Current weather conditions are ideal for fusarium head blight development in winter wheat. Many wheat fields in Southwestern Ontario have applied a T3 fungicide to reduce their risk particularly if they are growing a FHB susceptible variety. T3 fungicide applications further east will begin this week and continuing into next week for Eastern Ontario. A number of fields saw increased stripe rust pressure over the weekend. Growers with fields that were a few days away from a T3 application opted to wait and spray for both stripe rust and fusarium at the T3 timing. Some fields received an early heading fungicide application if they were a week or more away from a T3 fungicide application and growing a stripe rust susceptible variety to reduce the impact from stripe rust. Those fields will then receive a second fungicide application at pollination for protection against fusarium if needed. There have been reports of leaf tip necrosis starting on the flag leaf and moving down in fields. This leaf tip necrosis is likely associated with a specific or group of disease resistant genes and is the plant’s response to the presence of disease such as stripe rust. The yield impact from this is minimal.
Early spring cereal fields are at tillering and continue to look good. All weed control applications should be wrapping up shortly.
Corn planting is essentially now complete. With the exception of corn silage or some growers in long season regions, most unplanted fields will now likely be switched to soybeans. If corn herbicides have been applied but corn could not be planted, work with your herbicide provider to determine next best cropping steps. Overall corn is progressing well with a large amount of crop at the 2-3 leaf growth stage, with early planted corn beyond that. Minimal corn replants have been reported to date. Some sidedressing is now underway. There have been reports of black cutworm and slug feeding in a number of fields as a result of delayed crop planting and emergence and cool, wet weather conditions. There have also been reports of corn turning purple or white as a result of stress but those fields are expected to grow out of this.
OMAFRA Field Crop staff began tracking soil nitrate levels at a number of sites across the province the first week of May. Initial results suggest that soil nitrate levels are lower this year compared to previous years. Conventional PSNT timing sampling is being completed this week. Results will be posted at Weathercentral.ca under “Corn – GFO Nitrogen Research” as they are made available.
Soybean planting is 80 per cent completed across the province with some areas further behind compared to previous years due to significant rainfall this spring. The crop ranges from the hook stage to unifoliate growth stage. There continues to be weed challenges in a number of fields that did not receive a pre-plant burndown. Weed control during the early stages of soybean growth is critical. When making herbicide spray decisions pay attention to the growth stage of the weed as well as the growth stage of the soybeans.
There have been damage reports and replants particularly in Lambton, Essex, Niagara and Haldimand counties where they have received large amounts of rainfall and crusting became an issue. When doing plant population assessments a stand with 100,000 uniform plants per acre should not be considered for replanting. Research has shown that 100,000 plants per acre has a 98 per cent yield potential on most soil types.
On heavy clay soils 110,000-120,000 plants per acre are necessary for maximum yield potential. Rolling fields after the soybeans have fully emerged compared to rolling immediately after seeding helps alleviate stand losses due to crusting. Rolling can be up done up to the 1st trifoliate stage. There have been reports of seed corn maggot feeding in a number of regions due to the cool, wet weather. Fields planted without Class 12 insecticides that have sufficient stand loss due to certain soil insects including seedcorn maggot may warrant the completion of Inspection of Crop Pest Assessment by a professional pest advisor. If stand loss thresholds for the Class 12 regulations are reached, Class 12 insecticides can be purchased for that farm property. Contact a Professional Pest Advisor and refer here for more information. Bean leaf beetle feeding has also been reported in Essex County. Fields planted with fungicide-only seed should be scouted during the early seedling stages. Spray is warranted if 16 adult beetles per 30 cm of row are found on VC to V2 stage soybeans. If plants are clipped off at the stem, control is warranted if adults are still present and actively feeding.
First-cut alfalfa has begun in many areas with excellent yields being reported to date. Growers who applied some early season N to forage stands are reporting significant yield boosts. Alfalfa weevil and potato leafhoppers have been present in some areas.
Canola emergence has been good to date; however, crop advancement has been slow particularly in northern Ontario. The earliest planted fields are at the 4 leaf stage. Growers in the Timiskaming area are already catching swede midge at this time and are likely going to have to spray sooner than anticipated. Swede midge has also been caught in the Shelburne area but has not yet reached thresholds. Due to the later planted crop and swede midge emergence this year it is anticipated that swede midge feeding will be a significant challenge. There have also been reports of high flea beetle pressure in some fields.
