Simcoe Agribusiness Breakfast Meeting Minutes – April 25, 2018

There was an excellent turnout and good discussion this week. Thank you to Brian Woolley (Syngenta) for sponsoring breakfast. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 9th at 7:30am.


There was significant discussion of frost heaving damage to winter wheat, particularly in heavy clay soils. Wheat that was seeded late is most susceptible to frost heaving. It was suggested, based on field walks over the past several months, that much of the heaving may have occurred with the cold weather in the past four weeks. The general consensus among the group was that it will be very important to walk wheat fields to determine the extent of damage.

There were reports of winterkilled wheat in low areas of fields, thought Agricorp reported that there has been less winter wheat damage so far than in 2017. The group was reminded that 3 acres of contiguous damage is the threshold required to make a claim on wheat with Agricorp.

Early seeded wheat is showing obvious differences relative to late-seeded wheat. The observation this year is that in this area, wheat seeded after to October 4, 2017 has the appearance of late-seeded wheat (e.g. less canopy, fewer tillers, etc.) relative to that planted before October 4th. The general rule of 7 plants/foot of row to provide 90% of yield potential was discussed. It was suggested that growers and advisors do counts prior to corn planting at assess stem counts. 25 stems/foot of row, which accounts for tillers, was suggested as a minimum threshold. As John Hussack stated, “early planted wheat can’t be beat!”

Plenty of nitrogen application activity has been observed in the southwest of the province over the past few days. Apart from the Essex/Kent area, however, the large majority of N is still yet to be applied. Sulphur rates and application methods were discussed. In some areas, rates are creeping up to 20 lbs/acre S or slightly higher. Based on plot work done from 2010-15, the maximum response was to 10 lbs/acre S. The spread pattern of ammonium sulphate (density: >60 lbs/ft3) and urea (density: 50 lbs/ft3) blend was discussed. Air flow application is an effective option, but spinner spreaders generally do not spread both fertilizers evenly.

Weed Control

Winter annual weeds are progressing. It has been observed that chickweed is well in flower, shepherd’s purse is starting to bolt, and Canada fleabane growth has come on in the last few days. Winter annual weeds at these stages are most likely to be seen in no-till wheat fields that have not received a herbicide application and in August-seeded alfalfa. It was emphasized that dicamba stewardship will be important this season as acres that will be planted to Xtend soybeans has increased.


The observation of water erosion and gully erosion was noted. It was suggested that wash-outs are occurring in areas with low percent, long slopes in particular. Soil is visually being lost in such cases and it takes more than a cultivator pass to clean up the field. Grassed waterways or expanded grassed waterways were suggested as one potential solution and it was emphasized that such erosion isn’t just due to “one-off” rain events this spring – it will need to be addressed for the long term.

Ontario’s Agricultural Soil Health and Conservation Strategy was released on Monday, April 23rd. To learn more visit:

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) cost-share funding to producers for economic development, environmental stewardship and protection and assurance.   CAP is a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food, and agri-based products sector and increase its competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability. OSCIA is delivering CAP cost-share funding programs to producers and associated other agri-business operations. The website below provides information about information sessions, program funding details and electronic submissions of applications. First application period is from April 3 to May 8th. Upcoming application periods are August 7th to 28th 2018 and January 9th to 30th 2019. Watersheds draining into Lake Erie have additional funding opportunities. Program for Lake Erie initiatives is called LEADS (Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrates Sustainability).

Applications for the current intake of CAP are due on May 8th. For more information see


A portion of the sugar beet crop has been planted in the southwest. Black plastic has been laid down for sweet corn planting near the Simcoe area. The earliest sweet corn was been planted almost two weeks ago in Norfolk County.

Relative to other years, very little manure application has occurred so far this spring. Some application has occurred to prevent storage overflow, as many manure storages are very full.


The following are important dates for crop insurance:

Last day to apply for or change 2018 coverage                    May 1, 2018
Final acres report                                                                       June 30, 2018

Upcoming Events

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days (University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus) July 4 or 5, 2018
FarmSmart Expo 2018 (University of Guelph, Elora Research Station) – July 12, 2018
Eastern Ontario Crop Diagnostic Day (U. of G., Winchester Research Farm) – July 19, 2018