Nitrogen applications in winter wheat are progressing throughout the province as breaks in the spring rain provide opportunities to get out in the field. Tillage and other field preparations have begun.
Winter wheat fields in general continue to look good across the province with many counties reporting early planted wheat at GS30 and some approaching GS31. Late planted wheat is not far behind and looking promising this spring despite wet conditions last fall. Uneven, spotty stands going into winter, especially on heavier-textured soils, have been or will be terminated. Establishing realistic yield expectations is important. Good-looking wheat from the road may not look as good up close (e.g. tile-run wheat).
Some applications of plant growth regulators (PGRs) and herbicides have been made with more planned over the coming weeks. Identifying crop stage is important to determine the proper application timing of plant growth regulators and herbicides so that yield potential is not impacted. When applied from GS 30-32, PGR’s have more effect on the lower stem, thus earlier applications give the best results. For help tracking the development of your wheat field, check out “A Visual Guide to Winter Wheat Development and Growth Staging” at www.canr.msu.edu/wheat/agronomy under the heading Growth, Development, Scouting. Fall rye is looking good while winter barley has widely been terminated due to poor winter survival. Agricorp has received some damage reports, mainly in regions with heavier clay soils. Note that 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. For more information, please contact Agricorp at 1-888-247-4999 or https://www.agricorp.com.
Across the province, there are very few reports of damaged or winterkilled forages. 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 or fifth year in production and have been cut more than 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 after 9 to 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 because of the increased cost of fertilizer.
Reports of tillage started the last week of April and into the weekend on lighter and better drained soils. A very small amount of corn planting was reported on some of these soils prior to the weekend rain, but very few acres have been planted as of May 3. Planting is expected to start in earnest once soils dry over the next few days. Past Ontario research suggests yield potential remains strong through the middle of May for most of Ontario (Figure 2). Yield potential may decline thereafter, with reductions occurring faster in shorter season areas.
Figure 2. Planting date vs. relative grain corn yield at three locations in Ontario, 2006-2009 (D. Hooker and G. Stewart).
Spring canola seeding has started on some fields in Northeastern regions where soil conditions allow. Parts of Northeastern and Northwestern Ontario still had snow on the ground at the end of April. The typical seeding window for spring canola is late April through to mid-May, although some have had success with later seedings in recent years.
Winter canola is delayed compared to recent years. Flower buds have formed, and the canola is beginning to bolt although it is not knee high yet in most regions. Cabbage seedpod weevil leave their overwintering sites when soil temperatures reach 15°Celsius and may be present when flower buds are present. Adults will feed on buds, but control is typically not warranted until there are pods developing on the plant. Check www.FieldCropNews.com for information on cabbage seedpod weevil.
Ag Mental Health Resources
Farming is a stressful occupation at any time. While most of us are not trained in mental health, we understand the uniqueness of stress in agriculture.
The following article has agriculture focused mental health resources to share within our community or for ourselves if needed. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to family, friends, customers, or employees to support one another.