Due to the excessive moisture in many areas, edible bean planting is approximately 15 per cent complete. It is expected that the remaining acres will be planted later this week once conditions dry up.
Provincial monitoring programs raise awareness of potential outbreaks, based on number of adult moths caught in pheromone traps. Adult counts in June and July can indicate the risk of larvae feeding in July and August. Begin larval monitoring after peak flowering or about two weeks after peak trap catches. Continue scouting until either the mean number of larvae per square foot exceeds the economic threshold (at which point the crop is sprayed) or until the time remaining until the crop is swathed no longer allows for application of a registered insecticide based on the allowed pre-harvest interval.
Often bertha larvae aren't noticed until they move up the canopy and are easily visible during mid to late podding. At this point, chewing on the pods causes visible yield loss quickly. They will lower in canopy before that time, feeding on lower leaves. Assessing your crop early for telltale signs of leaf feeding and becoming aware of your forecast risk will give producers time to accurately assess and time an insecticide application, if needed.
— Go out in early morning or late evening when larvae are mostly active.
— Mark out an area a quarter-metre square (50 cm by 50 cm) and beat the plants growing within that area to dislodge the larvae. Count the larvae that have fallen to the ground and multiply by 4 to get the number per metre square. Larvae will hide under leaf litter and in cracks, so check closely.
— Sample at least 5 locations (10-15 is recommended) a minimum of 50 metres apart. Do not sample headlands and areas within the crop that are not representative of the field. Use the average number of larvae at the sites surveyed to determine if the economic threshold has been exceeded.
— Scout each field. Adjacent fields may have very different larval densities, depending on how attractive the crop was when the moths were laying their eggs. Adjacent fields may also have different-sized larvae, depending on when the eggs were laid.
— For best results, apply an insecticide as soon as economic thresholds are reached. A single well-timed application of any registered insecticide is usually effective. Check provincial crop protection guides for registered insecticides.
— Apply insecticides early in the morning or late evening when the larvae are actively feeding. Do not apply during warm afternoons.
Click here to see a video of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's insect management specialist, Scott Meers, demonstrating how to scout for Bertha armyworm larvae in the field.
Over the past half century, food production has intensified to meet the growing demand. And as agricultural fields have become ever larger, more pesticides are required to enhance yield. | READ MORE
The winter wheat crop continues to grow well. The cool temperatures have slowed growth a little. The frost on the mornings of May 8 and 9 appear to have had little impact on the crop other than some minor damage to leaf tips. Fortunately, the wheat was not in head. Some fields in the Niagara and Haldimand regions still require a nitrogen application but will have to wait until the fields are fit. A number of fields with split applications of nitrogen still require the second application as well. Red clover under seeded in the wheat is doing well as there has been adequate moisture for germination and early growth. At this point in time there is marginal benefit to applying herbicides to the wheat crop. Winter annuals have already impacted the crop and most perennial weeds (sow thistle) are not fully emerged. Late planted fields that are thinner may still benefit from a herbicide application.
Septoria leaf spot and powdery mildew continue to be the most common diseases present in the lower canopy. Wheat streak mosaic virus was confirmed in Huron County. With the rapid growth of the crop and favourable weather conditions, it is important to continue scouting to determine if fungal disease infection is progressing up the plant (especially on susceptible varieties) and is critical to determine if a fungicide application is needed and at what timing (flag leaf/T2 or flowering/T3).
Stripe rust was also found in one field in Oxford County as well as another in Stoney Point (Essex County). As mentioned last week, there are large differences in variety susceptibility to stripe rust and fields planted with susceptible varieties should be scouted and targeted first. Trace amounts of stripe rust was detected when the field was sprayed on May 3, 2017. In a week, the disease went from less than 1 per cent to 100 per cent incidence and 30-60 per cent severity where a fungicide was not applied. Fields planted to tolerant or resistant varieties need to be regularly assessed from now until heading to assess stripe rust risk. Remember strobilurin based fungicides should not be applied on wheat from the boot stage and later.
