Across much of Ontario major crops and forages are progressing well. Evidence of moisture stress is present on various crops, but some relief came over the period of June 11-14th with scattered rainfall periods. Keeping appraised of incoming rainfall is at the back of everyone’s mind. Be aware of various networks and stations where weather data can be accessed:
- Agricorp (months of Apr-Aug only) – http://bit.ly/AgricorpForageRainfall
- Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) – https://www.cocorahs.org/
- Davis Weather App (Android and Apple)
- Instant Weather App (Android and Apple) – Home (instantweatherinc.com)
- AccuWeather – Local, National, & Global Daily Weather Forecast | AccuWeather
True armyworm infestations have started to reach threshold in a few fields in Southern Ontario. Scouting high risk crops like wheat (winter and spring), mixed forages and corn is recommended. More information is available in this Field Crop News article. Be aware of pests that take advantage of hot and dry conditions including spider mites, thrips, aphids, and potato leafhoppers. Check out this past article Increasing Risk of Pests for more information.
Premiums for production insurance on Grains & Oilseeds and spring-seeded New Forage Seedings are due July 10th to Agricorp.
Upcoming event – Diagnostic Days – July 5th and 6th – Ridgetown Campus
Figure 1. Bluegrass (Poa spp.) in a stand of winter wheat
Grassy weeds are becoming more common in winter wheat. There are three common species that are out in head and can easily be seen sticking above the winter wheat crop. Ryegrass (Lolium spp.), Bluegrass (Poa spp.), and Brome grass (Chess, Downy brome). Control options do exist but need to be applied either in the fall or early spring. Making note of their presence now will help with future control.
Weeds that have escaped soil applied herbicides in soybeans and dry beans are generally at the right stage for control with post emergent herbicides (< 6 leaf). Keep an eye out for ragweed control. In 2022, populations of common ragweed were found that are resistant to group 14 herbicides (e.g., Reflex, Blazer). If poor control is observed under ideal application conditions, test plants for herbicide resistance.
Across the province corn is generally approaching the V6 stage (~10 leaves) in most fields and is progressing well. Isolated reports of hail damage from recent storm fronts have been reported in the southwest.
Most soybeans are now at the first to third trifoliate leaf stage. Early planted fields are beginning to flower and progressing quickly. Thin plant stands are a concern especially on heavier soils. Replanting will finish over the next few days with most growers simply “thickening” existing thin stands. Unlike other crops later emerging seed in the same field will not cause uneven maturity problems in the fall. The “rule of thumb” for soybeans is that plants emerging three weeks later in the spring will mature only one week later in the fall. This is due to the soybeans ability to adjust to the season based on daylength.
Winter wheat fields across the province continue to show signs of moisture stress but generally are still in good shape. Recent cool night-time temperatures helped reduce stress and prolong the grain-fill period. True armyworm (TAW) has been spotted at near-threshold levels in a winter wheat field near Niagara and has also caused significant damage in late-planted seed corn in Chatham-Kent. Fields should continue to be scouted for signs of this pest. The best time to scout for true armyworm is shortly after dusk when larvae are actively feeding. Examine 10 areas of the field, assessing the number of larvae per 30 cm x 30 cm (1ft x 2ft). See the following article for specific crop thresholds for TAW.
Cereal leaf beetle is also being found at higher levels in some fields of oats, winter and spring wheat, so scouting for this pest should continue. In winter wheat, control is only warranted if feeding is taking place on the flag leaf in the early heading stages. In spring cereals, control is warranted if an average of three larvae per tiller are found before boot stage. One CLB adult or larvae per stem warrants control after boot but prior to heading.
Winter canola is approaching harvest with average disease and little insect pressure reports. Spring canola has begun to emerge in northern counties with early-planted fields at 6-leaf stage. Continue to monitor for pests, as cutworm and flea beetle damage has been reported.
Interested in participating in the Canola Yield Challenge? There is still time to apply for both winter and spring challenges. Find the application form at the Ontario Canola Growers Associate page.
