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The Cropwalker - Volume 1 Issue 5

Always read and follow label directions.

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What is the Yield Penalty for Seeding Wheat Now?

There will be a yield hit for later seeding. Different people will give different numbers. Could be 10-15 bu/ac between optimal date and late seeding. The book says you lose 0.6 to 1.1 bu/ac by seeding late. However, the rotational benefits of wheat over rule a yield loss due to late seeding.

Seeding vs Planting

Seeding is the term for putting a crop in the ground without seed singulation i.e drill. Planting is the term for putting crop in the ground with seed singulation i.e. planter. It is not crop specific but is equipment specific.

What is a Strategy for Handling Moulds and Toxins in Corn in 2019?

First, odds are that we won’t have the problem next year. Never had 2 bad years back to back. So, 1) consider choosing a good hybrid for your requirements for 2019. Yield still is a big factor. 2)Probably don’t grow a lot of acres of a hybrid that had a lot of mould in 2018. The exception would be a hybrid that yields really well but had mould this year but not last year. 3) The last two years we underestimated the effect high humidity had at pollination time. In 2019, consider spraying a fungicide like Proline or Caramba at pollination time, if we get into high humidity, no wind type of weather at pollination.

Combine Harvest Settings – Vomitoxin Corn

Looking to try and blow out light material from the tip of the cob? Here are a few pointers from Marcel Kringe of Bushel Plus on how to adjust your combine. 1) Set your concaves for the normal setting to combine corn. 2) Open up concaves slightly to reduce threshing of the tips of the cob. This will require a few inspections in the field to get it right so that you are getting the majority of the grain but not necessarily all the grain off the tip. 3) Setting the sieves will be more challenging. Open up the sieves very slightly than norm, to allow more air flow, and increase your fan speed to blow out more of the smaller material into the field. This will require a drop pan to inspect what is going out the back of the combine versus what is going in the bin. Continue to adjust so that you blow out undesirable material but not have excessive grain loss. DO NOT open up the sieves without increasing air flow, you will increase the amount of foreign material and dust in the sample. If you are looking for a drop pan; Marcel has one that allows you to perform this test safely at www.bushelplus.ca.

Harvest Loss – What does it equal?

For both corn and soybeans, it is possible to reduce harvest loss to less than 0.5-1 bu/ac. This is the last activity you can do in the field to maximize yield. For both crops you need to determine if there is any loss prior to the machine gathering the crop (i.e. dropped cobs or split pods), what is due to header loss and what is grain loss due to actual combine threshing settings. Corn; 2 kernels/sq ft = roughly 1 bu/ac harvest loss. Soybeans; 4 beans/sq ft = roughly 1 bu/ac harvest loss.

Hybrids That Had Significant Mould in 2018

We wanted to compile a list of hybrids that were bad for mould this year. But as Lambton County CCA Ryan Benjamins  says, “I think a bigger challenge will be creating a list of the good ones. Moulds are so bad this year that I'm finding some messy situations with all hybrids. DKC55-05 looks bad but even hybrids that look a lot cleaner are also testing high vom”. Niagara area CCA Susan Gowan says “I’ve talked to a bunch of seed reps from both Dekalb and Pioneer and they both have the same message - it’s everywhere! (It is) so dependent on flowering time and weather patterns that a good and bad hybrid can’t be found”.

Spraying Herbicides After A Frost

How soon can I spray after a frost? Should wait 2-3 days. However, it depends. How hard was the frost? How long was it below freezing? The real issue is how cold did the ground get and how has that affected weeds growing. For me if it is sunny and warm a couple of days after a frost and things appear to be growing I would spray glyphosate. It is not a big investment. Small weeds die easily.


The weather and harvest conditions this fall are causing a lot of compaction. Compaction is the loss of pore space between soil particles and occurs when that space is squeezed out of the soil. This is most noticeable on heavy land. University of Nebraska research indicates that almost 90 % of a field is compacted in a year, if random field traffic patterns are used for tillage, planting and harvest operations. Tilling a wet soil causes more compaction as the soil particles are lubricated and easily slide under the weight of the tractor and tillage implement. This compaction is harder to see because the entire soil surface is compacted, even though the surface looks loosened. Deep tilling a wet soil often only cuts slots and smears the soil rather than fracturing compaction. Notes from University of Illinois “How do you get rid of compaction? The "freeze-thaw" cycle is helpful for compaction down to about 4 inches. A ripper implements used in dry subsoil can relieve compaction below 10 inches deep. The ripper needs to be operated 1-2 inches deeper than the compacted layer in dry soil to shatter the layer. If the ripper is operated in moist subsoil, it will actually add compaction down to that depth. Cover crops are a great way to reduce the problems causes by compaction. As cover crop roots decay, they leave spore spaces in the soil. Cover crops create root channels through compacted zones that following crops follow. Traffic patterns can reduce compaction. If you have to make repeated trips across a field for any reason, such as grain buggies, follow the same route. Most of the compaction (80-85%) occurs in the first pass.

Wheat Tillering – Varietal Differences

There is a difference between wheat varieties and how they tiller. Some seed guides show this. If you look at the Pioneer website they have a rating on low population suitability. This provides some indication on those particular genetics and their ability to tiller. As we continue to have later and later conditions for wheat seeding, don’t consider just a flat rate. Adjust for tiller capacity with the genetics you are working with. Other seed suppliers should have tillering ratings for their genetics, please ask. Typically those with higher tiller counts are positioned for the fine-textured soil types (with the ability to adjust for higher seed mortality).

What depth should I be soil sampling?

6” is the rule of thumb for soil sampling for non-mobile nutrients.

Where does moss grow?

I was asked in the spring for soil test results to see if it had an impact on why moss was growing in an area of a field. My response was, “there is likely surface moisture in that area”.

Building Prescriptions - Continued (3)

Yield = Sunlight + Heat + Nutrients + Plant Available Water

Can you manipulate the amount of sunlight that hits your field? Well, technically, you can cut back the number of trees and shrubs along the outside the field to reduce the amount of shading. Usually the field will receive the same amount of sunlight. Good! I don’t need to manage this part of the yield equation! Wrong!!! The limiting factor is the amount of sunlight that can be captured. Huh?!? Once you achieve 100% canopy cover, adding more plant population will not increase the total yield, you have captured 100% of available sunlight. The establishment of canopy cover will need to be managed through plant/leaf architecture, planting date, row-width and population management. To be continued.

Question for a Subscriber

Can I apply manure before I plant soybeans?

Grower wants to apply manure before soybeans to reduce compaction on corn ground and corn already has enough manure. Adding manure before soybeans happens all the time. The worst thing is that soybeans will not utilize all of the nitrogen (N). They will utilize the phosphorus and potassium. There is a fear that soybeans” will become lazy”. This will not happen. First soybeans are plants not people so do not have the ability “to be lazy” More importantly the manure N will be used by the soybean plant before they make their own N. In this case the soybeans are on first year sandy soil. So, N will be there in case of delayed inoculation.

Where is best place to apply manure and what rate?

Before corn is the best use of manure. Consider applying enough manure to meet the nitrogen requirements of your corn crop. You will need a manure analysis. Typically, you can apply 8-10,000 gallons of liquid dairy manure in the fall. This amount should apply the right amount of N and not over apply P.

Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.  - Jim Rohn