Ridgetown-Simcoe Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes – April 5, 2022

April 5, 2022, 8:00 am 

Ag breakfast meetings will continue to be paired and held virtually by video conference on the “Zoom” platform in 2022. The first 2022 Ridgetown-Simcoe virtual ag breakfast meeting was held April 5 with about 45 participants. Thanks to everyone who joined and contributed to the conversation.

Avian Influenza

As of April 5, Avian Influenza has been confirmed on 3 poultry farms and 3 backyard flocks in Ontario. More information on Avian Influenza and how to protect poultry farm clients is available from OMAFRA HERE as well as the Poultry Industry Council HERE.

Supply Chain

With global events this winter, there has been significant concern about fertilizer prices and supplies. Ag retailers report that things look considerably better than they did 1 month ago. While supplies will be tighter than normal, and there is some uncertainty over 35% tariffs on fertilizer originating from Russia, the general messaging was:

  • there should be sufficient product in place for normal customers
  • changes in nitrogen (N) and corn price ratios would support a slight reduction in N rate (e.g. 15-20 lb-N/ac), which would provide extra buffer to ensure everyone gets the supply they need in 2022
  • a large amount of fertilizer being used in spring 2022 would have been prepaid last fall, so corn economics still generally pencil well at current corn prices
  • the greatest challenges for securing fertilizer supply might be for growers who do not prebook fertilizer and purchase as needed in the spring, or those looking to go to alternative retailers they do not normally deal with where supplies have already been allocated
  • the avoidance of a CP rail strike is very beneficial for replenishing later season supplies
  • there may be some efforts from growers to reduce fertilizer needs via
    • variable rate P&K applications, reducing application rates in areas/fields that are less likely to respond
    • movement to in-crop N applications where rates may be reduced relative to preplant

There was similar messaging on herbicides:

  • products to achieve required weed control will be available
  • active ingredients may not be your first (or second) choice or in the form you are used to
  • glyphosate supplies look better than they did one month ago, though imports being made to meet shortfalls may not be in normal form (e.g. dry bagged formulation instead of liquid)

Assuming a relatively normal planting season following last fall’s planting intentions, there were no significant concerns over seed or fungicide supply for Ontario in 2022.


With very wet conditions this past fall, winter wheat conditions are highly variable. However, most agreed that things look better than they expected last fall. General comments were:

  • late September to early October planted wheat looks very good
  • late October and November planted wheat looks tougher, with some still just emerging (particularly wetter areas, between tiles etc.)
  • some wheat that is still emerging appears healthy
  • emergence or survival is poor anywhere water was sitting in fields, and this wheat is most likely dead
  • depending on the region, there might be as much as 20-30% of the winter wheat crop that could be removed, pending how fields develop over the next 2-3 weeks
  • some wheat will be kept that normally wouldn’t, supported by higher wheat prices, requirements to fill grain contracts, or need to secure straw
  • there will be holes in fields to deal with
    • adding spring grains to these holes is an option, but any spring grain mixed with winter wheat will be feed grade
    • if large areas are affected, some may plant soybeans
    • these areas are usually wet spots of fields, so managing in a timely fashion in spring is often a challenge
    • keeping reseeded areas separate from the main fall planted crop is important to maintain market quality

Some N applications on winter wheat have begun.

  • most applications were made when ground was firmed up with some frost, and many of these were early split applications of N+S
  • applications are expected to start in earnest once ground dries
  • while one recommendation for struggling wheat stands is to apply an early application of N to promote tillering, some growers are holding off on these applications, or delaying their normal applications until they are confident these fields will be kept.

Frost seeding of spring cereals has been occurring where growers were not able to plant their intended winter wheat.

  • progress has been variable depending on region… some areas of midwestern Ontario have reported excellent windows for planting while areas in the southwest have been more challenged
  • to avoid spring cereals flowering during hot, dry conditions which are stressful and reduce yields, growers should aim to have planting complete by:
    • April 10th in Southern Ontario
    • April 15th in Central/Eastern Ontario
    • May 10th in Northern Ontario


No major concerns were raised over seed supply assuming planting intentions continue as planned. Most seed corn is in, or close to being in the province. No major comments were made in terms of shifts in corn acres from intentions last fall.