Spring cereal acreage will likely be lower this year as it has been difficult to get the crop planted. If it is still desired to plant a spring cereal for feed a good option would be oats or adding peas to the oat crop to increase crude protein. Spring cereals that are planted have sprouted but not yet emerged.
The number of corn acres in the ground has changed very little in the last week as significant rainfall occurred across the province May 4 to 6. Much of the province received about 50mm (2 inches) with some areas receiving more and others less than that. In most areas the fields are draining well. Fields with less than adequate drainage or fields with poor crop rotations and lots of tillage are draining more slowly. A few days after the rain fertilizer spreaders, sprayers and some planters were getting back on the sandier soils. As planting is further delayed the temptation will be to plant in less than ideal conditions. Keep in mind what happened last year when corn was planted wet and the rain stopped. Roots couldn’t penetrate the side wall compaction and the slot opened up exposing the seed. The ideal corn planting depth is 1.5” to 2” (3.5 to 5 cm).
Chickweed and other prostrate plants are attractive for egg laying by black cutworm moths arriving on winds blowing up from the US. Trapping networks in the U.S. and Ontario are reporting a higher and earlier than normal black cutworm flight this spring. Preventative measures include delaying planting by two to three weeks after a burn down which causes the young cutworm larvae to starve, prior to the crop emerging. Prolonged wet weather like this year, reduces the chance for these preventative measures to be put in place. Take note of those fields planted shortly after burn down and plan to scout for leaf feeding and cutting injury every three to four days, once the crop emerges until it is safely past the V4 stage.
Armyworm moths are being caught in traps earlier and more abundant this year. Scouting cereals, mixed forages and emerging corn fields will need to take priority in the last two weeks of May.
A small percentage of the canola crop has been planted due to wet field conditions. Early planting of the crop is recommended to avoid Swede Midge infestations. Early planting may be a challenge this year. Ideally the crop should be planted by May 20th. Crop insurance planting deadlines range from May 31 to June 10 depending on location.
Forage and Pasture
Hay and pasture growth has been good due to adequate moisture conditions. Excess moisture has made it difficult to get livestock on the pastures and some are pulling livestock off as it is no longer fit.
The Cutworm Pests of Crop on the Canadian Prairies - Identification and Management Field Guide describes the economically important cutworm pests in detail and provides the information needed to manage them.
Trilex EverGol SHIELD is ideal for on-farm treating or for smaller batches towards the end of the treating season, and combines penflufen (Group 7), trifloxystrobin (Group 11) and metalaxyl (Group 4) with Stress Shield insecticide seed treatment (Group 4) that together provide exceptional seed- and soilborne disease protection against Rhizoctonia, Ascochyta, Pythium, Fusarium and Botrytis.
Trilex EverGol SHIELD offers exceptional germination when compared to untreated seed, helping to promote a high-performing root system that supports optimal access to water and nutrients in the development phase.
The concentrated formulation allows growers the flexibility to decrease water volume when adding Stress Shield, micronutrients and/or inoculants. This extra control allows for an optimized application volume and uniform coverage, which helps prevent product overload, allows for low seed moisture content and makes for easier flow through equipment.
For more information visit cropscience.bayer.ca/TrilexEverGolSHIELD.
For more than a decade, India has allowed Canada to treat pulse shipments for pests after shipping rather than before. But that may come to an end next month.
The fumigation of pulse pests requires the use of methyl bromide, a pesticide that Canada is trying to phase out because of concerns it depletes the ozone layer. It also doesn't work well in Canada's colder temperatures, leaving pulse producers with few options.
The stakes for the country's estimated 12,000 pulse farms are high. Canada shipped $1.5 billion worth of peas and lentils to India in 2015, accounting for about a third of all pulse exports.
"That's why we're very concerned," said Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada.
Bacon said the federal government submitted documents to India in December pressing its case that the risks of Canadian pulse crops carrying pests is minimal because of the winter climate.
"India's message has become much more firm in terms of what their intention is at the end of March, which is why we're much more concerned now," he said.
Pulse producers are now eagerly waiting for a response, with an answer possibly coming in days. But shipments are already being disrupted, Bacon said, with at least one shipping firm refusing to take pulses this past Monday because of the uncertainty.
"It's hugely problematic for the industry when there's no clarity on what the policy will be," said Bacon.
