternative to neonic, very little desire for just fungicide. If a grower hasn’t taken the IPM course, then the neonic seed cannot be delivered. Issue will be if planting gets late and varieties need to be swapped, that seed companies may not have all treatments at all maturities.

Fertilizer supply is good, average fertilizer price is about $100/T lower than this time last year. Boat deliveries are all on time. There are more growers interested in topdressing nitrogen on corn than side-dressing since can get over more acres quicker. A few new fertilizer products which include impregnating some micros-nutrients.


Non-GMO acreage is down as compared to last year. Separation requirements for GMO and non- GMO have been reduced. Growers need to have separate bins and be able to store until late winter. If you don’t have to re-spray then can make about $75-80/acre, if you do have to re-spray about $25/acre more than conventional corn. In some cases last year (especially in low yield areas) there was no yield difference, where it was a higher yielding environment the yield difference was closer to a ton/acre. Mostly this is due to older varieties


Intended acreage slightly up. Seed supply is tight. Very large seed and seeding rate should be adjusted for the larger seed size. Seed should be handled carefully to avoid damage. In a normal year you will never see difference, but in a very dry year the larger seed may be a bit slower as takes a bit more water to germinate. There is a very small percentage of grade 2 seed going out. Not sure why some of the seed that tested well in November is now testing with poorer germination rates. Nothing below 85% germination is sold. About 60% (and increasing) of the soybean acreage is planted with a drilled and 40% with a planter. Drilled acres are climbing so they can plant beans at the same time as corn, also allows them to seed wheat and cover crops. There is greater interest in Xtend-soybean varieties resulting in very tight seed supply. For Agricrop soybean coverage, growers must indicate if they are growing tofu and natto variety and seed supplier for coverage. Identity Preserved (IP) soybeans acreage has dropped; some areas lost 25%. Buyers still looking for more acres for 2017. Premium – $82-101/tonne. If the ground is ready, can plant soybeans same time as corn. In the US they stopped planting corn because of cold front coming through. Ontario traditional thought is that soybeans are less tolerant than corn to early plating. This may not be totally correct. Think of percentage lost – 10% loss of corn plants is a lot worse than 10% loss of bean plants. Now we know how important uniform emergence is it is better to plant corn on 15th of May in perfect conditions than to rush to plant if ground is unfit ground. Asked a few bigger growers what their lowest yielding corn was – for all it was their first planted corn. They went too early and it was too cold, ground was not fit. Soil temperatures were about 7-8 degrees Celsius Monday morning and afternoon. Where it’s dryer, it’s warmer.

Pesticide update:

Destra IS – no temperature restrictions, less hybrid restrictions.

Engarde – $20/acre. Some putting it on pre-emerge now and coming back in with roundup


New crop corn – $200 per tonne. Soybeans – $460 per tonne. Last week markets prices down for corn and soybeans. It is expected that soybean market may be a little stronger than corn. Soybean basis levels have come up since dollar has dropped. Suggested that growers should take advantage of soybean market now.


Focuses on nutrient management – 4R’s, which is the right time, right place, right source and right rate. There are 89 Certified Crop Advisors with the 4R’s certification in Ontario out of a total of 150 total in North America. The 4R’s certification is recognized by all levels of government provincial and federal.

Crop Insurance: May 1 is still critical date:

Page Content

Deadline Description
May 1, 2017
  • Apply or make changes
May 1, 2017
  • USAB: apply and report acreage changes
June 15, 2017
  • Report damage for USAB
June 30, 2017
  • Report acreage
July 10, 2017
  • Pay premium
December 15, 2017
  • Report yield


Upcoming Field Days:

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days – July 5-6 (Ridgetown College) –

FarmSmart Expo – July 13 (Elora Research Station) –

Eastern Crops Day – July 20 (Winchester Research Station) –

Thank you to Stephanie Nanne, P.T. Sullivan Agro for taking notes for this morning’s meeting