Some guidance for making N fertilizer rate adjustments for 2022 nitrogen/corn prices is available at FieldCropNews.com HERE.


Processing of soybeans for the 2022 season is reported to be finishing up. While not expected to cause major concerns, some quality and supply issues have been noted from seed soybeans remaining in the field longer through poorer conditions from last fall’s wet weather. Some seed has been dropped while some will be offered as Certified #2 due to lower germination rates.

  • If germination rates are lower than normal, one should consider adjusting seeding rate equivalently
  • for example, a 10-percentage point reduction in germination (80% compared to 90%) would require a little more than a 10% increase in seeding rate to achieve the same viable seeding rate per acre

There was conversation about germination rate versus seed vigour.

  • these are two different qualities that have different impacts on stands.
  • one issue is current vigour tests (e.g. cold germ test) do not reliably predict seed performance in-field
  • if you are concerned about vigour, consider your general risks at planting (planting date, soil conditions, temperature, weather outlook)
  • under most normal conditions, soybean plant stands tend to be 75-85% of soybean seeding rate

Given the wet fall harvest, no-till seedbeds may be suspect in some fields (tracked, compacted, rutted). A light vertical till pass may be beneficial for such fields.

Weed Control

Glyphosate supply has been a topic of conversation this winter. Retailers have commented that supplies look better now than a month or two ago. Some comments were made from Dr. Peter Sikkema about getting the most out of glyphosate applications:

  • do not reduce rates below label rates… this is a key mechanism for selecting for herbicide resistant weeds
  • do adjust label rates for weeds species, for instance:
    • grass < annual broadleaves < perennial broadleaves
  • spraying during the brightest, sunlit hours of the day will optimize performance (e.g. 9:00 am to 6:00 pm)
  • additives (AMS or others)
    • when glyphosate is applied at label rates, additives generally do not improve control
    • research suggests they can improve control at 1/2 rates, but level of control is still substandard and not equivalent to label rates, and low rates of glyphosate are a selection risk for resistant weeds
    • lack of improved control is especially true if the glyphosate used already contains a good adjuvant package (e.g. Roundup WeatherMAX, Transorb etc.)
  • be cautious tank mixing with herbicides/groups that are known to antagonize glyphosate activity (e.g. atrazine/metribuzin, group 4 herbicides), weigh the pros/cons for selecting different products or making separate applications
  • the original niche for glyphosate was its introduction as a burndown herbicide for no-till, and it can be difficult to replace, but there are a lot of good herbicides for use in corn and soybeans to achieve similar results

For more, see the article “Optimizing the performance of glyphosate in field crops” on FieldCropNews.com available HERE.

If you are not sure about having access to enough glyphosate for corn or soybeans, consider the program of

  • applying a good soil applied residual herbicide
  • scouting for any escapes from the residual herbicide
  • being ready for an in-crop application if required

Glyphosate resistant common ragweed

  • was first found in Essex County in 2011, but has generally not spread much since
  • was recently confirmed in 2 separate fields in Simcoe County

Multiple resistant waterhemp

  • now found from Essex County in the SW to Glengarry County on the Quebec border
  • most counties contain biotypes with four-way resistance to herbicide groups 2, 5, 9 and 14


For the Southwest Region, South Central Region and Niagara Region there were a total of 18 reports of damage to winter wheat totaling approximately 700 acres. The predominate peril was excessive rainfall.

Agricorp News

  • Deadline to apply or make changes for spring policy coverage has been extended from May 1/2022 to May 16/2022.
  • Pedigree Seed coverage is now available for soybeans, spring wheat for 2022 crop year and for winter wheat for the 2023 crop year.
  • Maximum Production Insurance coverage levels for adzuki beans, black beans, cranberry beans, Japan/other beans and kidney beans have increased from 80% to 85%
  • Production Insurance coverage for production loss due to on-farm labour disruptions due COVID-19 has been extended for the 2022 program year.
  • Please visit www.agricorp.com to obtain up-to-date information.

Next Ridgetown-Simcoe Virtual Ag Breakfast Meetings

April 19, 8:00 am

May 3, 8:00 am

May 17, 8:00 am

May 31, 8:00 am

June 14, 8:00 am