Exeter Agribusiness Minutes – May 9, 2017


Thank you to Joanna Follings who chaired the meeting and to Syngenta for spronsoring breakfast.  There was an excellent turnout and discussion. The next meeting will be on May 23rd starting at 7:00 a.m. for breakfast (meeting starts at 7:30). Steve Johns will be the chairman.

Synopsis: Widespread rainfall last week and over the weekend continues to prevent field work. The sun came out Sunday and the forecast looks promising so there is hope that planting can start on lighter soils by the end of this week. Compaction is likely to become a problem this year with equipment entering fields before they are fit. Urea application is expected to start today and herbicide applications will begin as well. Rainfall was widespread over the weekend and ranged from 1.5” in Varna, 2” in Stratford, 5” in Mt Forest, 3 to 6” in Bruce county, and 4 to 8” in Eastern Ontario. There was a report that the Canadian Armed Forces purchased bags from seed processors for sandbags over the weekend to assist in flood relief efforts in Eastern Ontario and Quebec. Corn planted on April 20th has emerged but has not moved since then. Some wheat fields are starting to suffer from wet conditions in areas of the field. Red clover stands are excellent and are at the unifoliate to the first trifoliate leaf stage. Red clover becomes more susceptible to frost at the 1st trifoliate leaf stage so some stands may have been damaged from the frost last night. Cover crop management is likely to become an issue for those growers that have not sprayed off the crop yet. In wet springs the extra residue will also delay soil drying.  To terminate annual ryegrass use 1 L of WeatherMax plus 0.3 L Assure. Glyphosate by itself will not do an adequate job.

Corn: Growers should not consider switching adapted hybrids to shorter season corn hybrids at this date. Those growers that were extremely aggressive in choosing long season corn hybrids have already switched. Growers should consider switching hybrids on May 20th in areas with less than 2800 CHU’s, May 25th with 2800 to 3000 CHU’s, and May 30th in areas with more than 3000 CHU’s. How much N was lost due to the rain? Conditions have been cool so the loss should not be significant to date. Generally, it’s only about 1-2 % per day if the soils are saturated. See Simcoe Breakfast meeting minutes for a chart of potential losses.

Wheat: Tile run wheat is now becoming more evident, although most of the wheat still looks excellent. About ½ of the wheat in this area has received a fungicide / herbicide application. Almost all the wheat got at least one application of N. About 1/3 of the wheat in the Niagara region has not received any N. Some growers are considering a helicopter application. Is it acceptable to stream 28% when temperatures are cold? What about herbicide or fungicide applications? It was agreed that 28% could be streamed safely 24 hours after a frost. A herbicide application is generally safe 48 hours after a frost. Keep in mind that the leaf cuticle is thin this year due to many consecutive overcast days. This will make the crop more susceptible to damage. If the leaves are damaged fungicide efficacy will be compromised because the fungicide cannot get into the leaf. Typically it’s the surfactants that do the most damage so the more that is mixed in a tank the more damage that will occur. If temperatures fall below 0 degrees C there is a potential for damage even if only a fungicide is sprayed by itself. Increasing water volumes will decrease leaf burn (20 gallons/acre).  Unless the crop is very thin or weeds are extremely thick the value of a herbicide on wheat is questionable now, especially at flag leaf. Winter annuals are too large to be killed. Sow-thistle has not emerged and wheat will out-compete weeds like ragweed. Fields that received a herbicide last fall are much cleaner. Stripe rust has been found in the southwest (Essex). Spores of this disease blew in from the United States. Fortunately, the disease has not spread that quickly to date. Those growers that have susceptible varieties should spray a fungicide.  Variety susceptibility is posted on gocereals.ca.  If a variety has a rating of 6 or higher the variety is susceptible to stripe rust and will benefit from a fungicide application.  If a variety is rated 3 to 5 than it is moderately resistant and should be scouted for stripe rust regularly.  If stripe rust appears to be challenging the upper leaves of the canopy in these moderately resistant varieties than you may want to consider a fungicide application, particularly if the wheat is just at flag leaf.  If stripe rust incidence and severity is low on these tolerant varieties and you are approaching fusarium fungicide application timing (<week) then you are likely able to wait until the fusarium timing fungicide.  If a variety in your area has a rating less than 2 than this indicates that the variety is resistant against stripe rust and will likely not benefit from an early season fungicide application.  A lot depends on the level of infection in the field and area – remember environmental conditions, crop susceptibility and pathogen presence are all necessary for disease development (Disease Triangle).Leaf rust is also present this year and has been found in Bruce County. It overwinters here unlike stripe rust. From the number of reports of leaf rust it does not seem to have overwintered well. Powdery mildew is heavy in some varieties near Clinton. Some fields are yellow especially where excess rainfall fell. Fields with high levels of N still look pale. Leaf tissue samples coming into the lab for sulphur are at 0.2%. Most agreed that values should be over 0.25 in wheat; however, high N can induce  S deficiency.

Soybeans: There continues to be concern over seed supplies and quality especially in short season areas. There is seed available but it may not be the exact variety requested. There seem to be more “abnormals” this year which can make the germ test appear worse than it is. Field experience has shown that at least ½ of “abnormals” will still produce normal plants. Seed grown in the Lindsay area has especially high clean out this year. Growers should be encouraged to use a fungicide seed treatment. Seed treatments do not increase germination but they can increase emergence and early season vigour. Seeding rate recommendations are based on 90% germination and 90% emergence (81% plant stands). Therefore seeding rates should not be increased if soil conditions are good just because the germination is slightly lower. Growers using bin run seed are encouraged to do a germination test. A list of labs can be found at: www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/pub811/15appendixf.htm

Agricorp: There is increased interest in the forage insufficient rainfall plan due to last year’s dry conditions. There is also considerable interest in the standard new forage plan which is designed to insure cover crops. There have been few damage reports to date mostly from Lambton County. Please remind growers to call in damage reports.

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.

Previous meeting minutes are posted on:  Field Crop News Website – https://fieldcropnews.com/

Upcoming Events:

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days – July 5 and 6, 2017

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