2017 Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes – June 13, 2017

Breakfast Sponsor: Thanks from the group to “Michigan Sugar – Wayne Martin”

Quotes of the week – It was a stellar morning for great quotes.  Here is a selection of some of the ones we can remember!

“The coffee shop should only be drive-thru in the spring – Al McCallum

“Good thing about mistakes is that they only last a year” – Al McCallum

“My corn is welded in the ground” from a grower as told by Roger Bourassa in reference to planting corn into unfit conditions.

Synopsis: Although we had a wet spring many areas could use a rain particularly in fields that have been planted in the last two weeks.  Corn planting is complete with the majority of the crop now between 7- to 8 leaf stage.  Initial soybean planting is complete with most of the crop at the 1st trifoliate stage.  There have been a number of replants due to crusting, heavy rainfall events just after planting and herbicide injury.  Bean leaf beetle and seed corn maggot have been a concern in a number of fields.  T3 fungicide applications have now wrapped up in winter wheat.  Stripe rust continues to be an issue in some fields.  Edible bean planting is now 95% complete with the remainder expected to be planted this week.  The tomato and sugerbeet crops continue to look good with pea harvest expected to begin this weekend.

Corn: There have been minimal corn replants to date.  Corn that was planted earlier into ideal conditions appears to be thriving in this heat while fields that were planted two weeks ago are suffering due to lack of moisture.  The majority of the crop in the area is at the 5-8 leaf.  There are some challenges with compaction and uneven stands in fields that were planted in unfit conditions.  There have also been reports of fields having some lower populations due to cold inhibition.  Seeds in these fields took on cold water and then were not able to develop shoots.  This symptomology appears to be variety specific.  Some rootless corn syndrome has been observed (Alvinston/Noth Kent) for some hybrids due to shallow planting and the early saturated soil conditions. There has been an uptake in sulphur applications in corn this year as sulphur deficiency symptoms are appearing in many fields especially in fields that received all their nitrogen up front.  The warm weather is expected to help elude some of this deficiency.

The labs continue to report lower soil nitrate levels compared to previous years.  OMAFRA Field Crop staff been tracking soil nitrate levels across the province and have found similar results.  Results will be posted at Weathercentral.ca under “Corn – GFO Nitrogen Research” (http://bit.ly/1rd6z3F) as they are made available.  Where soil nitrate levels have been found to be low, growers are putting on 20-30 lbs more nitrogen.  About 50% of sidedressing in the area is now complete.  There has been an increased uptake in 28% at side dressing as growers are seeing a benefit to splitting their nitrogen.

Soybeans:  Soybeans in the area are at the 1st trifoliate stage.  There have been a number of replants in some areas.  Replants were reported in the Dresden area due to heavy rainfall events right after planting.  In Essex it is estimated that 20-25% of soybeans were replanted due to crusting.  There are also reports of Group 14 herbicide injury in some fields where the roots appear to be dampened off or have a rotting appearance.  There have also been reports of injury in fields that received 2,4-D 10 days prior to planting.

Winter Wheat:  Fungicide applications for fusarium head blight have wrapped up in the area.  There continues to be heavy stripe rust pressure in many areas, particularly in fields with susceptible varieties that did not receive a fungicide application this year.  Some of the moderately resistant varieties are also showing increased pressure due to the disease load.  If you are looking to apply a fungicide to control stripe rust at this time follow the label and be aware of any pre-harvest interval restrictions.  Make sure proper precautions are taken to ensure there is no tank contamination when applying fungicides at heading.  A field was reported to have herbicide injury after a fungicide was applied at heading even after it was triple rinsed.  A number of fields have been confirmed with wheat streak mosaic virus and barley yellow dwarf virus.  Remember fungicides do not provide “virus” control.   Best management practices for these diseases include selecting resistant varieties, avoid planting early and a good crop rotation.  No-till planted wheat continues to show a huge advantage over conventional wheat.  The firmness of the ground in no-till fields this spring brought a lot more functionality to carry the sprayer allowing for more timely nitrogen and fungicide applications.  It was reported that a field with severe leaf burn on the flag leaf a few weeks ago has now grown out and recovered.  Clover stands in winter wheat fields are looking excellent.

