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The Cropwalker - Volume 1 Issue 4

Always read and follow label directions.

Jonathan and Patrick’s Crop Report

The Cropwalker newsletter is a venture between Jonathan Zettler and Patrick Lynch. We have chosen not to have sponsors or advertisers. We believe that readers want information that is factual, informative, timely and easy to read. That is why we will be running this as membership-based newsletter. Currently it is free and will be for another week. Going forward we will publish one free issue a month for our subscribers, with the other issues available only to our members.

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How Long Do I Keep Planting Wheat?

The real answer will be connected to your crop insurance. If you use crop insurance, check the date for your area. For most of the province consider at least until October 20th. For areas with more than 2750 CHU keep going until Nov 1. After that if you have good soil conditions consider planting through November. Better to plant late into good soil than rush planting by planting into poor soil. Yield will be less than if planted earlier but rotational benefits of wheat are worth it. But remember 1) Plant at normal depth. Do not plant shallower thinking wheat will emerge quicker. All wheat has to do is germinate this fall. Planting less than normal depth increases the risk of heaving and having trash in the seed trench. Ensure the seed trench is closing! 2) If a shallow cultivation will help dry ground, do it. Go shallow and fast. Consider upping seeding rate to a maximum of 1.8 M seeds. I like some N this fall. Up to 30 actual. This N may not be used this fall but will be available for early growth nest spring. 3) You can still get crop insurance in the spring; however, you will not be eligible for winterkill on post deadline acres.

Notes on Ear Moulds from My Files

1)     I was first aware of this problem in 1972 while doing a M Sc in corn breeding. That year a researcher told us about the 100+ moulds and related toxins that they produced

2)     A flurry of research activity then and many times afterwards yielded no big breakthroughs

3)     Later in the 70’s Vlado, Pioneer breeder at Tavistock, showed me his plots. He set up irrigation and infected plots to try and evaluate hybrids. Next bad mould year he told me that the levels in the field were significantly worse than what he tried to get in his plots. (I don’t think you can successfully inoculate plots to get the same level of infection as we have naturally.)

4)     During the ensuing years there have been 3 or 4 bad years. These have all been in parts of the province but not across all of the province.

5)     It is impossible to get a representative sample for the toxins in a quick test at the elevator. Reality is that one or 2 kernels really affects results. I have heard of farmers having their load rejected then went to the back of the line and the next time their load was accepted.

6)     There are some hybrids that are bad for mould and toxins. Most hybrids will have good and poor fields. Do not believe you can reduce chances of mould by picking hybrids that will pollinate at different times. The same hybrid over different environments/fields will respond differently. Currently it is the luck of the draw. Environment is the biggest factor.

Corn Ear Diseases

The general recommendation is to just GET IT OFF! But if you are evaluating next year’s hybrid decisions, the Crop Protection Network has posted a related article to help with disease ID. Some ear moulds also affect stalk quality. Make note of those fields with ear moulds (Diplodia, Fusarium, and Gibberella) that also affect stalk quality.

Some key hints;

Aspergillus - olive green, typically covers the kernels and spreads from one area

Diplodia - White - Typically starts from the base of the cob and works towards the tip

Fusarium - Star burst white spots throughout the cob

Gibberella - wide spread pink colour. Same strain as the fusarium that causes DON issues in winter wheat

Trichoderma - bright bluish green, typically between kernels, some sprouting may occur - typically less common


Trichoderma Ear Rot
Fusarium Ear Rot (with soil)

How Do I Handle Fields That Were Rutted while Taking Silage Off?

Do not deep rip this fall. Deep ripping these wet fields this fall will cause more soil smearing and make things worse. Even using conservation tillage tools on compacted soil may not work. If you have a light silt loam, like a Harriston silt loam but not Brookston silt loam, a conservation tillage tool should work. Unfortunately, many fields will have to see the mouldboard plough this fall or leave till next spring and take your chances then if the field is going into no till soybeans. If into forages, plough.

What is the Economics of Spraying Alfalfa with Priaxor

Unfortunately, not as black and white as spraying wheat or corn with a fungicide. Priaxor will control leaf diseases. This will increase both yield and feed value. The ultimate response is in the barn. You can lose some of this increased value depending on harvesting and storage. Priaxor on alfalfa is for those farmers who handle a lot of forage in a short time (forage in a day), and use a nutritionist to balance the ration. For sure there is a visible difference in first cut between sprayed and check. With Priaxor on alfalfa we are where we were with Tilt and Folicur on wheat over 20 years ago. You had to try it for yourself. From my experience payback is similar to one application of fungicide on wheat. A lot of the Priaxor applications are occurring with a liquid fertilizer

Spraying Winter Wheat  (In-Crop) Now

From my perspective there is only one product. It is Infinity. According to Dave Robertson of Bayer CropScience you can spray Infinity as long as temperature is above 3 o C. Try and spray on sunniest warm day possible. According to Dave Infinity will control ragweed, lamb’s-quarters, chickweed, GLYPHOSATE RESISTANT FLEABANE and suppress dandelion. Dave says adding ammonium sulphate in the spring at 1.0 L per acre will increase control by about 10%. He sees no benefits or harmful effects by using it in the fall.

Fall Burndowns – Wheat Stubble

There are really three, maybe four options to add to glyphosate for fall burndowns. The question is, where does each fit? Dicamba will do everything that 2,4-D Ester will and then some. However, if you are switching between spraying off between 2018 wheat stubble and soybean stubble, a triple rinse will be required prior to going back to spraying soybean stubble planted to wheat. Otherwise, expect crop injury in the 2019 wheat crop.

Summary of Glyphosate Add-Ins for Fall Burndowns on Wheat Stubble

What rate of Dicamba do I pick?

There are three new formulations of dicamba on the market in the last 2 years; still some confusion on what rate is equivalent to the old chemistry. See chart below. Distinct has the equivalent of 0.125 L/ac of Banvel II.

Comparison of the old Banvel II formulation to current products

Can I use 2,4-D to control fleabane this fall?

Spring burndown research by Dr. Peter Sikkema at U of G -Ridgetown College would suggest that dicamba will provide more consistent of glyphosate resistant Canada Fleabane than 2,4-D.

Soybean Fertility -  Crop Removal

Many growers are reporting above average soybean yields. A quick look at how much fertility is removed with the various yield levels (see table). If your field average was close to 80 bu/ac (I am hearing of some); consider applying 110 lbs/ac of MAP and 160 lbs/ac of Muriate of Potash, just to replace what was removed.

Above trendline yields means revisiting fertility recommendations

Building Prescriptions - Continued (2)

Yield = Sunlight + Heat + Nutrients + Plant Available Water

Currently, the industry has heavily focused on nutrients, mainly because the driving forces behind building prescriptions owned application equipment or came from a retailer focus. This is all growers had to work with, good or bad. Today, growers have access to planting equipment that can adjust seeding rates, provide section control, amongst other capabilities. So out of the components that make yield, which can you manipulate? Which can you not manipulate but adjust your management? To be continued.

Winter Canola – Fall weed control

A few acres that were planted this fall. Remember that the critical weed free-period in Canola is 1-3 leaf. Likely past that on most acres. Pretty limited herbicide selection. For grass/volunteer wheat, looking at Assure II, Poast Ultra, Select or Venture. For broadleaf weeds, really the only option is Lontrel. Watch Lontrel rates, as there was recently a formulation change. Read the label regarding temperature restrictions.

Discipline equals freedom. - Jocko Willink