Mount Forest Ag Breakfast Meeting – May 30th, 2017


As with previous Breakfast Meeting Notes from Mt Forest, wet weather and its impact on planting progress continues to be the main story. With the persistent rains, even when of small amount, the frequency of them means planting is impacted and the actual planting windows have been narrow and infrequent this spring. Some areas within our region continue to struggle to get any reasonable amount of crop in the ground including Peel, Halton, parts of Dufferin and pockets in other areas. Even where corn planting is near complete some are struggling to get corn in because of heavier soil type and/or local pockets of heavier rainfall.

Rainfall amounts have varied considerably over the last 7-10 days from very little in the Simcoe County area to over 4inches in Port Elgin (2 over weekend and  2 overnight Monday).

Besides completion of planting, the biggest hurdle will be the pressure on sprayers as weed and disease and possibly insect control measures will be needed in all crops simultaneously. The group agreed that the priority will be on getting to the wheat fields first. Spraying has been hampered by rain itself, then fields too wet to get into and when they are able to run, wind has been a significant problem.

There was the comment that application timing is critical given the climate conditions we are facing of damp canopies and rapid weed growth from shallow germinating weeds given moisture and heat when it comes. It will be a difficult decision whether to rut wet fields to hit critical timing windows for pesticide applications

Timing should be wheat first, soybeans second and corn third in terms of when you get to them when you can get back in the fields.

Crop Insurance

There are likely to be “Unseeded Acreage Benefit” (USAB) acres and those producers facing it are encouraged to connect with their Agricorp adjuster as early as possible and directly to discuss plans of action.

Corn planting deadline is June 10th in the northern part of the region and 15th in the southern. Don’t wait until the last minute to report your acres. Soybean dates are June 30th but work with your adjustor if things look bad as of June 20th. In considering whether to plant before field conditions are adequate needs to be considered in terms of the value of the USAB compared to the penalties which may result in added premium and surcharges associated with a claim situation from the field performing poorly when planted under questionable conditions.. Last day for USAB is June 15th.

There are reports of some large acreage farmers with not an acre planted, so Agricorp has been fielding lots of calls on planting deadlines. Those are not intended to change at this point but tend to be evaluated by Agricorp and its partners closer to the deadlines.

Several calls from concerned farmers who planted corn on that Thursday to Saturday window in late April ahead of the snap of very cold weather. In some cases that crop is not looking good. If you or your customers are in that window, scout those fields.


Winter Wheat

The wheat crop is looking great being well able to handle the cool, damp conditions in terms of crop growth and development. Much of the crop across the region is in the boot stage and several people reported some visible head emergence in the last couple of days, with expectation that full heading is coming fast and fusarium head blight protection will likely start at the end of the week into the weekend. While the crop is looking good for the most part, the canopy has been continuously wet over the last number of weeks and the fusarium threat is high. If applying fungicide, watch the application timing carefully and ensure proper nozzle selection for thorough coverage of the entire head. Timing should be straight forward as the growth of the crop is mostly even. That being said, some fields in the region are well behind and will have to be watched for climatic conditions nearer to heading date and timing for a possible fusarium protection treatment.

Fusarium control options include Prosaro and Caramba. Do not apply strobilurins at the heading stage as they can increase DON levels. Strobilurins can be used at the T1 and T2 application timings for the control of foliar diseases such as powdery mildew, septoria, rust and others.

Strip rust is showing up in more fields with specific findings this week in the Elmira and Bloomingdale areas. Keep this on your radar. Those acres that receive a T1 fungicide application are showing less presence of stripe rust. There are varietal differences in susceptibility to this pest. Refer to for the disease susceptible ratings for cereal varieties sold in Ontario. Stripe rust can move quickly and cause significant yield impact.

Cereal leaf beetle is showing up in some hot spots. It is important to scout for and act on thresholds if they are reached. Watch the labelled days to harvest restrictions on any product you choose to use. Don’t put more than two products in the tank, and split if the timings are not accurate for both target pests.


Spring Grains

For the most part they look good. Cereals are cool season grasses and have responded well to the weather conditions. Most appear to have been planted into decent field conditions so emergence and stands are uniform. Much of the spring grain crop is grown for the straw value. If the wet weather continues thought should be given to fungicide applications for leaf diseases which will add yield by holding leaves on the stems up to cutting and keep the straw “cleaner”.

The Agricorp planting deadline for the region is May 31 and based on the discussion the acres are in and there is no need for that date to be delayed.



