Ridgetown Agribusiness Breakfast Meeting – May 2, 2017

Breakfast Sponsor: Thanks from the group to “Richard Anderson – BASF Canada”

 Quote of the week“Yellow as a Duck’s Foot” from Peter Johnson in reference to wheat with no N.

Synopsis: The cool wet weather has slowed the development of the winter wheat crop. Some corn was planted last week mainly on the lighter soils. In the area less than 10% of the crop is planted. The odd field of soybeans was planted as well. The window for planting spring cereals in southern Ontario has now passed. Rainfall the last couple of days ranged from 1.2” near Rodney, to 1.5” south of Ridgetown and near Bothwell. Once the rains stop and the weather turns, custom applicators will have a hard time keeping up since burndowns, pre plant herbicides on corn, and second N applications on wheat will all need to be done at once.

Winter Wheat: Winter wheat that was planted early looks very good. The wheat that was planted close to Thanksgiving weekend is not as robust. The cool, wet weather has slowed the rate of wheat development. Wheat which is at the flag leaf stage in Essex County is a week ahead of normal. Cool wet soils have impacted some wheat fields. . All of the wheat has had at least one application of nitrogen. Fields needing a second application will get it as soon as the field is fit. Fields where the nitrogen application did not take place until growth stage 32 (2nd node) have poor growth and colour. Fields with a low first application of N are looking N deficient. It is possible that these fields could be sulphur deficient as well since cool soils are slow to release S. It was speculated that a larger per cent of the wheat had a split nitrogen application this year, a little over 50% in the area. For split N applications, many have applied 70-90 lbs/ac on early followed by 50 lbs/ac later. The less N put on later, the lower the risk of leaf burn. When considering the timing of nitrogen on winter wheat, you need to be in tune to response potential (N uptake) vs loss potential i.e. more than 50 lbs N/ac in March increases the risk for loss. Consider applying the second nitrogen application during early stem elongation, when there is some separation between the first and second node (growth stage 32). Avoid nitrogen applications after flag leaf emergence to reduce burning of the flag leaf.

Sulphur is different than N in that as soon as there is a S deficiency then you start to see yield loss. The longer the period that wheat is S deficient the greater the yield loss. Manganese deficiency is apparent in fields with historic deficiencies. Annual weeds are emerging, but it may be a challenge to get the fields sprayed. Herbicide applications are normally made at the end of April or the first of May. More red clover was planted this year and it is coming along well due to good moisture conditions.

Comments from Albert Tenuta: The anticipated wet weather favours disease growth; although current disease levels remain low in most fields this can change quickly. Septoria leaf spot and powdery mildew are the most common diseases and primarily situated in the lower canopy. Last week, leaf rust was found in Bruce County; wheat spindle streak mosaic virus was confirmed in Essex County with the help of Settington’s (Essex). With the rapid growth of the crop and favourable weather conditions , it is important to continue scouting to determine if fungal disease infection is progressing up the plant (especially on susceptible varieties) and is critical to determine if a fungicide application is needed and at what timing (flag leaf/T2 or flowering/T3).

Stripe rust was not reported at the time of the breakfast meeting. Since May 2, stripe rust was confirmed by Agris in Stoney Point (Essex). The timing of stripe rust in Ontario this year (May 3) is very similar to last year (May 5- Elgin County by Dave Hooker). In both years, lesions were found mid canopy and not on the lower leaves. This would suggest aerial distribution and not overwintering. The sequence of detection progressed from the southern US up the Ohio valley into Ontario would also support air dispersal. If overwintering is occurring in the upper Midwest (Ohio valley) and Ontario, stripe rust detection dates would be expected to be very similar across the region and not sequential.

This year’s situation in Indiana and Kentucky is more typical of the normal development (slower) compared to last year which was rapid (explosive). Colleagues in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois report that stripe rust infection for the most part has not progressed as quickly as last year. A few factors may be contributing to this including more tolerant varieties being planted, less spore deposition into the region, earlier fungicide applications (herbicide/T1), etc. This could be beneficial for Ontario since lower spore production theoretically means less potential spores migrating into the Ontario and therefore less initial infection points. Many fields in Essex are at full flag emergence which is ahead of normal by up to a week. I would suspect stripe rust to develop under these conditions but with less potential inoculum spore load, the rate of development could be slower (or more typical of stripe rust for Ontario conditions).