While most planting has occurred, some producers continue seeding through the end of June hoping to take advantage of upcoming rains. Some emergence and uniformity issues were reported for fields planted in late May with a few replant decisions being made. Edible beans have a limited ability to branch out to compensate for stand losses. Read more about replant decisions at Dry Bean Agronomy. At minimum 3-4 plants per ft of row in a 30-inch row system is an adequate stand.
First cut hay is well underway across much of the province. Early indications are for average to above-average yields. Dry hay put up in late May has been heating in storage due to incomplete drying of an immature crop. The risk of spontaneous combustion is highest during the first three months in storage. See Field Crop News for information on key temperature thresholds.
Weather Data – June 12 – 18, 2023
|Location||Year||Highest Temp (°C)||Lowest Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Rain (mm) April 1st||GDD 0C April 1st||GDD 5C April 1st||CHU May 1st|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||27.6||12.7||24.4||237||1045||652||972|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||27.0||11.0||18.7||206||968||581||894|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||27.3||10.6||16.6||222||950||567||880|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||27.1||10.8||15.4||229||951||566||873|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||25.9||9.2||14.9||221||834||464||761|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||25.3||8.9||21.8||210||818||456||754|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||26.9||7.6||18.5||215||847||476||772|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||27.5||9.4||18.2||216||885||515||815|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||24.8||6.6||19.8||180||638||351||626|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||25.2||8.2||15.1||198||703||394||678|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||23.6||5.2||16.4||179||578||280||525|
|||10 YR Avg. (2011-20)||23.6||6.3||31.7||186||674||357||642|
Breakfast Meeting Minutes
Exeter Ag Breakfast Meeting – June 21, 2023
- Rainfall was widespread across the area but varied in term of amount during the last rain event on June 11-13. (0.7-1.5 inches). Conditions remain dry on lighter texted soils
- Corn stands are generally excellent, but large plant growth variability is now becoming evident. Pre-side dress nitrogen (PSNT) soil tests are coming in a little lower than “normal” but it is difficult to know if rates should be adjusted. There could be a big “spike” in mineralization, and we will be back to normal. The best advice may be to simply stick with the long-term plan for a given field. Side-dressing is now under way.
- Flag leaf necrosis in wheat has been observed but generally fields are doing well.
- With the dry conditions there was considerable discussion about weed control. Some soil applied herbicides did not receive adequate moisture for activation so there will no doubt be considerable re-spraying. Many fields are now at the right stage for post emergent spraying.
- Many weeds are now “hardened off” from the dry conditions. Full rates of herbicides and high-water volumes are recommended. Do no skip on adjuvants this year. Two modes of action should be considered. A lot of grasses are now present.
- Soybean emergence ranges from excellent to very poor. Stands may be acceptable in most of a given field but very poor on the dry knolls. Seedlings that emerge later will not be that much later to emerge in the fall. There is a 3 to 1 ratio of emergence to fall harvest maturity for soybeans. (For each 3-day delay in emergence there is only a one-day delay in maturity due to the photoperiod effect)
- Many fields have also been slow to emerge, and some replanting or “thickening” of this stands is underway. In some cases, there is little apparent soil crust on clay soils, but the seedlings are still “stuck” below the surface. There are a few factors that have contributed to this apparent lack of soybean “push.” There were several cold nights last week, and the rain was relatively cool. Overall, this spring has been dry. Under dry conditions cell elongation and therefore hypocotyl elongation is less than normal. The dry conditions are the main factor which explains reduced elongation, less push, and slow soybean emergence this spring. It is not known to what extent the smoke last week in the atmosphere could have impacted soybeans.
