Exeter Agribusiness Breakfast Meeting Minutes – May 14, 2019

Thank you to Joanna Wallace for chairing the meeting and to Corteva for sponsoring the breakfast. The next meeting will be on May 28th starting at 7:00 am for breakfast (meeting starts at 7:30).

Synopsis: Very little planting progress has been made in the region with much of the area receiving rainfall over the weekend again keeping things saturated.  Some planting progress has been made to the north of the region but growers are encouraged to wait until the conditions are fit.  As one person said “we may be late by the calendar, but we are not late by the season”.  According to the USDA, planting progress is slow in the US as well with 30% of the corn crop being planted so far compared to the five year average of 69% while soybean planting progress is at 9% compared to the five year average of 29%.  Nitrogen and sulphur applications are going out on wheat.  Some glyphosate applications have been made to those winter wheat stands that growers are choosing to take out.  Very little spring cereals have been planted.  Growers are beginning to make plans for forages as there is widespread alfalfa winterkill.  Edible bean contracts are full with a few kidney bean contracts still available.  Manure has been a challenge with some producers running out of storage space.  As the season gets going and equipment gets rolling, everyone is reminded to keep safety at the forefront.

Cereals: Overall winter wheat stands are looking better with growers opting to keep stands that were originally earmarked to be removed.  However, there were approximately 1,200 more damage reports since our last meeting.  Most of the damage reports have come out of Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Middlesex and Perth counties.  The damage reports equate to about 50% of Agricorp’s endorsments.  While there are a significant number of damage reports it doesn’t mean it will all come out.    Mid to late September wheat is now at GS32 while mid October wheat is at GS30.  Nitrogen has started to go out on winter wheat fields in the region with some fields getting their second application of N.  In some areas such as the Niagara region, nitrogen is being applied with a helicopter due to wet conditions.  Sulphur deficiency is starting to show up in fields as a result of excess moisture and leaching of sulphur.  Any elemental sulphur that was applied last fall has not yet mineralized due to the cold temperatures.  The cold temperatures have also had an impact on ATS applications, causing some of the S to go backwards.  Priority should still be made on nitrogen and sulphur applications followed by herbicide applications.  Reports of late October planted wheat still emerging in some fields.  While it took 5 months to emerge, the stands are looking good and should still result in a decent crop.  There was discussion on the yield potential of fields that have few tillers.  The goal is to have 60 heads per sq ft for 100% yield potential.  If you have a stand that has 15 plants/ft of row with 2-3 tillers you get 45 heads.  45 heads per sq ft equates to about 80 bu/ac in Ontario.  Red clover that has been seeded in bare spots of winter wheat fields is starting to come up. Spring cereals that were frost seeded in March have emerged and for the most part are looking excellent.

Corn: Very little planting progress has been made in the region with a few lighter textured or well drained fields to the north (Bruce, Grey Counties) being planted this past Wednesday, Thursday and over the weekend.  Growers are reminded to wait for good conditions.  Agricorp has had 1 damage report in corn that was seeded in April.  The group consensus was that having the seed in the bag rather than in the ground right now is much better, and that once planting starts, soil conditions should be much more conducive for germination and emergence than early planted corn.  Lots of discussion around when to switch hybrids and potential losses with delayed planting continued from last meeting.  Growers should still stick to their original plan but should have a plan B ready if wet conditions continue.  As was mentioned in last weeks minutes the planting window for high yield potential is still open.  Ontario data suggests that 95% yield potential is still attainable if corn is planted by June 1 in Ridgetown, May 25th in Exeter and May 20th at Elora.  Please refer to last weeks notes for more information: https://fieldcropnews.com/2019/05/exeter-agribusiness-breakfast-meeting-minutes-april-30-2019/.  Other private industry trials conducted over the years also suggests that if corn is planted in good conditions after these dates there is still good yield potential.  There have been questions around availability of seed that is untreated, growers should discuss with their seed dealer about what is currently available. 

Soybeans: One or two fields of soybeans have been planted to date.  There was discussion around changing varieties as planting is delayed.  If you have selected a maturity group that is suited for your area, there is no problem planting that variety right up until the end of May, or even the first part of June.   If planting is delayed past the middle of June switching to a variety that is 0.5 to 1.0 MG shorter than adapted lowers the risk of the crop not reaching maturity in the fall.  For recommendations on late planted soybeans see: https://fieldcropnews.com/2017/05/best-management-practices-for-late-planted-soybeans/   Weeds continue to grow so it is important to get soil applied herbicides down particularly where Canada fleabane is a concern.  Soybeans will emerge quickly once planted so the window for herbicide applications will be small.  This is extremely important in IP soybeans where there are no post emerge control options for Canada fleabane.  Scout your fields for weed spectrum and staging and then make the decision on what herbicides to apply.  When using the Extend/dicamba technology make sure you are using the correct nozzles to help reduce the risk of drift.

Edible Beans: Edible bean contracts are full for the most part with a few kidney bean contracts still available.  If growers are considering 2,4-D applications for weed control, it should be applied 2 weeks prior to planting.  Adzuki beans are more sensitive and you may see some strapping; however, past research has shown no impact on yield.  Given that we are quickly approaching the optimal planting window for adzuki’s growers should consider those pre-plant 2,4-D applications now.

Winter Canola: Winter canola that was planted in the region suffered similar to winter wheat with half of the stands looking tough and the other half looking ok.  Growers will be looking to get out into these fields with nitrogen applications once the conditions allow.

Cover Crops: Report of oilseed radish that was planted last fall surviving the tough winter conditions and now going to seed.  Cereal rye seeded for cover is thick and growers are reminded that fields seeded with cereal rye should be followed by soybeans rather than corn.  Corn following cereal rye is often poor.

Agricorp: Risk Management Program rates have now been set.  The spring cereals deadline for Areas B and C has been extended from May 15th to May 20th.  If possible, wait to plant until the conditions are fit rather than mudding it in.  Contact your local rep for more information.

For anyone who is interested there will be a CCA chat on Twitter Thursday, May 16th at 7 pm.  Follow along using #CCAchat.

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