Planting conditions have been good in many parts of the province; however, there are some areas that have been too wet, resulting in delayed planting. Areas affected include the heavy clay soils in Essex, Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Elgin, Haldimand and Niagara. Corn, soybean and canola planting have also been delayed in many parts of northern Ontario due to late spring and poor drying conditions. As conditions improve in these areas, growers who are anxious to get back into the field need to remember to be safe on the farm and the roads.

Published in Seeding/Planting
Kier Miller of Sussex Corner, N.B., said he was “speechless” when he found out the New Brunswick Soil and Crop Improvement Association had named his operation the province’s 2017 farm of the year. Miller Farms comprises 23 acres, nine of which are cleared, with the remainder in woodland. They also lease 180 acres. On top of that, the Millers do custom planting of corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, and barley for other area farmers each year totalling about 1,200-1,500 acres. In the fall, they do about 1,500 acres of combining for others, although not necessarily the same crops they planted. | READ MORE
Published in Agronomy
Field activity has ramped up with the warmer temperatures and many areas receiving spotty rains allowing soils to dry up. There is tremendous capacity in the country side from the input suppliers to growers with the ability to plant a significant acreage in a day. If the weather holds what started out as a slow spring will finish up close to normal timing.

The winter wheat crop has put on significant growth in the last week with the warm temperatures. The most advanced wheat, in south Essex County, is at the flag leaf emerging stage (Z37). The wheat in the rest of the province ranges from Z30 to Z32. Almost all of the nitrogen has been applied to the crop. Herbicide applications have begun as annual weeds like common ragweed have emerged. Some early fungicide applications have been made. To date, disease pressure has been very low in Ontario although stripe rust has been confirmed in Kentucky and southern Illinois and this week has begun to increase in very susceptible varieties in those states. Storm fronts could move strip rust spores into Southern Ontario. In the past few years, stripe rust has been detected around the third week of May in southern Ontario so continue to scout susceptible varieties especially over the next two weeks.

Less than 10 per cent of wheat fields have not progressed in the last week and will need careful observation as to whether they should be terminated and planted to another crop. Generally, a stand of five healthy plants per foot of row will provide about 80 per cent of your anticipated yield potential.

Spring cereals
The majority of the crop has been planted.

Pasture and hay fields have had a slow start, with very little grass growth until the recent warmer temperatures. Management is critical to minimize damaging wet pastures: daily moves can reduce pugging damage.

There are some concerns about alfalfa winter injury, particularly on fields that were cut late in the fall or had late manure application. Wet conditions and potato leafhopper damage also increased injury risk on new seedings. Poorer stands can be supplemented by adding Italian ryegrass and other grasses to maintain yields if the field must be kept.

Fertility is often a concern on forage fields. Generally, potash is the most limiting nutrient. Use a soil test to ensure the crop has adequate P and K before worrying about secondary nutrients like sulphur and boron. The window for producers applying Priaxor fungicide to alfalfa is rapidly closing, as preliminary research suggests the biggest yield boost when applied 21 days before harvest (PHI is 14 days), and when the crop is four to eight inches high.

A significant percentage of the corn planting on the lighter soils is complete. The spotty rains and warmer temperatures have allowed planting to begin on the loam and clay soils. As of May 10, about 20 per cent of the crop is planted. Planting date and yield potential research by Dave Hooker, U of G, Ridgetown Campus, found that one can expect 95 per cent of corn yield at Elora when planted May 20, Exeter at May 25 and Ridgetown at May 30.

A few soybean fields have been planted but it will likely be another week before soybean planting ramps up as growers complete corn planting.

Canada fleabane rosettes, with the increase in air temperatures, are beginning to grow quickly. Delays in controlling such weeds will increase the probability of poor control. The pre-plant tank-mix of glyphosate plus Sencor 75DF (220 g/ac) plus Eragon LQ plus Merge has been the most effective way to control glyphosate resistant populations of this weed (University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus). If growing Xtend soybeans (dicamba and glyphosate resistant), pre-plant applications of Engenia or Xtendimax at their highest label rate are also effective.

Despite the slow start to spring, we are now accumulating growing degree days (GDDs) quickly, especially due to the warmer nights. Crops already growing are soon to see some insect activity. Locations in the southwest have accumulated enough GDDs to start experiencing alfalfa weevil larvae and cereal leaf beetle (both adults and young larvae) feeding. If temperatures continue as is, central and eastern locations will start to see activity in a week or so.

For crops like corn that are still being planted, the insects are getting the head start. Black cutworm moth migration in Ontario has increased due to the recent storm fronts. With GDDs accumulating quickly, larvae from their eggs will develop quickly. They will feed on weeds or cover crops until the corn plants start to emerge. Fields in southwestern Ontario could to see emerging corn plants being cut as early as later next week.

