Corn planting is essentially complete. Due to variability in rainfall and soil fitness this spring, there is a wide range of crop stages. Early planted corn is now past the V6 stage and approaching row closure in some fields, while late planted corn on heavier textured soils is in the emergence to early V stages. Side dressing continues in many areas. While stands look good overall, there have been some comments about non-uniformity now showing up in some fields where soil conditions may have been pushed at planting, particularly in areas which have remained dry. Corn replants, mostly due to excessive rainfall in 2018, are reported to be below normal. There have been reports of some fields with heavy weed pressure where weed control has been delayed due to high demand for other sprayer activities. Good weed control from emergence to 6 leaf stage is critical for protecting from yield loss in corn.
On June 6, OMAFRA completed its annual Pre-Sidedress Nitrogen Test (PSNT) sampling survey at its zero nitrogen trial locations. This survey assesses soil nitrogen status by measuring natural background nitrogen mineralized from the soil. Average soil nitrate results came back at 12.7 ppm. This is slightly above the long term (2011-2017) average of 11.7, suggesting nitrogen mineralization processes appear normal this spring. The full report and details on the nitrogen status in 2018 corn fields is available online. This survey serves as a general guide. Soil nitrate results are highly field specific, and growers are encouraged to sample their own fields before making any nitrogen decisions.
Most areas of the province have completed planting, though some still continues on very heavy soil textured areas such as Niagara. Due to variability in planting date, crop staging ranges from planted to early emergence for later planted field to 3nd trifoliate for early fields. Thin stands are being observed in many areas. Issues range from soil conditions at planting, heavy rains after seeding resulting in crusting, seed corn maggot feeding, root rots, or extremely dry conditions. Fortunately soybeans are able to compensate for thin stands within reason. Leaving a stand of 90,000 plants per acre on medium textured soils is usually more profitable than replanting. (110 000 plants per acre on heavy clays) For those fields with very poor stands replanting is still a viable option at this date. Feeding from Bean Leaf Beetle has been reported so monitoring is recommended.
A large amount of hay has been cut over the past two weeks. While most dairy hay is complete, some first cut continues this week. Limited rainfall has been conducive for dry hay production as well. Yields have been reported to be good. Quality has been good, with the only challenge reported to be early season grass growth staying ahead of alfalfa due to the cool start in April. Alfalfa weevil has been observed in many areas and scouting is encouraged after first cut this year. Temperature models suggest alfalfa weevil development may be delayed, and could still pose a risk to early regrowth. Control is warranted if there are two or more active larvae per crown, or 4–8 larvae per 30 cm by 30 cm (1 ft2).
The winter wheat crop is progressing well; however, some wheat stands are variable and considerable discolouration is still evident. In the driest areas wheat is starting to flare up due to a lack of moisture. Fusarium Head Blight fungicides (T3) have been going on as wheat progresses through the anthesis stage. A number of acres in the far southwest of the province did not receive a T3 fungicide as warm temperatures moved the crop quickly through the ideal application window. Stripe rust was reported on June 5th in the St. Mary’s area on a susceptible variety. A second field has since been reported in the Clinton area. Disease levels continue to remain low and as temperatures continue to increase, stripe rust becomes less of a concern. If growers are still considering a late T3 fungicide application for stripe rust control, pre-harvest intervals must be considered.
Canola is progressing well, with earlier planted fields in southern and eastern canola growing regions now at green bud stage or bolting. In northern regions the crop is approaching full rosette and expected to start bolting in the next week or two. Flea beetle is being reported, though pressure is generally low. 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, and once the crop is at the 4 leaf stage it can likely outgrow the feeding damage. Swede midge is now being observed, although populations are reported to be relatively low. Swede midge pheromone traps should be in place and checked every few days through to bolting. With some early reports of Cabbage Seedpod weevil, monitoring is recommended.
A large portion of edible bean acres have been planted, with many growers done or expecting to be done within the next week. Planting continues in some localized areas where rainfall had delayed field operations, or for shorter season beans such as Cranberry beans. Early reports suggest good stands in most cases, with the exception where seedbeds were overly dry. Lack of heavy rainfall events over the past two weeks has limited crusting and other rainfall related plant loss issues.
Scouting alfalfa helps growers stay ahead of emerging problems, correctly time harvests and make better decisions when planning future crops. | READ MORE
While planting is mostly complete in many parts of the province, operations continued over the past week on finer textured soils and localized areas which had been receiving frequent rainfalls. Georgian Central region is reported to be close to 75% complete while growers in parts of Kent, Essex and Lambton are continuing planting as well. This has been the first window of significant corn planting on finer textured soils in Essex, Lambton, Elgin and Haldimand/Niagara areas which are pushing hard to catch up before the next rainfall.
Staging is variable depending on planting date. While some corn is still being planted, a large portion of the crop is in the V2-V3 stage, with more advanced fields approaching V4 to V5. Warm weather and the good soil conditions for the majority; have resulted in reports of excellent, uniform stands across most of the province.