Horticulture Crops:  Overall the sugarbeet crop looks good with average yields expected.  Some fields are in need of moisture, particularly those that were planted in the last two weeks where the dry weather has created some emergence challenges.  Some early seedling diseases have been reported reducing stand counts due to Aphanomyces, Fusarium, Pythium and Rhozoctonia.  This may be the result of poor rotation and compaction.  A four year crop rotation is more likely to reduce impact from disease than a three year rotation.  Any replants must be completed by June 15th.  Tomato planting is now complete and in good shape.  Twin rows are beginning to fill in with fungicide applications expected to begin in about a week in some fields.  The warm weather is helping bring out the crop where dual injury was previously reported.  The warm weather is a challenge for peas but pea harvest is expected to begin this weekend.  Growers are reminded to submit spray records for their crops when requested.

Dry Beans: 95% of the edible bean crop is now planted with beans expected to emerge in the next 4-5 days.  A large percentage of the acreage was planted in a condensed window over the last week.  The crop is expected to flower and pod fill at the same time so there are some concerns about hot and dry weather in the first week of August.  Pre-plant/emerge herbicides were applied with no rainfall so there may be a need to get the rotary hoe out to incorporate the herbicides.  With some of the heavy leafhopper pressure reported in alfalfa stands, growers should keep an eye out for them in their edible bean fields now that the hay crop has been cut.  The edible bean crop in North Dakota is looking great but is looking poor in Michigan.

Weed Control: Pre emergence herbicides appear to be working well; however, post emergence herbicides that have recently been applied are in need of rain.  With increased use of conventional herbicides, growers are reminded to take the time to clean out their sprayers to avoid tank contamination and to mix properly to avoid reduced efficacy. It is also important to remember mixing sequence especially with conventional chemistries to avoid “gum ups”. Some corn fields planted in late April that did not receive a herbicide right away are dealing with large weeds.  There is heavy Canada fleabane pressure in soybean fields that did not receive a preplant herbicide.  As a result there continues to be growers that are ripping up their RR soybeans and replacing them with Xtend soybeans for fleabane control.  In some cases it is entire fields and in others they are replanting patches where fleabane is an issue.  Results from fall glyphosate burndowns have been impressive as has fall weed control in wheat. Be careful to note which fields have Xtend soybeans vs those without (report of a misapplication). Dow AgroSciences has received import approval (Safety Certificate) from China, which means they are in a position to launch Enlist Corn for 2018

Insects: Insect feeding has been minimal where seed treatments have been applied.  There are concerns about bean leaf beetle feeding in soybeans, particularly in fields with high residue.  Calls continue to come in regarding grub feeding in corn; however, it is expected that this pest will disappear with the hot weather.  There were reports of black cutworm feeding in corn but the impact from feeding has been minimal to date. Armyworm has been found in the Niagara & Haldimand regions in winter wheat fields but very few fields have reached thresholds to date.  Western bean cutworm traps are being set up across the province for monitoring.  Anyone interested in setting up a trap can contact Tracey Baute (tracey.baute@ontario.ca).  Western bean cutworm pod feeding will also be monitored in edible beans this year.

Cover crops:  A field was found to have plugged tiles from cereal rye roots.  Annual ryegrass root bulbs, volunteer sunflowers and buckwheat have also been a challenge this spring.  Growers are encouraged to take them out earlier to avoid some of these issues.

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

Peter Sikkema and Darren Robinson will be offering the “2017 Weed Science Short Course” during the week of October 16-20, 2017 in London, ON. If you are interested, please contact Peter Sikkema at psikkema@uoguelph.ca.