2017 Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes – May 30, 2017

Breakfast Sponsor: Thanks from the group to “C & M Seeds – Alex Zelem”

Quote of the weekWe don’t want to create a sense of panic but create a sense of urgency from Roger Bourassa in reference to the need to control weeds in planted fields.

Synopsis: The wet weather continues to keep farmers out of the fields. Corn planting is 90 to 95% complete. The corn crop has generally emerged well and the majority of the crop is at the 2 leaf stage. Soybeans are about 30 to 40% planted. The crop that is in ranges from emerged to just emerging. There are growers with nothing planted and others with 100% of corn or soybeans planted. The winter wheat crop continues to do well and is at or rapidly approaching the T3 fungicide timing. It will be challenging to apply the fungicides with the wet field conditions and challenging weather. Weed control is also a concern as growers chose to plant first and spray later and the weather has prevented that.

Corn: Corn planting across the province and in the area averages about 90%. Crop emergence has generally been okay but some areas in eastern Ontario had problems and some replanting occurred. In Elgin County a significant amount of corn was planted on the clay soils. Some farmers are done while others have not started. About 40% of the crop is in on the clays and about 80% in the St Thomas area. Corn is about 75% planted in the Ilderton area. Corn planting is variable in Lambton County; a lot of growers are done planting in the south, the middle haven’t started and Sarnia has had a lot of heavy rains. Some growers still intend to plant corn if they have the opportunity and they will shorten up the maturity. Others plan to switch to soybeans. There is some switching of hybrid maturity especially if the intended hybrid was above CHU rating for the area. If switching, choose a hybrid with a heavier test weight rating. Many growers are not making the decision to switch hybrids or to soybeans until they know when they will be able to plant. However, many growers have suggested that the switch to soybeans will occur if corn is not planted. Most OCC corn hybrid trials have been planted except Exeter which has been wet (update: planted on June 3rd). Pioneer reports that seeding of about one third of their seed corn acreage has started. The wet weather is making it challenging to get the proper timing for both parents. At this point, planting has not been delayed late enough for concern but it will be soon.

The wet weather has helped to get the crop out of the ground where crusting may have been a problem. In a few situations, rotary hoes and planters were used to help the crop emerge. A lot of the corn is at the 2 leaf stage. Corn emergence has been better than expected. Some corn is at the side-dressing stage. The April 27th corn (planted just before the cold wet weather) is looking not too bad. It took 19 days to emerge and is at the 2 leaf stage. There was some uneven emergence and about a 10% stand reduction. A small amount of replanting occurred. Early corn and late corn are at about the same stage now. One field had heavy seed corn maggot pressure with 1 to 2 maggots per seed, even though the seed was treated with an insecticide. Seed corn maggot and wireworm have been found even in clay soils. The cool wet conditions have been good for soil insects.

The labs are reporting that soil nitrate results to date in are about 60% of normal. Sulphur tests are coming back very low although the test is not an accredited test.

Winter Wheat: The winter wheat crop is at or approaching the stage to spray for fusarium head blight. Some spraying has occurred near Wallaceburg and Essex on the weekend. The wheat is coming into head fast. Some fields near Exeter are at Day 0 (75% of heads clearing the flag leaf) as well. Some wheat was sprayed with fungicide in the Kent Bridge area on Saturday with a helicopter. If the wind speed is over 12km, it was reported that helicopters will not fly. It has been difficult to get the wheat fields sprayed between the helicopters not being able to fly and the ground units having been kept out of the fields as it is too wet. According to the DONCast model the Fusarium risk is high at this time but check www.weathercentral.ca for your location. Remember the model takes into account weather forecast and variety so it can change quickly if forecasts are not accurate. Dr. Hooker explained that research in the past (using Folicur) indicated that the optimum timing for fungicide application for suppressing fusarium was Day +1 to Day +3 or early anthesis/flowering. Current research from the USA (see attached Figure) shows the optimum timing for new fungicides (Caramba or Prosaro or Proline) may be around Day +3, with slightly lower efficacy with a later application (up to Day +8-10, or 5-7 days after flower initiation), and significantly lower efficacy with spraying too early (Day +2 or earlier). Therefore, a “late application” this year may be helpful up to Day +8. Nevertheless, adhere to the timing on the fungicide label. Apply the fungicide with using backward-forward or alternating Turbo FloodJet nozzles that produce a medium to very coarse droplets. Apply in low wind about 10 to 12 inches off the canopy. For more information on the most up-to-date research on managing FHB and nozzle configurations, please review the resources at the following links:   FHB Nozzles and FHB Management. Apply when night time temperature is 10C or above. There is likely a lot of inoculum around this spring with wet conditions and night temperatures above 10 C, but weather around heading time is also important for FHB risk potential. Temperatures in the mid to upper 20C’s and frequent rains and high RH are highly favourable for FHB development. The wheat crop continues to look good and leaf disease levels remain low. Stripe rust has been found in many locations in the province but seems to be moving slowly up the plant. There is less stripe rust inoculum in fields where fungicides were applied early. The big storms this spring have not been conducive to moving spores up from the U.S. More stripe rust has been observed this week but T3 fungicide application will likely control it. A little more stripe rust is being observed in susceptible varieties in seed wheat fields. Fungicide spraying has begun in the seed fields. Weather conditions should be perfect for cephalosporium stripe in wheat (not related to stripe rust) but not much has been observed.