Weed control
The increase in air and soil temperatures saw a significant amount of annual weeds emerge in the past week. Glyphosate should be applied to emerged weeds before they are 10 centimetres tall to maximize control. Most other post-emergence herbicides must be applied to emerged weeds prior to them reaching the eight-leaf stage of growth, otherwise control is significantly reduced.
Published in Seeding/Planting
As weather conditions begin to even out, grain farmers across Southwestern Ontario were out in force this week trying to make up for lost time, according to the London Free Press. But, as one farmer says, you just never know what Mother Nature will bring. | READ MORE
Published in Seeding/Planting
Ontario farmers are entering May with good temperatures and lots of energy to get on to the fields, after cool temperatures and wet conditions prevented wheels from turning in April.

Published in Seeding/Planting
While warmer soil will speed up germination and will help with seed survival, canola seeded early May generally out-yields canola seeded in late May, according to the Canola Council of Canada. If fields are dry enough to support the seeding tool and tractor, seeding can begin no matter the soil temperature today. | READ MORE
Published in Seeding/Planting
Delayed seasonal spring conditions may hinder a timely start to Prairie seeding operations, which could force farmers to make changes to what they plant. | READ MORE
Published in Seeding/Planting
In Western Canada, wild oat continues to be one of the most problematic weeds. As part of an integrated weed management strategy, researchers continue to look for additional options and different lifecycle timings to reduce populations, frequencies and herbicide resistant populations.
Published in Weeds
Weed control is one of the main challenges for flax growers, and is even more challenging under organic production systems. Because flax is a poor competitor with weeds, yield losses can be significant when weeds are present. Cultural and mechanical control options can be effective techniques for weed suppression and control in flax.
Published in Weeds
From Ontario’s Essex County to Glengarry County (located 800 kilometres away), glyphosate resistant (GR) Canada fleabane is wreaking havoc on valuable crop fields. The most economically significant GR weed, GR fleabane is both challenging and expensive to manage.
Published in Weeds
Some Prairie farmers were fortunate enough to have good moisture conditions to band anhydrous ammonia or urea last fall to get a jump on spring seeding. But for the majority of farmers, dry conditions in many parts of the Prairies may mean adjustments to nitrogen (N) applications.
The outlook for hard white wheat production in Western Canada nudged upward this past winter for the first time in approximately six years.
Published in Cereals
A seed treatment is a vital and effective product, so long as it stays on the seeds where it can do its work. When it is released into the surrounding environment, however, it can cause significant political and environmental concern.
Published in Seed Treatment
As the interest in fababean production continues to grow, so does the need for more up-to-date agronomic information. Researchers and the industry in general have several efforts underway – however, much of the current agronomic information available to Saskatchewan producers is either unavailable, outdated, or sourced from other growing regions. Various research projects are focused on developing Saskatchewan-based agronomic information and updating work initially done back in the 1970s.
Published in Pulses
Marrowfat pea is a very large-seeded, green-coloured pea with a blocky shape and a unique taste that makes it the pea of choice for certain specialty markets. Depending on the marketplace, this pea can command a premium price, but it has some challenges.
Published in Pulses
Over the past several years, interest in cover cropping has increased in Ontario, says Laura Van Eerd, an associate professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus.
Published in Other Crops
The rotational benefits of pulse crops in a cereal and pulse rotation are well known. Including pulses in rotation is shown to increase soil available nitrogen (N), improve soil moisture reserves in deeper soil depths, enhance soil microbiology and soil health, and increase yield of a subsequent cereal crop. However, research had not measured to what extent residual soil N and soil moisture contribute to those higher yields.
Published in Pulses
According to Canada's agriculture ministry, pea plantings will probably decline to a seven-year low this spring, while lentil acreage drops by 27 per cent. Sowings will decline as farmers swap land for wheat and canola.
Published in Pulses
Producers will find greener pastures and more green in their bank accounts thanks to the return of a popular forage seed program offered by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and Crop Production Services (CPS).

Under the program, Alberta producers receive a $100 rebate on every 50 lb. bag of Proven Seed forage varieties purchased at CPS retail locations. While the program is best suited to producers in the parkland and prairie regions, farmers located close to DUC habitat priority boundaries may also be eligible.

The growing need for more pastureland is expected to make this year's program especially attractive, says Craig Bishop, lead of DUC's regional forage program. It also has the potential to cover approximately 40 to 50 per cent of a producer's seed investment.

The benefits of more seeded forage acres and increased perennial cover include decreased soil erosion, retained nutrient values and better waterfowl nesting habitat. It also helps other conservation efforts like wetland restoration.

Last year in Alberta, 12,905 cultivated acres were seeded to grass under the DUC/CPS forage program. A similar program offering in Saskatchewan and Manitoba brought the total number of seeded forage acres up to 20,768 acres across the Canadian prairies.

For more information about the program, visit any CPS retail location or area DUC conservation specialist, or call the Forage Help Desk at 1 800 661 3334.
Published in Seeding/Planting
A Saskatchewan researcher is encouraging farmers to try intercropping. The practice would see farmers plant chickpeas within a flax field, for example. Farmers are intercropping about 45,000 acres of cropland in the province. | READ MORE
Published in Seeding/Planting
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