2017 Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes (May 16, 2017)

Breakfast Sponsor: Thanks from the group to “Roger Bourassa – Dupont Pioneer”

Quote of the week“Lambton County – The Breadbasket of Ontario” from Chad Anderson in his customary introduction.

Synopsis: Not much has happened over most of the past two weeks.  Most are patient but some have started to push soil conditions especially closer to London. The cool wet weather has slowed corn planting and the development of the winter wheat crop. This is reflected in CHU which for Ridgetown is 77 CHU instead of the normal 200 CHU, London has had 70 CHU and 144 CHU in Windsor. Some corn was planted late last week and the past couple of days. (30% planted) mostly on lighter soils.  Planting on clay soils just started due to the frequent rains.  Nothing has changed for soybeans other than the odd field of soybeans planted a few weeks ago.  The bulk of sugarbeets are planted (90%).  Wheat stage ranges from head showing to flag leaf emerging. There have been reports of herbicide/fungicide application injury in wheat. The hay crop is looking good.

Winter Wheat: Early planted winter wheat still looks better than Thanksgiving wheat.  The cool, wet weather has slowed the rate of wheat development.  Wheat is 5 to 7 days ahead of normal with crop ranging from head emerging to flag leaf. In some areas flag leaf fungicide applications are completed. Cool, wet weather has made some fields or parts turn yellow (wet feet) as well as slowed late application N uptake.  Yield loss has not been observed in the past when similar conditions occurred.  If sulphur deficiency is showing, apply now.  Spring cereal seed fields are being planted.

Some fungicide-herbicide injury is occurring but important to keep promoting higher water volumes (15 gal min 20 gal is better). Injury can occur from N on wheat, if N is put on before the herbicide- fungicide so better to apply herbicide- fungicide first followed by N to reduce injury. Surfactants as well as the environmental condition causing a thin cuticle are contributing. The rate of surfactant can be reduced on some fungicides to manage injury. Many of the labels say 5C minimum temperature and it was hard to find that this year.  This has led to significant burn from 28% application on some varieties even after waiting up to a week after fungicide. It did however go on after very cool temps.  In Niagara, wet conditions have prevented the nitrogen application on wheat. Helicopters are being used to apply N (100lbs+/ac) in fields with no N now to be available for flowering.

Septoria leaf spot and powdery mildew are the most common diseases and are primarily situated in the lower canopy but on some susceptible varieties they are moving up. There was more disease in the big wheat last fall than we are seeing this spring.  Keep scouting but in most cases fungicide is not needed and can wait for T3.  Remember strobilurin based fungicides should not be applied on wheat from the boot stage and later. Leaf rust has shown up in fields in area. Stripe rust over the past week has been found in Bright (Oxford), Ridgetown (Chatham-Kent), south of St. Thomas (Elgin) and Owen Sound (Bruce) but at low levels.  The disease is not moving as fast as last year. If you have stripe rust (no fungicide) please place in a paper bag and send to Albert (albert.tenuta@ontario.ca). The stripe rust race survey from last year showed two predominant races in Ontario which are similar to those in the Eastern Midwest states which differ slightly from the Great Plains races. Refer to the last Ridgetown Ag Breakfast minutes for previous stripe rust discussion.

Corn: Corn planting is at 30% in the area primarily between Dresden to Blenheim to West Elgin but corn planting on Merlin clays has started.  A number of corn fields have been planted along the 401 between Guelph and Ridgetown. The earliest corn planted on April 18th has spiked and a field planted April 20th is at the 2 leaf stage but most of the corn is struggling to emerge. There may be some replanting as rotary hoeing is taking place on some April planted corn.  Rain may help as well as the forecasted higher temperatures.

The planting date and yield potential discussion brought out Hooker, U of G and Greg Stewart research showing one can expect 95% of corn yield at Elora when planted May 20, Exeter May 25, Ridgetown May 30.

The dates to switch corn hybrids from the Agronomy Guide, OMAFRA publication 811: for areas with less than 2800 CHU switch hybrids May 15 to 20, for areas with 2800 to 3200 CHU May 20 to 25 and for areas with over 3200 CHU May 30 to early June.

Consensus around the table was that 50 to 60% of corn was planted with sulphur (10 to 12 lbs S per acre) with most putting some sulphur on in starter. Doug Young (UG Ridgetown Campus) research shows there is no benefit to applying more than 15 lbs per acre of sulphur to the corn.

Soybeans: Soybeans planted 3 weeks ago are knuckling but have not emerged. A few fields of soybeans have been planted. For anybody who is not buying certified seed the seed size and quality is an issue. Be sure to check the germination. With soil temperatures at 10C the companies are not in a rush to plant seed soybeans.

Grad Students Attending (Thank you for the brief summaries):

Brendan Metzger is a new MSc student with Dr. Peter Sikkema (University of Guelph – Ridgetown Campus), looking at the potential fit for tolpyralate as a new corn herbicide in Ontario. As part of my grad work we’ll be looking at tolpyralate rate response across several weed species, application timing, corn hybrid tolerance and its efficacy on glyphosate resistant Canada fleabane.

Horticultural Crops: Tomato planting began last Friday with the big push this week (Monday) and will keep going depending on the rain.  Could have 35-40% of acres planted this week if favourable weather. The Spray Hub App has had great response from producers with 85% growers entering timely spray application information.  Good example of spray stewardship!

 Nearly 9,000 acres (90%) of sugarbeets are planted but stands are lighter (80 beets/100 feet of row) than normal (target 100+ beets/100 feet of row) on about 1000 acres.  It is not unusual to seed 200 beets/100 feet of row the last two years. Some replanting will occur. Fields planted before Easter are doing well.  There is not a lot of seedling disease. Sugarbeet growers are encouraged to rotate fungicides and never use triazoles alone or back to back which is important for cercospora leaf spot resistance management.  Frost stopped asparagus for 8 days

Dry Beans: Chris Gillard (UG Ridgetown Campus) planted first dry bean (azuki) trials in Exeter, Elora and Winchester.  Planting date study May 20, June 1, June 10 and June 20 found that June 1 was the best date. If there was a heavy rain then all dates better when planted after a 1” rain.

Cover Crops: Looking at cover crop fields some are drying out nicely and some are a little bit slower, mixtures the residue is standing up well and not creating a mat. Generally recommend 30 lbs/ac of oats for cover and higher rates if it is to be used for feed. There have been reports of rye drying out soil and making it hard.

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 am with breakfast and every two weeks on Tuesdays.  Next meeting is May 30, 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

Summit on Canadian Soil Health 2017 – August 22 & 23, Guelph

Southwest Agricultural Conference – January 3 & 4, 2018