Talking about this lousy weather! Dave Hooker compared 2017 with 2016 and over the past two weeks we have been warmer both during the day and night-time compared to 2016 (Table 1 – bottom). Therefore, weather conditions have been the same if not more favourable to date for stripe rust. In 2016, the three weeks from May 5 to May 25 warmed up with frequent rain events which as we saw were ideal for stripe rust development. The forecast temperatures for the next three weeks are for cooler daytime temperatures (especially May 5-11) while night temperatures will higher. Remember last year, spore deposition into the area was probably much higher than what is expected this year. Environmental conditions, crop susceptibility and pathogen presence are all necessary for disease development (Disease Triangle).

As was observed last year, there are large differences in variety susceptibility to the disease. Growers should check with their seed supplier and the Ontario OCCC performance trials for specific variety ratings (www.gocereals.ca). Encourage all wheat growers to get out scouting for stripe rust. Based on last years’ experience, a timely fungicide applied to susceptible varieties was beneficial and a good integrated wheat disease management strategy. Fields planted with susceptible varieties should be targeted first. If stripe rust is found in more fields and begins to increase after this week’s rains, it may be necessary to spray susceptible varieties. If the rate of disease development and spread is slow in susceptible varieties, a delay of fungicide application may be possible but it will depend on the weather and if a previous fungicide was applied (T1). Fields planted to tolerant or resistant varieties need to regularly assess fields from now until heading to assess stripe rust risk.

Early fungicide applications with herbicides (T1.5 to T1.8 timing or before flag leaf emergence) have been applied to about 30% of the wheat. Fungicides perform better when the crop is not N or S deficient. If the first fungicide application to wheat is at GS 32 it will be protected to T3 timing. The full rate of fungicide should provide 2 weeks minimum of protection. The chances of a problem before T3 are very low unless stripe rust is a factor in your area (see above). Apply the fungicide based on growth stage. Cool weather slows wheat growth. Remember strobilurin based fungicides should not be applied on wheat from the boot stage and later.

Seed wheat fields look good and half have had a fungicide application. The window for planting spring cereals in southern Ontario has now passed. A significant proportion of the Kansas wheat crop was devastated over the weekend due to snow, flooding and severe storms. It caused a bump in prices.

Corn: The area from London west is about 5 to 10% planted, likely on the lower end of the range. Chatham-Kent is about 20 to 25% planted mainly in an area from Chatham to Dresden to Ridgetown to West Lorne, with many growers planting up to the rain. Some corn planted April 18th is just poking through the soil. A few corn plots were planted. The crop that was planted before the rain was planted into good soil conditions. The rain this past weekend (April 30-May 1) is not ideal but the corn will likely be fine. Following the expected heavy rains of May 4-7, corn fields should be assessed. Some corn was planted in the Blenheim area on the clays no-till and tilled. Some U.S. agronomists are promoting planting corn 2.5” deep. A small group discussed this after the meeting and felt that 1.5” to 2” is where corn should be planted. In Essex County most of the growers are being patient and waiting until it is fit. Some have had questions about switching to earlier maturing hybrids. It is too early to have that conversation yet. It will be at least 2 weeks before seed corn is planted. Corn planted on lighter sand soils followed by cold wet weather will not be a big concern from cold inhibition. There could be a possible interaction with some herbicides.

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.

Weed Control: The most common question Peter Sikkema has been asked recently is about glyphosate resistant Canada fleabane control. He recommends a pre plant application in corn of glyphosate plus Integrity, Callisto + atrazine, Marksman or Banvel. In soybeans Eragon with the addition of metribuzin gives the best control. Use Infinity in wheat.

Applying a burndown with 28% N will probably reduce the efficacy so make two trips or increase the rate of glyphosate. 28% will burn the leaf and reduce the herbicide uptake so need to use maximum rate.

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

Brittany Hedges from Harrow, Ontario is a 2nd year MSc student with Peter Sikkema studying the control of Canada fleabane and waterhemp in Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans. Her research showed that as Canada fleabane increases in height control decreases. Conversely control of waterhemp was better with later application, likely because waterhemp continues to germinate so more plants would have been sprayed.

Lauren Benoit is a new Peter Sikkema graduate student looking at control of glyphoste-resistant waterhemp in corn. We’re going to be looking at both pre- and post- options as well as Group 27s tank-mixed with atrazine. In the fall, Lauren will be doing some survey work to record it’s distribution across SW Ontario.

Andrea Smith is starting her first season of field research for her MSc. with Dr. Peter Sikkema. Her project is focused on weed management in isoxaflutole resistant soybean. This work will help to develop best management practices for Balance GT soybean in Ontario.

Matthew Stewart is new grad student working with Dave Hooker (see cover crop section below).

Crop Insurance Report:  Almost 6900 acres of winter wheat have been reported damaged to date. The bulk of damaged acres is in Essex on clays, due to it being wet in fall and there is some in Lambton. The majority of the damage was reported due to excess rain (69%) and winter kill (25%). The reseeding benefit for corn is $117, soybeans $80, wheat $100, and organic wheat is $120.

