Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes – April 23, 2019

Ridgetown Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes – April 23, 2019

Breakfast Sponsor: Thanks, from the group to Lisa Powers, Corteva

Synopsis: This is National Soil Conservation Week. Not a lot has been happening in the field in terms of field crops to date and with the heavy rains over the weekend most areas received from 1 to over 2.5” of rain. Wheat continues to be a concern and Agricorp reports have been increasing. As a result, many growers are assessing whether to keep wheat, fill holes or replant to corn or soybeans. Very little field work since the last meeting although some sugar beets, onions, carrots and spring cereals were planted but not much more N applied to wheat. With the potential for 30% or more of the wheat crop being destroyed there has been a significant increase in straw prices. This can have an impact on livestock, mushroom producers and others. Farmers are ready to go just waiting on the weather, but so far patience and morale remain good.

Winter Wheat: The wheat has greened up nicely and is growing quickly. September planted winter wheat still looks the best but significant dead areas from ice damage have become more obvious. The issue for many is there may not be enough “holes” in the early wheat to take it out, but it will have an impact on wheat yields. Heavy rain over the weekend has exacerbated these problem areas. Some cattle producers are seeding oats into wheat for straw. The October planted wheat which two weeks ago looked like they would make it, have in some cases gotten worse. Other areas such as London to Oxford on good untiled ground are seeing similar issues and many of these fields are being written off. Very little red clover applied this year, down about 65%. In the SW, 20-25% of the nitrogen is applied with 10-15% across the province. Some don’t want to put N on until they are sure they are keeping their wheat as they want to go to soybeans. Many growers are splitting the nitrogen as they are still unsure of how the wheat is going to progress.

Not many spring cereals planted but significant interest in Perth and Huron and further north. It is quickly getting too late to sow, especially in the southwest (Agricorp deadline April 25th). It is hard to tell how many acres of wheat will be left through to harvest. It is extremely rare to lose more than 10% of the acreage but this year it will be at least 20-30%. Agricorp has discussed initiating Stage 1 yield adjustments where poor wheat is left, which reduces the yield guarantee of the affected area to 50%. Some marginal wheat fields will be kept for various other reasons (want to tile, keep rotation, etc).

In the area 50% of growers are exiting their wheat contracts and 50% are rolling them to next year. High priced forward contracts allows growers to exit contracts with money in hand, plus Agricorp reseed benefits of $114/acre make destroying a wheat crop more palatable. Straw is currently selling for up to 14 cents a pound at auction, added to $7.00/bu forward contracts will save more wheat acres than would often occur.

If planning on applying a growth regulator such as Manipulator stage carefully. The early wheat has taken off and is growing quickly. Optimum timing is GS 30-31 (growing point beginning to move).

Stripe rust and leaf rust reports have increased in the southern US but still at low levels. Leaf rust in Kansas and the gulf states is more common than stripe rust. Wheat in southern Kansas is heading. Risk is low for stripe rust so far.

Best strategy in terms of wheat for now still is:
1. Assess plant stands and growth
2. Control weeds and make note of any crop restrictions just in case field is replanted into corn or soybeans
3. Get some N on

Soybeans: Soybean acreage will likely be flat to slightly down this year but as more wheat acres are replanted soybeans will get a share of these acres. Seed companies are getting requests for early season soybean seed so growers can get in wheat.

Corn: One or two corn fields planted in the area. Corn acres will likely be up 3 to 7 % this year. Planters are ready we just need the weather!

Horticulture Crops: The main field activity for horticulture crops occurred between the 9th and 13th of April when early peas went in, as well as carrots, potatoes and sugarbeets. We are ahead of Michigan for sugarbeet acreage in the ground. About 1/3 is planted in Ontario and Michigan is about 18%. Soil management remains key, especially for horticultural crops. A higher yielding tomato grower with yields over 50T/ac keeps wheat in the rotation, uses manure and other good soil management practices.

Mushrooms: Gregory Grey from Highline Mushrooms attended and discussed some of the issues pertaining to mushroom production. They purchase the equivalent of 30,000 acres of wheat straw each year. He is concerned about the cost of wheat straw this year. They are also looking at alternatives to straw such as switchgrass etc. If necessary, they will source straw out of province. They may have to source more out of province this year due to cost. They would like to source straw locally as much as possible.

Weed Control: Where wheat stands are poor make sure weeds are controlled. In wheat fields which had a fall application of Eragon, both corn and soybeans can be replanted this spring. Biennial and perennial weeds are growing well with colts foot and chickweed in bloom, and fleabane growing rapidly. Annual weeds haven’t started yet in most locations. Remember to use proper rates for burndowns, and target the weeds present. Dicamba is weak on dandelion in the spring: dandelion control is related to glyphosate rate, even on Xtend beans. Last meeting, it was mentioned if chickweed was not controlled last fall, spray with Refine (the best treatment in P. Sikkema trials). Refine has no residual so red clover can be planted after the Refine is sprayed.

