Oct. 1, 2014, Ont. – Current weather conditions may necessitate some very limited tillage for winter wheat, says Peter Johnson of OMAFRA.
Soybean harvest has now started on short season varieties. Yield reports have been positive ranging from 45 - 70 bu/ac. Depending on the region, most fields still need another 7 - 14 days to dry down. Harvest losses and mechanical damage may be high when moisture drops below 12 per cent. A loss of just 4 beans per square foot represents a loss of 1 bu/ac. The vast majority of fields are now mature enough that a frost will not impact yield. Frost damage in the middle of September in northern areas and eastern Ontario has lowered yield potential in affected fields. Many fields in those areas were approaching physiological maturity (one pod has changed colour, or about 50% leaf yellow), so yield losses and green seed will be minimal. However, fields that were not mature will have green seed in the sample. Fields harvested to date in affected areas have not had as much green seed as initially expected, although there are some reports of “hilum bleeding”. If soybean yields are well below expectations without any obvious cause, send a soil sample to a lab to check for soybean cyst nematode (SCN). This information will help in future management strategies.
Winter wheat planting continues as bean harvest permits. Soils have been slow to dry in many areas, causing difficulty planting into good conditions. When soils remain wet, vertical tillage is a good option to speed planting. Every day of planting delay reduces yield potential by about 1 bu/ac. Opening the soil up, followed by a few hours of sun, is an excellent option if needed. Avoid significant tillage, as loose soils are more prone to sit saturated if rains return, resulting in root disease and seedling death. While most growers would prefer to no-till wheat, current weather patterns may necessitate some very limited tillage. Seeding depth of winter wheat should never be less than 1 - 1.25”. Remember that edible bean fields harvested with a puller will settle as rains fall, with the result that seed “shallows up”. When in doubt, seed 1?4” deeper, not shallower.
Sunny and warm weather has allowed 40 - 50 per cent of dry beans to be harvested during the past week. Harvest of cranberry beans is over 80 per cent complete; white and black beans 50 - 60 per cent complete; and otebos 40 per cent. Harvest of full season varieties, including dark red kidneys, is just starting with average or above yields. Provincially, harvest is 10 - 14 days behind normal. Yields have been better than average, but have varied from 8 – 35 cwt/acre. Harvest moisture and quality have generally been excellent. Adzuki bean harvest has started with poor yields and quality reported for fields affected by bacterial brown spot. Pre-harvest herbicide activity has been aided by warm, sunny weather the past week, allowing harvest to occur within 10 - 14 days.
Harvest is now over 80 per cent complete and yields have been generally excellent; 1.25 - 1.75 t/ac commonly reported. Although swede midge populations were high in many areas, the weather was favourable for canola to make good recovery and yields have varied between 0.5 - 1.25 t/ac in affected areas. Green stalks, uneven maturity, and high seed moisture have slowed harvest. Swathing and preharvest herbicide applications have been good choices this year for aiding harvest.