Frost Injury in Sorghum Species

sorghum-sudangrass after a frost

Caution! Members of the sorghum family – sorghum, sudangrass, and hybrid sorghum-sudangrass – contain dhurrin, a glucoside that breaks down to release hydrocyanic acid, also known as prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide, HCN). A sudden disruption of growth such as frost, drought or cutting, causes prussic acid to be released inside the plant at a more […]

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Fall Rest Period for Alfalfa

Key Points When is the fall rest period? The fall rest period (sometimes called “critical fall harvest period”) for alfalfa is 450 growing degree days, base 5°C — or approximately 6-weeks — before the average date of the first killing frost (-4°C for several hours), when alfalfa stops growing. Not cutting during this period allows […]

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Preventing and Extinguishing Hay Fires

Key Points: What Causes Fires? The process of forage heating up and then burning is typically called spontaneous combustion. Spontaneous combustion for hay usually occurs within the first two months of storage. Unusual growing conditions, such as an early harvest window or immature crop, can complicate the drying process and increase the risk of fire. […]

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Alfalfa Weevil

This article was originally written by Joel Bagg in 2013. It was edited May 25th, 2022 by Christine O’Reilly to reflect current insecticide options to control alfalfa weevil. Alfalfa weevil can be an issue in Ontario, particularly in south-western parts of the province. While outbreaks tend to be isolated, they can be severe and dramatically […]

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Frost Seeding Forages FAQ

Frost seeding is a popular way to renovate an existing forage stand and is most effective in fields where patches of bare soil at least the size of a loonie are visible. With spring around the corner, many producers have questions about how to best use this technique to improve their hay fields and pastures. […]

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NEW! Publication 30: Guide to Forage Production

Publication 30: Guide to Forage Production is a comprehensive guide to forage agronomy. It has information on establishment, fertility, weed management and weather stress for many species grown as forage in Ontario. It also covers harvest and storage of forage crops and understanding a laboratory forage analysis. To download a free PDF version or order a […]

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September 2022 Forage Report

Ontario Hay Listings is a free classifieds service provided by the Ontario Forage Council. Producers looking to buy or sell hay or straw are encouraged to post an ad. Bt-resistant corn rootworm is a serious pest of continuous corn and is a major threat to the silage corn supply. Work with your agronomist and nutritionist […]

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August 2022 Forage Report

Ontario Hay Listings is a free classifieds service provided by the Ontario Forage Council. Producers looking to buy or sell hay or straw are encouraged to post an ad. Bt-resistant Corn Rootworm Corn rootworm is a serious pest of continuous corn. Root feeding reduces yield and increases the risk of lodging and “goose-necking” which can […]

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July 2022 Forage Report

Ontario Hay Listings is a free classifieds service provided by the Ontario Forage Council. Producers looking to buy or sell hay or straw are encouraged to post an ad. The optimal time to summer seed alfalfa mixes depends on the length of the growing season: More than 3100 CHU: August 10-20 2700 – 3100 CHU: August […]

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Is the yield potential of alfalfa increasing?

The relationship between alfalfa breeding efforts and yield potential is complicated. While most literature on annual grain crops shows yield improvements with the release of new varieties over time, a literature search on alfalfa yield will show improvement, stagnation, and declines, depending on the paper. One of the latest attempts to discern what is really […]

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June 2022 Forage Report

South and West According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: Bruce, Grey, Dufferin, Simcoe, Niagara, Elgin, and parts of Lambton and Middlesex received average or above average precipitation for June. The rest of the region had below-average rainfall. Above-average levels of winterkill reduced yields in affected fields. Although some dairy producers cut on their preferred calendar […]

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Blister Beetles

black blister beetles

Description Blister beetles are very rare in Ontario but have been occasionally found in alfalfa fields north of Lake Erie. They are more common in arid climates, such as the U.S. Midwest, and are often associated with grasshopper infestations. The three most common species are the black blister beetle (Epicauta pensylvanica), the ash grey blister […]

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