Spraying
Dry conditions across Ontario have amplified moisture stress, nutrient deficiency symptoms, insect feed and disease symptoms in soybeans, according to OMAFRA's latest field crop report. 
Published in Soybeans
Across most of the Prairies, cereals grown in shortened crop rotations will continue to be vulnerable to Fusarium head blight (FHB) as a result of more severe FHB incidence in 2016, according to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry's update. 
Published in Diseases
Early weed control has many benefits as weeds compete with crops for nutrients, water, and light. “Research on weeds germinating before the crop emerges as compared to crop emerging before the weeds shows a very significant drop in yield loss when the crop emerges prior to the weeds,” says Harry Brook, crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “A pre-seed burn-off with a herbicide or final cultivation should be as close to the seeding activity as possible to prevent weeds getting the jump on the crop.”

All crops have a critical weed control period, which is the time when the crop is susceptible to significant yield loss from weed competition. The critical weed control period for canola is around 17 to 38 days after emergence. Peas can be as early as two weeks after emergence. “Other, more competitive crops, like the cereals, have a less defined critical period,” Brook says. “Corn’s critical period depends more on nitrogen availability than anything else. If you can keep the weed pressure down until the critical period is passed, you minimize yield losses from weed competition.”

Field scouting is essential to giving an edge battling weeds, notes Brook. “Field scouting tells you what weeds are present and their density. Once a field has been scouted and a weed problem identified, the degree of threat needs to be assessed. An example of an early, non- yield threatening weed is whitlow grass. It’s a very slow growing, small plant that bolts and goes to seed, usually before seeding. It’s not a direct threat to the crop. However, if other weedy plants are also present in sufficient numbers and are a threat to yield, you can choose an appropriate control measure.”

Winter annual weeds like stinkweed, narrow-leaved hawk’s-beard, shepherd’s purse, scentless chamomile, and many others can start growing in the fall. They overwinter as a small rosette but are then quickly able to go to seed once spring arrives. “Control of them in the spring requires very early action. You need to know the weeds present to choose the best control method. Crop volunteers from previous years are also an increasingly problematic weed obstacle. Volunteer canola is one of our top weed control issues every year. These and other problem weeds will require additional products when applying a spring burn-off with glyphosate.”

To get the best result from any early herbicide application, Brook says the herbicide must be applied when the weeds are actively growing. “Under cool or cold conditions you can expect poor results from the spray as the target weeds are either dormant or growing too slowly. They cannot absorb and translocate enough active ingredient to kill them. Weeds also have to be large enough to absorb enough herbicide to be killed, yet not too large to have already affect crop yield from competition. Low spray volumes and coarse sprays can lead to insufficient herbicide landing on the plants. Best temperatures for application should ideally be above 12 to 15 C, when the plants are actively photosynthesizing. If it was frosty in the morning, waiting until a warm afternoon will improve efficacy.”

Another tool in the weed control toolbox is the competitive nature of the crop itself. “Highly competitive crops can reduce the effects of weeds on yield. Once a crop canopy has covered the soil, sunlight no longer can penetrate to the ground and weeds stop germinating,” adds Brook. “Heavier seeding rates can also squeeze out weeds. Hybrid canola and barley are our two most competitive crops. You still have to choose a competitive variety. Semi-dwarf barleys are less competitive than regular barleys. Heavier seeding rates always increase the crop’s competitive nature against weeds. Thin crops allow light to hit the ground, stimulating more weed growth.”

For more information, contact the Alberta Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276).
Published in Weeds
Cabbage seedpod weevil is an invasive insect pest of canola. Originally found in Europe, the insect proliferated in the United States and was first confirmed in Alberta in the mid-1990s.
Published in Insect Pests
It’s 5 a.m. on a calm, sunny morning in June. Perfect time to spray? Not so fast. A temperature inversion is likely, which could result in small spray droplets remaining suspended in the air and moving off-target.
Published in Sprayers
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
The goal of irrigation scheduling is to ensure the crop is never under water-induced stress that would limit yield potential. It involves determining the correct amount of irrigation water to apply to a crop at the right times to achieve optimum yield.
Published in Irrigation
Last April, Real Agriculture agronomist Peter Johnson tweeted a photo of winter wheat seedlings surrounded by a tangle of chickweed. “Chickweed in wheat needs to be controlled in fall! Shepherds purse, stinkweed same. Too much spring competition!” he wrote.
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
From humble beginnings, soybean acreage hit 2.3 million seeded acres in Manitoba in 2017. Can those acres be sustained? The answer lies with managing glyphosate resistance.
Published in Soybeans
Weed management is always an important topic to producers. Weeds evolve and change year to year: What plagued fields last year may be completely di erent from what growers will see in their fields this year. Decisions on what to spray can become overwhelming. That’s why we’ve continued to make updates to our Weed Control Guide for 2018. We’ve laid out the products available to you (at the time of publication) in alphabetical order, followed by tank-mix partners.
According to Peter Sikkema, professor of field crop weed management at University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, glyphosate-resistant Canada fleabane was first found in eight fields in Ontario’s Essex County in 2010.
Published in Weeds
With the introduction of Monsanto’s glyphosate- and dicamba-resistant soybean into the Canadian market in 2017, producers may be wondering if there is any benefit to tank-mixing the two herbicides for weed control.
Published in Herbicides
Weed management – a top priority for producers – seems to become more complex year after year. At times, the decisions may seem overwhelming: which products should be applied when and in what combinations? To aid you in your decision-making, Top Crop Manager is pleased to bring you our annual Weed Control Guide for corn, soybeans and cereals.
Corn growers across Ontario and Quebec now have the option of applying Delegate insecticide by air for control of Western bean cutworm (WBC) and European corn borer. 
Published in Insecticides
Bayer has launched Zone Spray, a feature inside Bayer Digital Farming’s Field Manager. Zone Spray's main goal is to ultimately "help canola farmers improve their economic return by using data to optimize fungicide applications," according to a press release. 

