Untimely rainfalls have been putting a damper on field work across the province. The last few days have seen growers and agronomists walking fields and evaluating winterkill in both forages and winter cereals. While there are some losses in the region, particularly in low lying areas of heavier soils, the consensus is that the winter cereal crop looks promising. Most areas have seen at least half of their winter wheat acres receive nitrogen, with much of it having gone on in the last 4-5 days.
In areas that don’t yet have nitrogen on, there is conversation surrounding a herbicide pass prior to the N application. With the warmer temperatures and moisture, the weeds are quickly getting ahead of cereals, especially the winter annuals. Watch for nighttime temperatures if you’re considering an herbicide pass – anything below 5°C can cause injury to young cereals. Glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane and waterhemp have been found in some counties in Central and eastern Ontario. Further information on this can be found here.
An early herbicide pass will allow for better control while the weeds are small. Check out the new Ontario Crop Protection Hub for up-to-date information on herbicide options: https://cropprotectionhub.omafra.gov.on.ca/products/herbicides
Cereal rye (for either silage or grain) is showing strong winter survival across the region. Winter barley has been widely written off.
Older alfalfa stands are showing damage to root systems due to a combination of excess water and cool days. Stands that are reaching their fourth, if not fifth year in production and have been cut in excess of a dozen times are struggling to pull through, whereas the 1st and 2nd year stands are quite healthy. It’s recommended that alfalfa stands be terminated between 9 and 12 cuts, rather than a specific number of years. Scheduled termination keeps yield potential high and cost per tonne low. Fewer forage acres are being fertilized for non-dairy growers as a result of the increased cost of fertilizer.
Very few corn acres have been planted to date – approximately 200 acres in Northumberland County. This is a good year to do some side-by-side trials on farm, focusing on nitrogen rates and MERN for individual producers. Nitrogen stabilizer are also an effective way to mitigate Nitrogen losses this season (in both UAN and on Urea).
Agricorp is reporting several new grower intakes and additional acres being enrolled in crop insurance. Many growers citing that higher input costs have now exceeded their level of risk tolerance. May 16th is the New Registration/New Client/Cancellation deadline for Grains & Oilseeds Production Insurance, as is it also the Forage Rainfall insurance opt-in deadline. Spring cereal acres must be reported by May 15th. Across the region, there are very few reports of damaged or winterkilled forages and winter cereals.
Retailers in the region are feeling confident about supply across the board and their ability to supply regular customers. Starter fertilizer, bags and totes have been moving steadily, as has seed, however, there has been very little bulk delivered (beyond winter cereal nitrogen). Prices are still causing high stress levels with producers across the province. Talk to your agronomist and your retailer to put together some crop budgeting options. Many retailers have programs with various lenders that offer increased Input Loans, as well as reasonable interest rates.
There are reports of some Canada Certified number 2 (Cert #2) soybean seed being delivered. As germination rates relative to Cert #1 seed are 10% lower, added measures should be taken to adjust seeding rates and ensuring proper soil condition with any Cert #2 seed. Try to avoid planting it into cold or unfit soils.
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