In regions where corn planting is complete, growers are pushing through completion of soybean acres as well. Soybean planting is estimated to be around 80% complete. Planting progress on heavier soils continues to move slowly, including in Essex, Lambton, and parts of Haldimand and Niagara.
The heat over the past week is encouraging soybeans to emerge within a week of planting. Most soybeans are currently at the cotyledon to unifoliate stage, and earlier planted fields are in the first trifoliate stage. Populations are uniform and looking good, except on heavier textured soils where crusting has become a problem. Leaving a thin stand that is uniform is often more profitable than replanting. On most soil types, do not replant a stand of more than 222,000 plants/ha (90,000 plants/acre), in 19 cm (7.5 in.) row spacing. Heavy clay soils need a minimum of less than 250,000 plants/ha (110,000 plants/acre) before a replant is worthwhile.
The warm weather has led to fast growth of weeds, and in some cases soybeans emerging before burndown herbicide treatments were applied. Where soybeans have emerged, there is a risk of crop injury with many of the herbicides commonly tank-mixed with glyphosate. Some weeds like lamb’s-quarter have been observed moving from cotyledon to 4 leaf stage within two days. Note weed growth stages in your field and plan to time herbicide applications early enough to get good control.
Many winter wheat fields are variable in colour (Fig. 1). It is suspected that non-uniform spreading of urea and ammonium sulphate, and resulting sulphur deficiency are the cause. Although the fertilizers may be blended, they have different densities and may not spread evenly when mixed. The majority of acres are between flag leaf and early boot with some reaching heading growth stages. Other than a few fields with mildew, there are essentially no reports of diseases in the crop, so fungicide applications at the T2 timing may not be highly beneficial this year. The crop is moving quickly toward heading, and so far models are predicting low risk of Fusarium head blight.
Figure 1. Sulfur deficiency in wheat. posted as soon as possible on the Field Crop News website at: http://fieldcropnews.com/category/crop-report/
Spring cereals are generally at the 3 to 4 leaf growth stage with herbicide applications going on.
Cereal leaf beetles (CLB) are reaching threshold levels at some locations, despite being quite small and still difficult to spot (Fig. 2). Control is warranted if an average of three larvae per tiller is 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.
Figure 2. Cereal leaf beetle larva and feeding damage on wheat. posted as soon as possibleon the Field Crop News website at: http://fieldcropnews.com/category/crop-report/
Forage producers in the southern half of the province have been busy harvesting the first cut of hay, but there are delays in the north and northwest. Rainy River is on track to harvest at the beginning of June. Cooler conditions in Thunder Bay District have delayed harvest by about a week and excessive moisture through Algoma District are resulting in a two- to three-week delay. Where there are delays, the grasses in hay mixtures are getting ahead of the alfalfa so there will be a difference in maturity at harvest.
In more southern regions the forage crop grew quickly and outpaced the alfalfa weevil larvae that were slow to develop. It is important to scout the regrowth after first cut as the weevil will start to reach the more damaging stages of third and fourth instars. The characteristic symptom is the alfalfa plant not “greening up,” due to weevils feeding on the developing crown buds. The presence of two or more active larvae per crown, or four to eight larvae per 30 centimetre by 30 centimetre section (one square foot) indicates a need to spray the stubble with insecticide. More information on alfalfa weevil is available in the Agronomy Guide for Field Crops.
Seeding of canola is essentially complete. There had been delays in northern regions because of late April snow and wet conditions. In Temiskaming District, most canola is yet to emerge or has just emerged, and most canola has emerged in West Nipissing. Earlier planted acres in Eastern Ontario and Bruce, Grey and Wellington counties is between the one and four-leaf growth stages.
Flea beetles have not been noted in the northern regions yet, but are present in many other canola growing regions. So far pressure appears to be low and seed treatments are holding flea beetle back. Insecticide applications should not be applied until at least 25 per cent damage is observed. Once canola reaches the four-leaf stage it is usually beyond economic damage.
Swede midge have been observed in Elora and Shelburne, so growers should have pheromone traps in place and check them every few days. Refer to past articles on FieldCropNews.com for information on managing swede midge during early canola growth stages.
Dry edible beans
Planting of dry beans is approaching 25 per cent complete. Most bean acres are on well-drained ground and there has been no risk of frost in the past week or more, so growers have taken the opportunity to get a bit of a head start. June 1 is typically the optimal planting time, but seeding into mid-June is acceptable. Ideally, adzuki beans should be planted by now as they take the longest to mature. Cranberry beans are the shortest season class of beans and can be planted into mid-June. Some fields are getting a bit dry; beans should be planted to moisture up to a maximum of 2.5 to three inches, otherwise wait for some rain. Regions that are expecting a storm should wait until after any pounding rain to plant so as to minimize issues with crusting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'Soil Your Undies' experiment in EloraMon Jul 23, 2018 @10:00AM - 11:00AM
Intercropping Field DayTue Jul 24, 2018 @10:00AM - 05:00PM
Manitoba crops-a-PALOOZAWed Jul 25, 2018 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM