Exeter Agribusiness Breakfast Meeting Minutes – April 16, 2019

Thank you to Mike Verhoef who chaired the first breakfast meeting and to Steve Johns who sponsored breakfast. The next meeting will be on April 30 starting at 7:00 am for breakfast (meeting starts at 7:30).  Dave Townsend 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, or wish to be added to the email list please let Horst Bohner or Joanna Follings know.

Synopsis: Most of the area received rainfall today which is forecasted to continue through to the weekend.  Less than 10% of the winter wheat crop has received any nitrogen applications and with the forecasted rain it is unlikely any more will go on this week.  Winter wheat seeded with red clover is down significantly this year with estimates at less than 25% of typical clover acres.  Soil sampling has slowly begun in the region.  Some alfalfa stands are showing signs of heaving more than usual but not as bad as what is being found in wheat.  Some fertilizer has gone out on alfalfa.  The group estimates that corn acres could be up this year and soybean acres down depending on spring weather.  More of the winter wheat fields that will be taken out will likely go to corn than soybeans (70/30 split).  There was a report of one corn field being planted in the Chatham area.

Winter Wheat: The winter wheat crop is variable across the region with “tile run” wheat common on heavier soils.  Generally speaking 50% of fields are in good condition and 25% are in poor condition.  It’s still too early to judge the remaining 25%.  There are regional differences, but the consensus is that fields in poor condition were planted late, had a significant amount of ice cover or have poor drainage.  It’s important to walk fields or have aerial footage to make proper assessments of fields.  Do not try to judge fields from the road.  Looking down the row can be deceptive.  Growers are trying to wait as late as possible to give the wheat a chance before making any decisions.  One suggestion was to wait until the day before you can plant corn to make the decision to remove your wheat crop.  You want to give the wheat crop a chance but also want to avoid large wheat root balls if the field is being switched to another crop.  Keep in mind that although very thin stands will look better as the wheat grows a thin stand remains a thin stand.  When making assessments avoid counting those plants that do not have good seed-to-soil contact as they are unlikely to survive.  Bare patches in winter wheat fields should be kept weed free.  Growers may consider seeding red clover or another cover crop in these patches.  Another option is to seed a spring cereal such as spring wheat or oats.  Less than 10% of the wheat crop has received a nitrogen application.  With the significant amount of rainfall in the forecast it is likely that split N applications will be switched to single applications.  Acres seeded with red clover are significantly down this year.  Some reported that clover acres are 25% of what they would be in a typical year.  In some cases, growers did not seed red clover because the wheat is thin, or they felt there was a better chance of establishing a cover crop after wheat harvest. Some of the clover that has been seeded has already begun to sprout.  Due to the wet fall and late planting many wheat fields did not get a herbicide application.  In those fields chickweed is beginning to flower and fleabane is beginning to green up.  There are reports of very high straw prices.  Strong straw prices as well as future contracts will likely mean that questionable stands are more likely to be kept this spring compared to other years.  Spring cereal seed is also in high demand this year with growers wanting to keep cereals in the rotation, needing the straw or using them to patch bare spots in their winter wheat fields.

Corn:  There is still some 2018 corn being harvested.  Corn coming off is showing no improvement in levels of DON compared to last fall.  Test weight and moisture is better.  Corn acres for 2019 are expected to be up.

Weed Control:  Group 1 resistant crabgrass has been confirmed in Huron county.  The population is highly resistant to Poast; however, the herbicide Select is still effective.  The mode of resistance has been confirmed to be gene amplification.  Glyphosate resistant waterhemp has now been found in Huron county near Clifford, Ontario.  The population was found at the entrance of the field giving the impression that the waterhemp may have gotten there through equipment.  Waterhemp populations in Ontario have been found to be resistant against group 2, 5, 9 and 14 herbicides.  Atrazine-resistant waterhemp was previously reported, but Sikkema’s group has found multiple fields with metribuzin-resistant waterhemp near Petrolia, ON.  This could potentially be the first report globally.

A new study found that herbicides which contain tribenuron (Refine, Refine M, Boost M, Luxxur and Luxxur M) provide the best control of common chickweed in winter wheat.

Peter Sikkema and Darren Robinson will again be offering the Weed Science Short Course on November 4-8  in London, Ontario. For more details, please contact Peter Sikkema at psikkema@uoguelph.ca or 519-674-1500 x 63603.

Agricorp: Renewal packages have been sent out.  Winter wheat damage reports have started to come in with 940 reports being made to date.  Of those reports, 733 were for reseeding.  481 of those claims came in last week with 70% coming from Essex, Chatham-Kent and Lambton counties.  60% of those reports had a planting date after October 15th and 20% had a planting date after October 25th. For anyone who is reseeding their winter wheat fields to spring wheat, remember that the spring wheat does not qualify for quality.  April 25th is the planting date deadline for spring cereals in Area A.  May 15th is the planting deadline for spring cereals in Area B and C.  The 2019 benefit for reseeding is $114/acre for wheat, $120/acre for corn and $80/acre for soybeans. All other plan details can be found on Agricorp.com.  The tiered system for the corn salvage benefit is for the 2019 crop not the 2018 corn crop.

May 1: New applications and coverage changes

June 30: Spring seeded final acreage reports due

July 10: Premiums

Report Damage as soon as it occurs.

Upcoming Events:

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days (Ridgetown Campus) July 3 or 4, 2019

FarmSmart Expo 2018 (Elora Research Station) – July 11, 2019

Eastern Ontario Crop Diagnostic Day (Winchester Research Farm) – July 18, 2019

 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