Exeter Agribusiness Breakfast Meeting Minutes (April 17, 2018)

Thank you to Joanna Follings who chaired the first breakfast meeting and to Steve Johns (Syngenta) who sponsored breakfast. The next meeting will be on May 1 starting at 7:00 am for breakfast (meeting starts at 7:30).  Huston De Brabandere will be the chairman.  The meetings will finish no later than 9:00 am. There was an excellent turn out with many good discussions.  If there are any suggestions on how to improve the meeting such as start time, guest speakers, location, etc. please let Horst Bohner or Joanna Follings know.

Synopsis: Snow is falling today and some areas had 10 cm of ice pellets over the weekend. A small percentage of the overall wheat crop has received nitrogen. Some areas in the south have managed to get field work done but further north has seen little or no activity. Red clover intentions are up with about 30-50% of winter wheat acres in the area having been seeded with red clover this spring. Many growers are planning to seed a cover crop this summer after wheat harvest if they did not apply red clover. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) program will now include red clover for the first time. Funding is available for a wide range of projects including cover crops, erosion control structures, equipment modifications, etc. See https://www.ontariosoilcrop.org/ for more information. Little soil sampling has been done so far this spring. It’s difficult to finalize fertility plans without recent soil sample results. There is some frost heaving in wheat (5%) so good weather over the next few weeks will be important.  There is also concern over frost heaved hay stands. There was one report of an older alfalfa field where crowns were up to 6 inches out of the ground. Corn acreage will likely be the same as last year or somewhat lower depending on the region. High yields last year compared to average or even disappointing soybean yields are keeping corn intentions high. Weather will play an important role in how much corn actually gets planted. There was one report of corn planted south of Chatham last Thursday and Friday. Soybean acreage will be the same or slightly up overall. IP acres are higher again this year due to better premiums. Edible bean acres are expected to be the same as last year. Whites and blacks will be up slightly and large seeded types may be down slightly. There are still contracts available.

Soybeans: Is sulphur now required for soybeans? It’s been widely accepted that cereals, hay crops, and even corn responds to S fertilizer, especially on lighter soils. There are even reports of old hay stands (not just alfalfa) that have doubled production from S applications. So far there has been little evidence that soybeans need S fertilizer. It would be reasonable to expect soybeans to be the least responsive to S compared to crops like wheat, alfalfa, and corn due to the nature of the plant. Ontario trials conducted 10 years ago showed essentially no yield response to sulphur. Purdue University (Indiana) has recently found huge yield responses to S on soybeans. In some trials up to 13 bu/ac have been reported. However, the number of trials have been limited and in some cases were conducted on sandy soils. It would not be surprising that soils low in organic matter would respond more than silt or clay soils. Pioneer conducted trials last year at 6 sites in Eastern Ontario. Most of the sites chosen were low in organic matter. The average yield response to the application of 42 lbs of ammonium sulphate was 3.1 bu/ac across all sites and 4.1 on lighter texted sites. High organic matter and heavier soils did not show these large gains. It should be noted that 2017 was an extremely wet year in Eastern Ontario which could have leached S more than other years. These positive results have inspired a number of Soil and Crop Improvement Associations to set up trials this year to test the application of ammonium sulphate for soybeans.  Purdue, Michigan State, the U of G, as well as OMAFRA are testing S in 2018.  Chris Gillard at the U of G will also be conducting trials on edible beans.

Glyphoste Resistant Weeds: 76 waterhemp seed samples from southwestern Ontario and Quebec were tested for resistance. Peter Sikkema reported that 100% of these were resistant to Group 2 herbicides, 87% to glyphosate, and 74% were group 2,5, and 9 resistant making them a real challenge to control. Weed identification is still likely an issue as the plants look very similar to pigweed and many growers may be misidentifying this weed. Glyphosate resistant Canada fleabane is best controlled with Infinity herbicide in wheat. In soybeans glyphosate plus Eragon plus metribuzin has provided some of the best control(92-95% control). Peter Sikkema’s research showed there is a rate response to dicamba, 80% control at the 300g rate. The size of the fleabane was not correlated well to the rate of control. Full rates of dicamba should be used to control fleabane.

Edible Beans: Edible bean seed from Idaho will now have ipconazole applied as a seed treatment along with other actives. In trials conducted by Chris Gillard at the U of G this product has shown good activity on rhyzoctonia and fursarium root rots. Chris is also conducting trials on foliar fungicide/fertilizer tank mixes. With the products tested last year he found no antagonism but also no yield boost. Soybean cyst nematode (SCN) impacts on edible beans, sulphur on edible beans, white mould fungicides for soybeans, among other trials will be conducted this year. Bean growers should be made aware that edible beans can be severely impacted by SCN. IleVO seed treatment provided a reduction of up to 50% of SCN pressure in controlled environment tests on edibles. It is not registered yet on edible beans. There are large tolerance differences between market classes. Adzuki beans and kidney beans are severely impacted while whites and black beans are much more tolerant. SCN is widespread in Huron County. Growers should test all fields for SCN if edibles or soybeans are to be grown.

Wheat: Is it worth splitting N applications considering the date? The agronomic reasons to split N on wheat remain the same, it’s just the calendar dates that have shifted. However, because of the spring rush workload many will opt for a single application due to time constraints. There is considerable interest in the application of dissolved urea for additional yield.  Some growers are experimenting with 5 gallons of a 21% solution at flag leaf which would provide about 11 lbs/ac of N.

Agricorp: Renewal packages have been sent out. April 25th is the planting date deadline for spring cereals in Area A.  No communication has been given on possible extensions due to the weather. Very few inspections of winter wheat have occurred yet.  The deadline for spring coverage is May 1st. As a reminder Adzuki beans need to be insured under the Adzuki bean plan by May 1st as well.

The 2018 benefit for reseeding is $120/acre for corn and $77/acre for soybeans. All other plan details can be found on Agricorp.com.

April 1: Last day to cancel coverage

May 1: New applications and coverage changes

June 15: Last day to report unseeded acreage

June 30: Spring seeded final acreage reports due

July 10: Premiums

Report Damage as soon as it occurs.


Upcoming Event

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days (Ridgetown Campus) July 4 or 5, 2018

FarmSmart Expo 2018 (Elora Research Station) – July 12, 2018

Eastern Ontario Crop Diagnostic Day (Winchester Research Farm) – July 19, 2018


Stratford Crop Technology Contacts:

Horst Bohner, horst.bohner@ontario.ca

Joanna Follings, joanna.follings@ontario.ca

Meghan Moran, meghan.moran@ontario.ca

Jake Munroe, jake.munroe@ontario.ca