Kinked heads or head snag have been observed in a number of fields. This is common in the Branson variety and typically doesn’t affect yield. It can also be caused by other factors. A number of wheat fields are looking nitrogen or sulphur deficient, even where there was a full rate or N split application. It is seen most often in low areas of the field. This could be due to the crop running out of nitrogen, cool soils not mineralizing enough nitrogen and sulphur, or wet soils damaging roots and reducing nutrient uptake. Fields where N was applied later are looking better then where N was all applied up front. Fields that had no sulphur applied are showing deficiencies. Dr. Hooker explained that research is being conducted to identify nitrogen uptake timing and opportunities for N applications. Putting more N on at anthesis for hard red wheat will increase protein. Research has shown that wheat yield response to N fertilizer is likely up to flowering if the crop is clearly short of N. However, the potential exists for yield reductions in situations where the flag leaves or heads are burned from N application. Apply nitrogen at night on heavy dews and with extra water to minimize leaf burn. Research has also shown that grain protein may be increased 0.5-1% with N application after anthesis; in some cases, protein increases have been associated with lower yields from burning leaves and spikelets.

Soybeans: In the Elgin-St Thomas area not a lot of soybeans have been planted, although a few growers have more soybeans than corn planted. Soybeans are about 30 to 40% planted in the area. A few areas are 50% planted. Some growers have all their soybeans in while others haven’t started. Many soybeans have not emerged yet and others are just starting to come up. Ilderton area is about 20 to 25% planted. 25% of the seed acreage has been planted. A fall burndown with 2,4-D did an excellent job of controlling glyphosate resistant Canada fleabane.

Horticulture Crops: The sugarbeet crop looks very good at this point. The crop suffered a little bit of wind damage but it was not significant. The wet weather is helping to get the crop out of the ground. There has been more replant (about 3%) this year than in recent years but not as much as expected. All of the crop has been planted and ranges in stage from just emerging through to 6 leaf stage. There is resistance to the triazoles and the strobilurins are not recommended. Cercospera resistance to every sample sent in. Tanks mix fungicides and do not use back to back. Early planted peas are flowering so harvest should be in 3 weeks. There are still some peas to go in in Chatham area and a lot to go in east of here so they are fighting the crop insurance deadline of June 1. Tomatoes are 60% planted and range from 30 to 70%. At this point they are maybe 3 to 4 days behind normal. Some dual injury has been observed in tomatoes not a big acreage. Weeds coming so apply those post emergence herbicides soon.

Dry Beans: North Dakota and Manitoba have completed dry bean planting. Michigan and Ontario do not have the crop planted but they have a longer season so it is not a concern yet. Good seed is in short supply which will limit acreage expansion. Leaf hopper nymphs are being found in dry bean fields. For more details on planting date, please visit the following article http://fieldcropnews.com/2017/05/dry-edible-bean-planting-dates/.

Weed Control: Use higher rates of burndown herbicides as the weeds are larger. The burndown of glyphosate plus Eragon plus Merge has been good on glyphosate resistant fleabane. Where fields had no residual, the growers are looking for a program and weeds getting ahead of them. There is concern planters will get going and the weeds will get ahead of the soybeans. A few soybean fields planted without a preplant herbicide for GR Canada fleabane control had to be ripped up as there is not effective herbicide for the control of multiple resistant Canada fleabane POST in Ip or RR soybean. Fleabane is larger than normal this spring. Waterhemp seedlings are emerging. Peter Sikkema’s research is showing that cover crops are very good at suppressing GR Canada fleabane after wheat. In corn, the dicamba based herbicides are very effective for the control of GR Canada fleabane. Halauxifen-methyl applied preplant at 5 g/ha is providing good control of GR Canada fleabane. Peter Sikkema commented that Monsanto in the U.S. is linking the sale of dicamba and Roundup Ready Xtend soybean seed – making all growers who want to use RR Xtend soybean apply 0.5L/acre of dicamba on all Xtend soybeans. There are fields where dicamba is not the product of choice. He feels the Canadian approach is better. Barricade is doing good job on scentless chamomile. In a lot of fields the corn is coming up in mass of weeds. It has been observed that where a fall application of glyphosate was made, the fields are cleaner in the spring. How long does it take 2,4-D to breakdown? There is more rapid breakdown in warm moist conditions. Cold and dry conditions will slow breakdown. Sikkema’s research has shown no yield loss with 2,4-D applied at 14, 7, or  1 day preplant and 7 days after planting soybean.

Insects: Dupont Pioneer has expanded their Western bean cutworm monitoring network with 300 more traps this year. Growers are encouraged to be part of the network. There is higher risk potential this year with corn planted later this spring. Alfalfa weevil has been found in Middlesex and Elgin counties and fields have been sprayed in Lambton County. Leaf hopper nymphs are being found in edibles and new seedings of alfalfa. Cereal leaf beetles have been found in a few fields but at low numbers.

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 June 13, 2017.

Job Opportunity – Research Technician, University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus https://www.uoguelph.ca/hr/careers-guelph/current-opportunities/research-technician

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.