The feature uses satellite imagery to assess field biomass, where it's categorized into zones. Farmers are able to review and then control where they want to apply a fungicide. By targeting higher biomass field zones, farmers can use inputs more sustainably by applying the fungicide exactly when and where it is needed.

Zone Spray utilizes a simple interface and is designed to integrate with precision agriculture equipment already available in cabs.

For more information, visit digitalfarming.ca.
Published in Precision Ag
Weed control in corn and soybeans will only get more complicated and costly.

That was a key message by long-time Iowa State University weed scientist Mike Owen in his 2018 weed management update presentation at the Integrated Crop Management Conference in November. He noted the management practices used by many farmers are leading to more resistance to herbicides, and he doesn’t foresee an end to that anytime soon. For the full story, CLICK HERE


Join Top Crop Manager Feb. 27 and 28 in Saskatoon, Sask., for the 2018 Herbicide Resistance Summit - Register now!
Published in Herbicides
As swede midge populations continue to rise in Quebec, canola growers are looking for better ways to manage the pest. Entomologist Geneviève Labrie is leading a two-year research project to help advance integrated management strategies for swede midge.
Published in Insect Pests
High performance, consistency and convenience are three increasingly important attributes to Western Canadian farmers as they manage more acres with the same or fewer resources. In 2018, Arylex Active herbicides will not only make life easier for farmers at spray time, the benefits can last year round with the Go4Arylex Contest.

Dow AgroSciences Arylex active herbicides: Pixxaro, Paradigm, Cirpreme XC and Rexade are changing the way farmers think about spraying their crops. Arylex active is a new, powerful Group 4 active that enables farmers to ‘just go’ so they can spray when they want, in the conditions they’ve got.

“These products were designed to deliver excellent weed control regardless of timing - controlling a wide range of small or large weeds with the crop safety to allow flexible crop staging,” explains Kelly Bennett, category leader, west crops herbicides, Dow AgroSciences Canada. “They also have the ability to move in the plant and be effective during stressful or less than ideal climatic conditions. This means Arylex active works anytime during the season on the farmer's schedule, not just Mother Nature's, simplifying the herbicide decision and adding efficiency to get spraying done sooner. It's really worry-free broadleaf weed control."

The Arylex active Just GO benefits add up to even more, with the formal announcement of the ‘Go4Arylex Giveaway’ contest. This fall, four lucky farmers will each win one of the following pieces of high performing John Deere farm equipment, designed to make the everyday tasks on the farm easier.
  •  John Deere ZTrak™ Zero-Turn Mower
  •  John Deere Gator™ Utility Vehicle
  •  John Deere Sub-Compact Utility Tractor
  •  John Deere Compact Utility Tractor
Farmers are invited to register online starting January 8th, 2018 and accumulate entries throughout the course of the year by collecting codes or purchasing the participating products. The GO4Arylex contest launches at the Western Canadian Crop Production Show and concludes October 31st.

For further details on registration, entries and prize packages, please visit www.go4arylex.com 
Published in Corporate News
Harvest quality of milling oats is very important, and growers sometimes utilize harvest aids such as pre-harvest glyphosate. A properly timed application can help growers control perennial weeds and improve crop harvestability, while meeting maximum residue limit (MRL) requirements. However, some buyers have placed restrictions on the use of pre-harvest glyphosate on oats they purchase.


Christian Willenborg, associate professor with the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, initiated a small study in 2015 to collect some initial research data and find a way to lend science to the decision-making process.

