Ridgetown-Simcoe Agribusiness Breakfast Meeting Minutes – June 16, 2020

“Initial planting in corn field which had been partially replanted due to poor and variable emergence.”

Approximately 52 people attended the 6th Ridgetown-Simcoe Breakfast Meeting. This was officially the last call for these regions this spring, though there was interest in continuing on for at least one more call – stay tuned for details. Overall, discussion focused on good looking wheat, tough-looking corn, herbicide injury concerns in soybeans and edible beans and emerging insect issues. While seeding is mostly wrapped up for both regions, soybean re-planting has been occurring on clay soils, including in Lambton and Haldimand Counties.


Corn development ranges from V1 to V6. For more advanced corn, fields that were planted into not-quite-fit conditions are showing stress now (sins of planting). Symptoms such as yellowing, unevenness and spotty stands have been observed across both regions. It was suggested that although conditions at the surface were dry at planting, soil below was tacky in some cases. Dry conditions in many areas have exacerbated planting issues, with poorly developed root systems contributing to symptoms.

It was noted that previous crop is having a visual impact on corn, with corn-on-corn performing particularly poorly. Stands in compacted headlands are also looking very tough in many fields. Variability is more pronounced in earlier-planted corn, as it has moved into its rapid growth stage resulting in a higher demand for soil moisture and nutrients; this is less pronounced in later-planted corn.

Sidedressing nitrogen is mainly wrapped up in both regions. It was noted that soil nitrate levels, based on the soil nitrogen survey performed last week by OMAFRA’s Field Crop Team, are slightly above average. For more information, read the full article here. Sulphur deficiency has been observed in some corn fields.


Soybean stands generally appear to be in better shape than corn, despite some re-planting. Discussion focused around herbicide injury observations and herbicide stewardship considerations. Cooler night-time conditions, along with stressful weather conditions (high temperatures alternating with low temperatures), are believed to be responsible for herbicide injury symptoms showing up this spring where they might not normally be seen.

A discussion was had on the topic of rating soybeans for tolerance to common herbicide groups. Some seed companies are performing ratings using new tools, such as molecular markers, for common herbicide groups and providing information to customers. It was noted, however, that in some cases, rating by specific herbicide, as opposed to group, may be required.

The importance of Dicamba stewardship was also discussed. Participants agreed on the importance of continued diligence in this area. Attendees were reminded of the tools that are available to help guide spraying decisions, including the Engenia Spray Tool app, among others.


The overall mood about the winter wheat crop in both regions was positive. Disease pressure remains low. Physiological fleck is common in certain varieties. Attendees were reminded that the two weeks following pollination is critical to determining kernel number. Sunny and cooler days, which both regions have experienced since late last week, help to improve kernel set.

There have been reports of armyworm in some fields in Haldimand, Niagara and Middlesex counties, among others. There are fields that have reached threshold and anecdotal reports that incidence is higher in fields that were summer-fallowed last year. Also, armyworm may have moved over from hay fields that were cut in the last week or so.

Joanna Follings reported that winter barley plots across the province, including those in Lambton, Waterloo and at Ridgetown, are looking very good this year. Weather conditions have been favourable for the crop.

There have been a small number of reports of drought-stressed winter wheat in regions that have missed rains.


Other comments on insects included the following:

  • Ohio is reporting armyworm infestations. Infestations have also been reported in wheat in Ontario (see above). The focus for armyworm scouting at this point should be cereals and forages. The potential for damage in many parts of the province is greater for spring cereals, given that winter wheat is already part way through grain fill.
  • Traps were recently deployed for armyworm, black cutworm, corn earworm, and western bean cutworm
  • Growers are reminded to order and set up western bean cutworm traps as soon as possible
  • Potato leafhopper is a concern. Attendees were reminded to scout re-growth in hay fields shortly after cutting.


Dr. Peter Sikkema reflected on the past number of years of research on herbicide efficacy on multiple-resistance Canada fleabane and Waterhemp. He emphasized that weed control is variable from field to field and year to year. In general, he has found Group 27 herbicides to work very well in corn (e.g. Lumax and Acuron, pre-emerge, as well as Integrity). In Identity Preserved or Roundup Ready soybeans, he has found glyphosate-Eragon-Sencor-Merge to be most effective. Despite the variability, he suggested that these are the most effective herbicides, year-in and year-out.

Agricorp Report: Leon to provide

Agricorp is reminding growers about next week deadlines.

  1. Agricorp is encouraging producers to report acres online by the upcoming deadline Tuesday, June 30. Here is a link to the online reporting page. https://www.agricorp.com/en-ca/News/2020/Pages/OLAR-CurrentChallengesFarmersUrgedToReportAcresOnline.aspx


  1. A new overview of AgriStability support is on the Agricorp website. We encourage producers that are new to AgriStability, rejoining or already enrolled to check out the slide show on our website that provides an overview of how the program works and the benefits of participation. Farmers interested in signing up or rejoining AgriStability now have until Friday July 3, 2020 to enroll and pay their fee. https://www.agricorp.com/en-ca/News/2020/Pages/Agricorp-UnderstandingAgriStabilitySlideShow.aspx

Diagnostic Days

A plan to deliver virtual Diagnostic days across the province is currently being developed. Once the details have been finalized more information will be shared.