- Agricorp has now received “damage reports” on about 90 000 acres of soybeans. There is a big push to finish replants this week. These replant situations are primarily on clay soils but are not limited to one area. In most regions fields with a minimum of 100 000 plants per acre should not be replanted. Clay soils need more plants per acre to achieve a good yield (110 000 plants per acre). Please be aware that dry conditions are NOT an insured peril for the unseeded acreage benefit. The planting deadline for soybeans in areas A, B and C is June 20 and June 30 for soybeans in aera D. See: https://www.agricorp.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/PI-FeatureSheet-SpringseededGandO-PlantingDeadlines-en.pdf
Northern Ontario Breakfast Meeting – June 21, 2023
Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) Presentation – Leia Weaver
NOFIA is a non-profit organization that provides research and innovation infrastructure for agriculture in Northern Ontario. Many initiatives are underway to identify opportunities and strengthen the role of agriculture in the north. These include:
- Hort tech roadmap
- Agricultural labour attraction strategy
- Ag plastics disposal pilot
- Agri-food network expansion
Leia focused on the revitalization of the FarmNorth.com website, an ag hub for Northern Ontario regions. The site includes a searchable research database for each district and contains census stats, ag overviews, organizations, and crop research by region. The recent Horticulture Technology Roadmap created in partnership with Vineland Research and Innovation Centre is just one of the projects available to view on the site. They are encouraging researchers to connect with NOFIA to highlight their work on FarmNorth.com.
Crop Updates by Region
Thunder Bay Region – has been very dry but there is rain in the forecast. A warm spring has led to first cut being almost completed.
Rainy River Region – is also very dry and hot but soil moisture is holding well. Hoping the rain in the forecast does not bring more thunderstorms and lightning give the current forest fire situation. Crops like canola and corn are looking great. Spring barley is heading out already which is very early. Hay is in full harvest. Soybeans and dry edible beans were planted on the station but will start to suffer if the rain does not come. Dry beans emerged better than soybeans but still must find a potential market for the dry beans in the north.
Sudbury Region – Dairy producers are almost done first cut. Rain was well timed to help crops but getting dry again. Strawberry fields are ripening already given the heat and will be picking next week.
New Liskeard Region – Forest fires are close and could cause some evacuations in the area if they are not under control soon. Canola is flowering but did have some spotty winterkill. First cut started last week and is coming off well. Some flea beetle damage in canola but generally where seed treatments were used, growers have not had to spray. In general areas that were planted into reduced tillage are looking better than tilled ground in this dry year.
Cochrane District – Lots of tent caterpillar infestations this year. Fires are decreasing but it is still hot and dry, and the risk remains high.
Manitoba – Lots of insect issues this year. Reseeding in some canola due to cutworms but flea beetles were not a big issue this year. Grasshopper infestations are high in some areas and will likely be moving into crops soon.
Pests – True armyworm activity in southern Ontario so keep an eye on the north. Pest levels in general have been low so far. Alfalfa weevil has been an issue in at least one field during cutting but most are cutting earlier enough that they have avoided injury. Keep an eye on regrowth though as populations can overwhelm the plants trying to regrow in dry conditions.
Simcoe Agribusiness Breakfast meeting– June 21, 2023
The notes below reflect conditions in clay soils of the Niagara-Haldimand region:
Gentle rainfall of approximately 50 mm during week of June 11-15 was perfect timing for wheat crop going into grain-fill stage and for 2nd cut hay crops. For heavy textured soils, an ideal scenario for the remaining growing season would be about an inch of rain per week.
Soybeans – many fields had poor emergence due to tight soils which lead to poor seed-to-soil contact. Seeds imbibed moisture, but soil dried due to imperfect closing of seed row. June 11 rain helped, but many soybeans didn’t have enough vigour left. Even if soybeans survive, they will suffer reduced yields. Experience from previous years with similar conditions had results where beans left had good canopy but about half the yield of replanted beans. Many growers will replant right into their existing stand to try and increase populations.
Corn fields with emergence problems now have 2 crops – one at 4 leaf and one just emerging. Most growers in this situation will leave the stand – ranging between 5,000 to 25,000 plants per acre. Other fields – those where nitrogen and herbicides had not been applied – have been re-planted to soybeans.
Timely rain saved the wheat crop from mediocre to something better. The crop came through the fall and winter and early spring in better than normal condition. Fields are uniform and it is estimated that about 50% of fields had T3 fungicide application.
Herbicide timing is difficult for some soybean fields where stands are variable but applying herbicides to weed stage is best option as weeds are becoming advanced. Scouting fields is important for finding escapes or resistant weeds.