Peter Sikkema and graduate students:

For dandelion control prior to seeding corn in spring glyphosate is recommended, increase the rate as the size of the dandelions gets bigger. Glyphosate plus Classic provides good dandelion control applied preplant prior to seeding soybean. Metribuzin-resistant waterhemp near Petrolia was mentioned at last meeting. U of Illinois confirmed that it is metribuzin-resistant, resistance is conferred by an altered target site (Ser264Gly substitution on the psbA gene). Peter Sikkema talked about a Washington report article on dicamba which mentioned public concerns about breathing the vapour of dicamba. Should cut off date for application be when the broadleaf trees leaf out to avoid damage to these trees and reduce visible injury symptoms? As public opinion increases we need to make sure we use dicamba judiciously to keep being able to use it and all other crop protection products. It is something we all should be concerned about going forward. For control of glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane in wheat the best herbicides are 2-4,D (not the best in front of soybean), Eragon and Pixxaro + MCPA. In RR soybean the recommend tankmix for glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane control is Roundup + Eragon + Sencor + Merge.

The following are brief project summaries from some of Dr. Peter Sikkema’s students. Their participation is greatly appreciated!

Christian Willemse (M. Sc. Student): In Ontario, waterhemp has been confirmed in seven counties. Multiple-resistant waterhemp biotypes with resistance to herbicide Groups 2, 5, 9 and 14 have been confirmed in two counties. Over the next two growing seasons (2019 and 2020) my research will focus on the distribution and control of multiple herbicide-resistant waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) in field corn in Ontario. This research includes both field trials and field surveys. Field trials will focus on optimizing the efficacy of Group 27 herbicides for the control of waterhemp, ascertaining the complimentary activity of HPPD- and PSII-inhibiting herbicides, and evaluating the efficacy of herbicide combinations applied early postemergence for full season waterhemp control. Field surveys will be conducted to identify new populations and sample existing populations to track the spread of waterhemp and associated herbicide-resistance.

Nicole Langdon (M.Sc Student): My research will focus on the use of tolpyralate to optimize weed control in corn. Trials will explore the effect of the addition of glyphosate on corn tolerance, the most effective adjuvants to use with tolpyralate, the effect of time of day on herbicide efficacy, the benefit of adding glyphosate to tolpyralate for weed management and the residual control of glyphosate-resistant Canada Fleabane. Weeds focused on are common annual weeds, as well as glyphosate-resistant Canada Fleabane and Waterhemp.

Jessica Quinn (M.Sc Student): I am conducting experiments in southwestern Ontario to examine the control of glyphosate-resistant Canada Fleabane (Conyza canadensis) and Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) with halauxifen-methyl, and looking at the tolerance of corn and soybean to halauxifen-methyl.

David Westerveld (M.Sc. Student): I come from Ingersoll, Ontario. I have recently completed my B.Sc. (AGR) degree at the University of Guelph and I am now looking forward to my first field season under Dr. Sikkemma at the Ridgetown Campus. My M.Sc. thesis focus has two main studies which include: 1) Determining the biologically effective rate of pyraflufen-ethyl/2,4-D and bromoxynil for the control of glyphosate resistant Canada fleabane and 2) Determining the biologically effective rate of metribuzin for the control of metribuzin-resistant waterhemp.

This is National Soil Conservation Week. Remind growers to leave at least 30% residue cover after planting. Where there are rills or gullies in a field encourage growers to consider erosion control structures. Funding is available from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership through Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association. Control ryegrass cover crops early as they are hard to control once they start to elongate. If planting corn into a rye cover, crop killing the rye 2 weeks before planting has given better results. Research has shown that not terminating rye at least 10-14 days before corn planting can result in increased root rot and early season seedling pathogens such as Pythium. In Ontario, GFO supported research has shown an increase in the number of Pythium species in the province and many of these species ae more heat tolerant which means they have the potential to infect longer into the season (up to 6 weeks).

Crop Protection Network (CPN): The Crop Protection Network (CPN) is an excellent resource for the identification and management of corn, small grains and soybean diseases, and general crop management issues. The CPN is a multi-state and Ontario collaboration of 28 US land grant university and OMAFRA Extension specialists. In addition to crop-specific publications, CPN publishes annual crop yield-loss estimates due to diseases, fungicide efficacy guides, feature articles, videos, interactive web-based tools on The CPN website: www.cropprotectionnetwork.org. Ontario’s participation in the CPN has been led by Albert Tenuta with GFO support.

Next Meeting: Ridgetown Agribusiness meetings are held in the Willson Hall Campus Centre (downstairs) at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. Meetings start at 7:15 am with breakfast and every two weeks on Tuesdays. One continuing education unit (CEU) is available at each meeting for Certified Crop Advisers.

Next meeting is May 7, 2019.

Upcoming Events

Contour Drainage Demo, Clinton. – June 15, 2019

Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days (University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus) – July 3 or 4, 2019

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

Eastern Ontario Crop Diagnostic Day (U. of G., Winchester Research Farm) – July 18, 2019

Elgin Compaction Day (Shedden Fair Grounds, Shedden) – August 8, 2019. Rain date Aug 17, 2019

Southwest Agricultural Conference (University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus) – January 7 & 8, 2020