Horticultural Crops: 75% of sugarbeets are planted compared to 45% in US for Michigan Sugar. The companies are holding off tomatoes until the 9th or 10th of May weather permitting. They were originally targeting May 6th. Chlorthalinol will likely tight this year, last year mancozeb was in short supply but don’t know this year. Some growers have put on pre plant incorporated herbicide as it was picked up on the spray record app. Sugarbeets planted 2 weeks ago have emerged. They were up in a week, stands look good. Wet weather is not a problem as long as it doesn’t dry out and form a crust. Sweet corn planted under plastic is just poking through.

Dry Beans: Chris Gillard is researching different market classes to provide information to growers to make decisions on different classes, azuki to food grade soybeans, navy, and black for comparisons. The price of dry beans is up some to compete with $13 soybeans.

Cover Crops:

Matt Stewart is a new grad student working with Dave Hooker and Bill Deen. He is working on a new project studying long term effects of cover crops 2 crop rotations (corn-soybean-wheat and corn-soybean) and planted in 2 tillage systems at Ridgetown and Elora. There are 6 different cover crop treatments in the corn-soy-wheat rotation, and also 2 treatments in the corn-soy rotation.  The sites will aim to last for over 20 years.

There should not be a concern with buckwheat going to seed in a cover crop mixture. Rye is not difficult to control. Annual ryegrass should be controlled early in the spring before it starts to elongate.

Industry News: It is hoped that Enlist corn will receive full European approval later this year and soybeans after that. Monsanto has backed out of selling Precision Planting to John Deere.

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 16, 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
Summit on Canadian Soil Health 2017 – August 22 & 23, Guelph

Table 1 – Comparison of Temperature and Rainfall in Ridgetown, Ontario for 2016 and 2017 (2017 Forecast in grey) (Source: Dr. Dave Hooker)

2016   2017
Tmax (°C) Tmin (°C) Rain (mm) Tmax (°C) Tmin (°C) Rain (mm)
14-Apr 10.9 -2.0 14.9 3.1
15-Apr 18.4 -0.3 25 7.6 1.4
16-Apr 20.7 5.5 23.6 13.7
17-Apr 21.5 1.8 17.8 2.3
18-Apr 25.0 2.9 12.6 1.8
19-Apr 16.5 2.8 23.6 7.6 4.4
20-Apr 16.7 1.2 10.4 6.8 8.2
7-day Ave 18.5 1.7     18.3 6.1  
21-Apr 14.8 9.2 2.6 12 5.9
22-Apr 16.9 3.8 13.4 0.7
23-Apr 14.2 1.1 18 -2.7
24-Apr 16.2 -2.0 20.3 0.2
25-Apr 13.7 6.5 16 8.7 0.4
26-Apr 7.7 5.5 12.6 18.4 9
27-Apr 11.6 -0.6 0.2 23.9 10.9 0.8
7-day Ave 13.6 3.4     17.4 4.7  
28-Apr 10.0 3.9 14.8 5.6
29-Apr 10.4 3.4 6.6 12.8 5.8 0.4
30-Apr 11.4 0.3 2.8 11.4 5.7 15.2
01-May 12.5 7.7 5.4 18 8 9.8
02-May 11.0 5.0 8.6 10.2 6.4
03-May 15.2 2.1 15 3
04-May 15.5 7.6   8.3 4.8 24.2
7-day Ave 12.3 4.3     15.3 5.1  
05-May 17.5 5.3 9 7 33.3
06-May 21.3 3.1 8 5 6.8
07-May 18.1 4.3 0.2 9 1
08-May 17.4 0.4 9 2
09-May 15.9 0.1 11 5
10-May 12.3 3.6 0.4 12 6
11-May 18.9 11.1 13 8 0.4
7-day Ave 17.3 4.0   10.1 6.1  
12-May 21.5 10.2 8.4 15 10 4.9
13-May 20.3 12.7 2.8 14 9 16.1
14-May 12.9 4.7 4.8 15 7 8
15-May 8.0 0.7 0.2 14 8 1.7
16-May 17.8 0.7 0.2 15 10
17-May 16.8 7.1 0.2 16 11 3
18-May 17.3 1.6 17 13 13.3
7-day Ave 16.4 5.4   15.1 9.7  
19-May 19.4 1.6 20 13 0.5
20-May 20.5 3.4 20 8
21-May 21.0 9.4 20 7
22-May 20.3 5.9 21 8
23-May 25.3 3.8 21 9
24-May 28.7 6.3 19 9
25-May 30.2 13.9 19 9
7-day Ave 23.6 6.3   20 9