Progress was made over the last week in areas with lighter textured soils. Those areas now have upwards of 80% of their intended corn acres planted. However, regions with heavier textured soils such as Lambton, Essex, Niagara and Middlesex have 30% of their corn acres planted. Overall, ~60% of the intended corn acres are planted in the province. With continued rainfall this week, growers are continuing to switch to shorter season hybrids or are switching their intended corn acres to soybeans. Some growers looking to plant corn for silage are now opting to switch to other options such as sorghum. The earliest planted corn is now at the 1-2 leaf stage.
Western bean cutworm (WBC) is being reported in fields with heavy chickweed pressure. WBC trapping should begin in early June. Those setting up trap sites are encouraged to include the traps on the Great Lakes and Maritimes Pest Monitoring Network at: https://arcg.is/0K5rnG. More resources on WBC can be found at www.FieldCropNews.com.
Little progress has been made on soybean planting with ~10% of acres estimated to be planted across the province. Those earliest fields planted are now at the hook stage. Seeding rates should now be increased by 10% to help compensate for plants with fewer pods. After June 15th rates should be bumped up by another 10%.
Weed control will continue to be a challenge for those fields with heavy fleabane pressure as rosettes are getting large and bolting is beginning. Weed control during the early stages of soybean growth will be critical. Those fields planted to IP soybeans that did not receive a burndown have no options for effective control of Canada fleabane post emergence.
Winter wheat is beginning to head out in the furthest advanced fields and will be ready for T3 fungicide applications by the end of the week. Given the continued wet conditions, the risk for FHB is expected to be high. If a susceptible variety was grown or if the crop was planted after corn or wheat, the risk is even greater and a T3 fungicide application is recommended. Please refer to the DONcast model to assess the risk of your winter wheat field at http://www.weathercentral.ca/.
Timing in many stands will be difficult due to the lack of uniformity in fields. While some of the plants, tillers in particular, may be behind the optimal time, applying a fungicide when most of the field is at the correct stage is the best option. Once 75% of the heads on the main stem reach GS59 (head emergence complete) this is known as “day 0”. The optimum fungicide application timing is shortly after this on “day 2” when pollination begins, and anthers are visible on the middle of the wheat head. Two fungicide applications are not recommended as they are generally not economical, particularly in those fields with low yield potential.
There was a big push to get spring cereals planted over the last 10 days. Seed dealers are reporting very few seed returns as producers are in need of alternative forages. Spring cereals are now at the 1st leaf emerged to second leaf unfolded stage (GS10-12) in many areas.
Winter wheat and spring cereal fields could be at risk of cereal leaf beetle and true armyworm infestations which tend to be more prevalent following a cool, wet spring. This year poses a risk as there are fewer fields for them to feed on. Be on the lookout for signs of larvae or feeding damage when scouting. More information on scouting guidelines and control options are available on www.FieldCropNews.com .
Edible bean planting has started on lighter textured soils. It is anticipated that the remaining acres will be planted over the next week or so. Adzuki beans are the latest to mature so should be planted as soon as possible. Cranberry beans have the shortest maturity and should be planted last.
Approximately 50% of the intended canola acres have been planted. It is recommended that if canola is not planted by the end of the week (June 7th) to switch to another crop as harvesting into September-October can be a challenge. Swede midge and flea beetles have been reported in some fields, so growers should continue to scout and be prepared to manage as needed.
First cut has begun in some regions as growers are getting short on feed supply and grasses mature. With the significant amount of winterkill in alfalfa this year growers continue to plant alternative forages for feed including oat/pea mixes and sorghum-sudangrass. In some cases, growers are opting to plant more corn silage where conditions allow to boost forage inventories.
Alfalfa weevil has been reported in alfalfa stands (figure 1). It is expected that this may be a result of a delay in forage cutting this season, so growers should continue to monitor their stands.
Figure 1: Alfalfa weevil feeding in a mature alfalfa stand. Larvae initially feed within the leaf buds and then move to the tips of the plant. Damage starts out as pinholes and progresses to larvae feeding between the leaf veins.
With the difficultly of applying manure this spring, producers may be tempted to push to apply higher rates to harvested forage fields. Typical rates are between 3,500-4,000 gallons per acre to avoid damage to new growth. Manure application should occur shortly after harvest so that tanker wheel damage to crowns is minimized. Taking a sample of manure at the time of spreading is recommended.