Planting percent varies widely. As low as zero to as much as 80% but the average would be in the 30-50% range. Pockets of heavier soils have not been fit to plant between the rains. Not much progress has been made in the last week and that may be the case for this week as well. People continue to be patient realizing the importance of getting planted into good soil conditions. Soybeans are better able to adapt to a shorter season than corn, so farmers should stick with plans to plant soybean up to mid June. Where planting continues to be delayed plan to up seeding rate to increase speed of canopy closure on the later crop and as well it will force plant architecture to raise the height of the bottom pods a bit.

Some of the first soybeans in have started to emerge where planting happened around may 18-20th.

Some non-GMO (identity preserved) soybean fields were to have a preemergence herbicide program applied but unfavorable weather conditions have prevented that from happening. If farmers are faced with this situation, past experience has shown that many annual weeds will emerge around 14 days after planting with the optimum time for control occurring around 21-28 days after planting. Scouting non-GMO soybean fields for weed emergence and staging should start at 10 days after planting and be repeated every 3-4 days so that ideal weed staging (4-6 leaves) can be targeted.

Where glyphosate resistant Canada Fleabane is present in significant levels in soybean fields and you cannot get your preemergence herbicide program applied, you will have to decide quickly about replanting those fields and ensuring the pre herbicide program gets applied. Post options against this weed are limited and much less effective than pre programs.

As mentioned in a previous week, seed size is large in general this year. This has implications for planting in terms of cracked seed, and other damage in the planter if not adjusted for this seed size. It also means that seed quality and availability is a bit challenged especially for some areas, so if a possible replant or change in maturity is on your mind, track down seed before making any decisions in the field.

On the insect front, seed corn maggot was found in the Elora area on crop seeded with fungicide only. Watch these fields for signs of this damaging pest.



While up to 95% of corn is in, there are still some acres that people want to plant, and they are looking to switch maturity,  especially where corn silage is the target. Some of the remaining intended corn acres are going to soybeans or edible beans but you have to make sure you can get seed.  There are some acres of replant in the south part of the region because of heavy washout rains that hit hard. Those acres have to go back into corn because of livestock feed needs, so will be planted as soon as they can access fields.

A lot of the corn regardless of planting date over the last month emerged last week and currently most is in the spike to 2 leaf stage (VE-V1). Stands for the most part look even and uniform. If corn went in too wet it will be another 3 weeks or so before the side wall compaction smearing shows itself. The continued rains have hidden a lot of “sins” to this point so we may see some things turn tough if there is a reasonably long dry period. As well on some heavier textured soils in the area, the soil was so wet that the planter closing wheels were not working well and the trench was not closed sufficiently. This may still dry out and impact stands if those roots don’t get themselves anchored quickly.



The alfalfa tends to be short but there is lots of volume present so yields should be reasonable and quality good if you can work around the rains. Not much cut in the area yet but has started south and west. Alfalfa weevil is at threshold levels in some areas, east and south, where both spraying and cutting are happening. Keep an eye out for them, and at this point, cutting will be the best and most timely option.



Appears that 75-80% of intended acres have been planted. The window for ideal planting dates for canola has closed.  Planting date is delayed but swede midge have been found at threshold levels in Timiskaming and  adults have been found in some areas within this region. With the later planting some growers don’t have their traps out yet so they are encouraged to do that asap. Swede midge insecticide timing is targeted for 7 leaf stage, 5 at the earliest where 20 adult swede midge have been trapped. This is usually followed with a second application 10 days later if 5 or more adults are found in traps after the first insecticide application . Swede midge damage comes from egg laying and larval feeding in the bud, so timing is most critical relative to the crop maturity.

Some canola is emerged and currently sits about the cotyledon stage. Currently flea beetle numbers are low but with cooler conditions and slow emergence there is some concern of the seed treatments breaking early so keep an eye on this pest. Flea beetles are most damaging at this cotyledon stage so scouting diligence is important now. Like with other crops, weed control is top of mind. On Liberty there is a label flexibility for up to two 1L/ac applications for the season. Biggest concern is lamb’s-quarters in terms of efficacy if it gets a bit large. To maximize control of lamb’s-quarters stay with the highest rate of Liberty and apply during the day (provided wind speeds are acceptable) and before this weed gets beyond the 6-8 leaf stage.


Edible Beans

Some planting has just started but the majority of acres still in the bag. Waiting on both completion of corn and soybean planting and better soil conditions in general. In general June 1st is the ideal planting date for edible beans, so there is no rush to plant yet. The biggest concern looking forward into the season is the pressure that spraying equipment is going to be under to get to everything in a timely manner, which is ultra-critical in edible beans.

Field conditions are critical for successful edible bean production. Patience for the ground being fit will challenge a lot of people but keep it in mind as you assess planting and field prep conditions.