The Indian government could not be reached for comment. But a notice issued by the India Pulses and Grains Association summarized a presentation that the Indian government made last month.
According to the notice, an Indian government official said methyl bromide is the only effective treatment against pulse pests, Indian exporters follow requirements of other countries and importers should do the same, and India shouldn't bear the risks to the ozone layer alone.
The association's notice said the government official also outlined potential alternatives, including the possibility of countries submitting data proving that other treatments are equally effective, a system-wide preventative approach assessed by Indian officials, or cargo pre-inspection. | READ MORE
Why build them? Growers often default to seeding rates of 5 lb./ac. or lower, regardless of seed size or field conditions. These tools will help growers as well as agronomists and seed retailers make more refined decisions.
What do they do? With the target density calculator, users position sliding scales to determine the level of risk for various factors that influence plant stand targets. If weed competition is expected to be very low, for example, the calculator will set a lower target stand. But if spring frost risk is high, the calculator sets a higher target stand to compensate.
The seeding rate calculator has three modes. In seeding rate mode, users input thousand seed weight (TSW), target plant density and estimated seed survival, and the calculator computes the required seeding rate. In plant survival mode, users enter the number of plants per square foot that emerged along with known TSW and seeding rate, and the calculator gives the seed survival rate. In plant density mode, the calculator takes TSW, seeding rate and estimated seed survival to give the number of plants that should emerge.
Because yield potential is known to drop off with stands of around four plants per square foot, the CCC recommends at least six plants per square foot to provide a buffer against season-long plant loss.
Canada’s canola industry has a goal to reach average yields of 52 bu./ac. by 2025. The CCC estimates that improvements in seeding and plant establishment alone can contribute three bu./ac. The tools at canolacalculator.ca can help.
Because of the potential for ongoing problems from this yield robber in the future, there have been significant funding efforts from research programs: One management strategy has been to develop soybean varieties that are resistant to soybean aphids.
“The checkoff in Ohio as well as the North Central region states have put in a lot of investment in developing soybean plants that are resistant to the aphids, but now we have aphids that have overcome that resistance,” said Andy Michel, field crops entomologist at Ohio State University.
To address this challenge, researchers took on the extensive process of sequencing the entire soybean aphid genome to help develop strategies that prevent the spread and increase of aphids capable of breaking aphid resistance. Michel led the effort.
“My laboratory at Ohio State focuses on understanding how soybean aphids are able to overcome aphid resistance in soybean. Through this research, we hope to develop strategies that prevent the spread and increase of aphids capable of breaking aphid resistance. In the course of generating DNA sequences…we were able to sequence the entire soybean aphid genome,” he said. “We now have a really good roadmap for the soybean aphid and understanding all of the genes that are involved that make the aphid such a bad pest for soybean farmers in the north central region.”
The soybean aphid is now the fourth aphid species with a completely described genome and this new information will be a valuable tool moving forward with soybean aphid management. | READ MORE
Central Alberta has some areas of east of Edmonton with high numbers of wheat midge. The population has remained low in much of southern Alberta with the exception of some irrigated fields. Producers should pay attention to midge downgrading in their wheat samples and use this as a further indication of midge risk in their fields.
Over the past several years the field to field variation has been very considerable throughout the province, especially in those areas with higher counts. Individual fields throughout Alberta may still have economic levels of midge. Each producer also needs to assess their risk based on indicators specific to their farm. | READ MORE
There are two confirmed sightings of the brown marmorated stink bug in B.C. One found in Kelowna, the second in Penticton.
“These bugs look for warm wintering sites in the fall and winter, so usually the first detections are by homeowners,” says Paul Abram, a federal research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
He said though there have been confirmed sightings in the Okanagan, it's difficult to estimate how many of the invasive bugs may already be in the province.
The bugs have previously caused damage in Pennsylvania field crops like sweet corn, field corn and soybeans.
Abram says the province plans to focus efforts this summer on understanding how many bugs are already here and how to manage them. | READ MORE
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Canolapalooza ManitobaThu Jun 22, 2017
Canolapalooza AlbertaTue Jun 27, 2017
Swift Current Research and Development Centre Grazing and Forage Field DayTue Jun 27, 2017 @ 9:00AM - 04:00PM
Southwest Crop Diagnostic DaysWed Jul 05, 2017