“We were surprised at the announcement that some milling quality oats would not be accepted if treated with glyphosate, and frankly, this didn’t sit well with me. But there was no science on this and so we immediately established a one-season ‘look-see’ trial in 2015 at two locations near Saskatoon to compare different harvest systems and their effects on quality of milling oats,” he says. “We compared two different oat cultivars: CDC Dancer, a medium maturity cultivar, and AC Pinnacle, a later maturing cultivar. The oats were managed using typical agronomy practices, including a seeding rate of 300 seeds per square metre (seeds/m2) targeting 250 plants per square metre (plants/m2) and fertilized for a target yield of 150 bushels per acre.”

The second factor was a comparison of three different harvest systems, including swathing at the optimum timing of 35 per cent moisture, direct combined (at approximately nine per cent seed moisture content alone and direct combined with a pre-harvest glyphosate application. The pre-harvest glyphosate was applied according to label requirements at 30 per cent seed moisture content using the recommended label rate. The project compared various harvest quality parameters, as well as functional quality characteristics and residue testing across the different treatments.

Through funding from the Prairie Oat Growers Association and the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund, the initial 2015 trial has been expanded into a fully funded, much larger three-year project that will involve several additional experiments.

“We gained some very good insights in the initial trial, but these very preliminary results will be compared again in this larger expanded trial over the next three years. Until we get the final results at the end of 2018, these early one-season informational highlights have to be considered very preliminary,” Willenborg says.

The 2015 preliminary results showed that, as expected, cultivar had an impact on all of the quality parameters, such as yield, plump kernels, 1,000 kernel weight and test weight. However, there was no cultivar by harvest system interaction – the effects of the harvest system were consistent regardless of which cultivar was planted.

“The harvest system did have an impact on several of the quality parameters, however the preliminary results did not show any negative effects of a pre-harvest glyphosate application,” Willenborg explains. “In terms of yield, swathing resulted in a 15 to 18 per cent yield reduction compared to direct harvest, however some of that reduction may be a function of our plot harvesting equipment, and this may be different with field-scale grower systems. The direct harvested plots, with and without a pre-harvest glyphosate treatment, had virtually equal yield. Swathing produced the highest test weight, with direct harvest plus pre-harvest glyphosate equal to the swathing treatment; direct harvest with no glyphosate had a significant lower test weight.”

The swathing treatment also produced the highest percentage of thin kernels, with direct harvest and no glyphosate intermediate and the lowest percentage of thin kernels with direct harvest plus glyphosate treatment. On the other hand, the percentage of plump kernels was the same in both direct harvest treatments, but slightly lower for the swathing treatment. Overall, the pre-harvest glyphosate reduced the percentage of thin kernels in the sample, which is a benefit for growers.

“For the initial and longer term project, we partnered with Dr. Nancy Ames at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to compare the functional aspects of the oat cultivars under the different treatments,” Willenborg says. “Her preliminary functional test results were similar to the seed quality results, with no major impacts on functional quality among the treatments. For the glyphosate testing, we partnered with Dr. Sheryl Tittlemier at the Canadian Grain Commission to develop a glyphosate residue test for oat. Her initial test results from the 2015 treatments showed that the direct harvest plus pre-harvest glyphosate treatment did have very small levels of residues at four [parts per million], which is well below the MRL threshold levels in North America. We will continue to use this test for the larger project.”

The expanded three-year study will include the same harvest treatments, with some additional trials assessing seeding rate and stand uniformity. Stand uniformity is related to the question of whether or not additional tillers in the stand may be a factor with potential glyphosate issues. The three harvest treatments will also be compared at a range of different moisture contents, from 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 per cent at the time of swathing, or direct harvest alone and direct harvest plus pre-harvest glyphosate.

Willenborg will also be investigating alternative cultural and herbicide combinations for managing perennial weeds in oat. The full analysis and final project results will be available in 2019, including seed quality and functional analysis.

“So far it doesn’t appear that glyphosate is having an adverse effect on oat seed quality or functionality, and if anything is showing a small quality benefit to having glyphosate applied prior to harvest,” Willenborg says. “The key is to follow the label directions for pre-harvest application and make sure the crop is at 30 per cent moisture or lower, which corresponds roughly to the hard dough stage of development. All of our research treatments have been completed according to the label, but once you get off label in terms of timing we don’t know what will happen with glyphosate residues.

“For example, in some of our earlier work with lentil, the results were fine as long as label directions were followed, but as soon as application got off label in terms of timing and at higher moisture content, [that’s] where problems with quality and MRLs showed up. We expect that may be similar to oat, which is often harvested late in the season, when growers are between a rock and a hard place, with frost or heavy rains threatening harvest.”

Although it can be a challenge to apply glyphosate at the proper timing, there can be serious consequences due to not adhering to the label timing. Always follow the label, and check with your grain buyer about the acceptance of all pre-harvest and other product use and MRLs for all crops, including oats.
Published in Herbicides
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