Winter wheat has headed, however some areas are behind in terms of growth stage. On the south shore of Lake Ontario where cool winds are more frequent, wheat is up to 2 weeks behind other areas of the region. A comment was made that while a lot of wheat is quite variable, tiled ground looks somewhat better.
Essentially all intended fungicide applications have been completed in winter wheat in the region. Some acres did not receive a fungicide to control stripe rust and are suffering, and it is expected those acres may lose 30 to 40 bu/ac.
Armyworm is being found in some fields, and scouts are watching for the pest. But up to the time of the meeting there were very few, if any, cases where the armyworm had reached threshold. Remember to keep water volumes high if spraying for armyworm for improved efficacy; 20 gallons at minimum.
Soybean planting was near completion at the time of the meeting, with approximately 10% left to plant. Planting conditions now are ideal, and if the rain holds off a few days more there should not be any acres left unseeded. Some replanting has occurred, and some have gone back into soybean fields to add more seed to thin stands. Agronomists with experience on the clay grounds of the region commented that soybean stands of about 120,000 plants may be sufficient in some cases, but if many of the plants leafed out underground, are looking yellow, and/or have some insect damage on tough clay conditions it may be better to replant. Stressed out soybean plants may not have much vigour during vegetative growth. Consider the health of the existing plants as well as the population when making a decision.
There continues to be discussion about the potential for mistakes and drift issues under the Xtend system. Ensure you have taken in all aspects of the agronomics and precautions under the system. As a reminder, sprayers need to be outfitted with the proper nozzles to reduce drift. And – getting back to basics – regular glyphosate tolerant beans will not emerge if the Xtend burndown was applied pre-plant.
The past week or more was spent planting as well as replanting. Up to 75% of intended corn acres have been planted, and by June 12 most had stopped planting corn. In many areas corn planted May 18-24th looks tough; there was a lot of rain through that period. Replanting was occurring last week, particularly in fields that may have initially been worked too wet. Corn planted in the past week or so is looking healthier than the corn planted earlier. Corn seed rotted in areas with standing water. It was stated that this year the Niagara peninsula saw the most corn replanting the group could remember, since sometime in the late 80’s. Some farmers chose to replant first then spray off the emerged corn.
Farmers have had questions about the safety of herbicide applications in the past couple weeks, and have seen some herbicide flash after application. If the crop is stressed it may show some damage. After the 4 leaf stage the corn cuticle starts to thicken, but cloudy days leading up to the hot, sunny conditions of last week may have left the cuticle somewhat thin. It may have been better to wait a few days, or to spray in the early morning or evening, than to apply herbicides in very hot conditions (e.g. 30° C). Higher water volumes may also buffer potential damage, as well as provide superior coverage of weeds.
For both corn and soybeans, seed corn maggot has been observed, particularly on untreated seed. Sandy loam soils seem to have the most seed corn maggot issues. Both crops are subject to multiple stresses, and grubs and wireworms are also contributing to thin stands. In some fields, particularly where herbicide flash is visible on the plants, it is difficult to know the primary issue on poor germination and poor plant health; some feel insects are the bigger part of the problem.
Also, both crops require herbicide re-sprays in some fields. Early burndown treatments and late planting has left many fields looking weedy. And some fields sprayed at the end of May might not have had enough rain for good activity of the herbicides. Grass escapes seem to be common.
This was the last meeting for the Simcoe group. Best of luck with the rest of the season, and thanks to everyone who contributed and generously covered the cost of breakfasts.