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Mt Forest Crop Advisors Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes – June 5, 2018

Thank you to Marieke Patton and Bayer for sponsoring breakfast.

For the most part the rain the last 2 days has been welcome although a few areas, particularly around Dundalk, have not had a chance to dry at all this spring. Rainfall was variable; for example there was about 1.5” at Palmerston but empty rain gages south of town.  Rainfall reports range from 0.25” to almost 2” across the large region represented at the meeting.

The warm conditions over the past 2 weeks has moved crops ahead considerably, as well as the weeds. Take note of the weed growth stages and apply herbicides when weeds are small. Most crops are emerged and some acres have not had any herbicide yet. The group noted that in the northern part of the region, Canada fleabane is being found in greater numbers than in years past and the weed is currently bolted in hay fields. The concensus is that it doesn’t matter if its glyphosate resistant or not, treat it as if it is!

June 15th is the deadline to report unseeded acres, and June 30th to report seeded acres to Agricorp. About 10 to 12% of corn and soybean seeded acres have already been reported. Reporting online is encouraged.

Soybean

The majority of soybean acres are planted, although there are still a few fields left to seed. There are some acres that have not really dried out at all since spring started. There are some reports of poor establishment in fields that were not dry enough at planting. In most cases the crop emerged very quickly in the warm conditions of the past two weeks and stands look good. It was noted that growers appear to be dropping seeding rates and many are now seeding below 200,000 seeds/ac, depending on the variety. Acres of IP soybeans are likely higher in the region that last year because the premiums have increased. This requires even more diligence in keeping on top of weeds. Options are more limited with IP beans and as such small weeds need to be the target.

At the previous meeting there was more concern about dry conditions negatively impacting pre-emergence herbicide performance. Recent rains will help mitigate this issue, although some patchy weed control has been noted. The group believes for the majority of the area there has been sufficient rainfall to activate the pre emergence herbicides. However, with the warm weather of the last two weeks these pre herbicides are not going to reach back and control the weeds that have grown rapidly in the last two weeks. New weeds emerging now will be controlled but weeds which have escaped the pre herbicides will need to be scouted to determine if additional post emergent herbicides are needed. A few fields are being re-seeded and there has been just one damage report to date, caused by a herbicide application error. Seedcorn maggot and grubs have caused some damage in some fields in Wellington and Waterloo; in at least one case the soybeans did have an insecticide seed treatment.

The group discussed options for control of annual bluegrass. Use of Focus + Atrazine this season appears to have provided better control than RoundUp, although time will tell if there is lasting control. Other products mentioned to be effective were Acuron (pre-emergence and early post-emergence) and Authority Supreme (pre-emergence only).

Corn

Corn planting is essentially complete, and emergence is looking good overall. There have been no reports yet of reseeding claims in corn. The crop growth stage ranges from spike to 3-6 leaf across the region. Planting and growth may be considered delayed, but we are further along than at this time last year. Some have gone as far as saying this is the best start to the corn crop they have had in years.

There are a number of corn fields looking green with weeds. Take note of the weed growth stage and apply herbicides when weeds are small. Corn fields should be kept weed free until the V6 growth stage.

Cereals

Winter Wheat: There have been no new claims to Agricorp for winter wheat since the last meeting. On some acres that are intended to be reseeded the wheat has not yet been controlled because of wet conditions.

The difference in growth stage of early and late planted winter wheat is becoming more obvious. Growth stages range from boot to heading. Overall the crop had been about 2 weeks behind normal but it has grown quickly and the majority of acres are now closer to normal maturity on the early fall seeded crop. The later planted crop remains delayed.  Fungicide applications to protect against fusarium are being applied now. Timing applications for Day Zero +2 or 3 (days after 75% of heads have cleared the flag leaf) is optimal, but can still be valuable up to Day Zero +10 according to recent research. There are also individual fields that are showing variability in heading. Fungicide applications should be timed so that all plants are at Day Zero +1 or later, because late applications (Day Zero  +10) are more beneficial than early applications (Day 0 or prior to head emergence).

Cereal leaf beetle (CLB) is at threshold in some hot spots including St. Jacobs, Alliston and Niagara. 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. If significant feeding is taking place on the flag leaf in the early heading stages, control may be warranted. For more information consult the Agronomy Guide: Pub 811 – Chapter 15 and the Field Crop Protection Guide: Pub 812.

There was significant discussion at the previous meeting about weed control in winter wheat. The group agreed that fall weed control is superior to spring applied programs, especially where there are winter annuals/biennials and Canada fleabane.  Weeds that have emerged before or with cereals will have the greatest impact on yield. Tank-mixing a herbicide with a fungicide in the spring has not been shown to increase wheat yield in trials when compared to just a fungicide application alone. There are details about fall applied herbicide program in Tables 4-1 and 4-2 in the Guide to Weed Control: Pub 75.

Spring Wheat: The spring wheat crop in the region is now at herbicide timing. Weeds have grown quickly in the warm weather and are as big as the wheat in some fields.

Canola

Most canola is now emerged, although some planting was still finishing up last week. Planting is a bit later than ideal, but is ahead of last year. Planting in late April is preferred, because early growth ahead of swede midge emergence (end of May) reduces the yield impact of the pest. Planting into late May or even early June can also produce a good crop but there is greater risk of swede midge damage causing yield loss, and abortion of flowers and pods during the high temperatures later in summer.

The bulk of the canola was planted in mid to late May and is now at herbicide timing. The warm conditions last week were ideal for applying Liberty to Liberty Link canola, but there are still a lot of acres to cover.

Flea beetle feeding has been reported to be low, with seed treatments holding back the pest. There are reports of higher levels of feeding in Temiskaming District this week. Cooler weather this week will mean the flea beetle are less active. Remember that flea beetle must feed on the seedlings to be exposed to seed treatment insecticides. Foliar insecticide application is not warranted until at least 25% foliar feeding is observed.

Swede midge emergence was reported last week in the areas of Shelburne and Elora, and emergence is likely occurring now in all canola growing regions. Swede midge pheromone traps should be in place now and checked every few days through to bolting. Information on swede midge can be found on FieldCropNews.com Here and Here.

Dry Edible Beans

Bean planting was reported to be 25% complete at the Exeter breakfast meeting last week, but in this region planting is just getting started. Many will wait for warmer conditions this week to plant. Fields were starting to become dry before the rain, so many were waiting on the moisture. Hopefully the cool weather following recent rains mitigates any significant soil crusting from occurring. Dry bean planting will continue through the next few weeks, which is normal. The above average temperatures in May provided an early window with good planting conditions for seeding dry beans.

Potatoes

Planting was finished up last week, and growers are working now to hill and spray pre-emergence herbicides. Rapid emergence is expected so herbicides must be applied within the short window before the crop is out of the ground. Re-sprays may be necessary. So far emerged fields are in good condition.

Forages

A lot of alfalfa was cut last week on dairy farms looking for 4 cuts over the season. Earlier in the spring the alfalfa was behind normal but the grasses were advancing quickly in the cooler conditions. The heat over the last two weeks has really advanced the alfalfa. Yields were better than expected and quality was good. More hay will be cut this week although cooler damper conditions will slow harvest.

Alfalfa weevil has been found in some traditional infestation areas. They were small last week so they didn’t seem to impact first cut yields but the regrowth should be watched carefully as at this stage of regrowth, the weevil can be quite detrimental to yield for second cut.

Source : Field Crop News