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The Cropwalker - Volume 2 Issue 11

Always read and follow label directions.

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Wheat Seeding Rate and Stand Counts Relating to Yield­­

The two tables go together. When you seed, you drop 15-20 seeds per foot of row, in 7-7.5” rows. The method of looking at yield by (spring) stand plant count, was developed by Dr Arend Smid at Ridgetown College between 1986 -1990. Since then we have increased our seeding rates and yield expectations. Between 1986-1990 his plot yields were around 80 bu/ac for the 100% yield. If the research was done today, I imagine the numbers would be a bit different. Maybe instead of 7 plants/ft yielding 90% it might be 85-87%. The plants in his plots were healthy. If you have a stand reduction, some of the remaining plants might not yield as well as Arend’s plants in his plots. If you are thinking of ripping up wheat, be sure to call Agricorp first.

Table 1 - Expected Wheat Yield by plants per ft/row
Table 2 - Number of plants per acre by plants per ft of 7" row.

Counting Wheat Plants/Foot of Row

In many cases it is not easy if you are in the 7-10 plants / foot of row. You really have to get down on your knees to count. Once you have an idea of what 7-8 plants/foot of row looks like, then you can assess the rest of the field. Then you try to mentally estimate what per cent of the field is below the 7 plants /foot of row. One way is to step off a dead area and calculate the area. There are 43,560 square feet in an acre. So, if you stepped off a dead area and it is 120 feet by 30 feet that is 3,600 square feet. That equates to 1/10 of an acre. Typically, dead areas look bigger and worse than they really are. Measure before you rip up. The row in this picture has 17 live wheat plants/foot.

Picture 1 - Use a tape measure to verify plant stands

CAP/LEADS Program Information

If you haven’t seen the announcements, the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP), and the Lake Erie Agriculture Demonstrating Sustainability (LEADS) programs are open. How do you know which one you should apply to? The CAP program is available to anyone in Ontario, with an intake period of March 22 to May 6 (Merit based program). To participate in the LEADS program, you must farm land located within the Lake Erie or Lake St. Clair watersheds. The LEADS program is a first come, first served, with funding available until it is fully allocated. Both programs require a 4th edition Environmental Farm Plan, with LEADS also requiring a Farmland Health Checkup.

LEADS is focused on best practices that reduce phosphorus loading on Lake Erie, while CAP provides a broader focus on farm improvements.

You can find more information on both programs on the Ontario Soil and Crop website; https://www.ontariosoilcrop.org/canadian-agricultural-partnership/

Metribuzin Shortage

Metribuzin for years was sold as Sencor and Lexone. Metribuzin is in products like Bifecta, Boundary, Canopy Pro, Conquest and Triactor. It is a major ingredient in some glyphosate resistant fleabane programs. When using Eragon or Elevore, you need metribuzin to get the best control. One of the major suppliers of metribuzin is China. In recent years the Chinese have increased the level of safety and quality of products. Within the last 3 years one major metribuzin production plant in China has had production issues, resulting in less product available. We could have tight supplies of metribuzin in 2019. Consider talking to your crop protection supplier early to confirm you metribuzin supplies. On the positive side there are alternatives to metribuzin for controlling glyphosate resistant fleabane.

The Three Stages of Weed Control

1)    It is too expensive, make it cheaper (January to April)

2)    Are you sure I really need it? (April to July)

3)    There are weeds here… shoulda, woulda, coulda for the rest of the season (July to October)

Navigating the Winter Wheat Herbicide Conversation

In recent years there have been several new winter wheat herbicides released in the Ontario market. Many of these contain the active fluroxypyr. Here is a summary of the various fluroxypyr products and where they might fit.

Table 3 - Winter Wheat Herbicides containing Fluroxypyr

Confirmed Resistance to s-metolachlor

It was bound to happen. S-metolachlor is the active in Dual II Magnum. We have counted on this active being a mainstay of our weed control program for years. Now in the US, there is confirmed pigweed resistance to this active, as well as waterhemp resistance. This is not really earth-shattering news, since there are other actives you add to s-metolachlor to give great weed control. In fact, s-metolachlor is rarely used by itself in Ontario agriculture. I can’t think of any case where you would use s-metolachlor alone. This case of resistance just confirms the fact the you should be using multiple modes of action in your weed control program.

Corn Planter Closing Wheel Options

A recent grower/sales rep conversation covered corn planter closing wheel options. The grower (who does conventional tillage) tried spiked closing wheels on four rows versus rubber closing wheels on the remainder of the corn planter. In 2017, they saw that the spike closing wheels were never below the rubber closing wheels in yield. Typically, the spiked averaged 3-4 bu/ac more and in the highest areas, the grower reported 8-9 bushels more than rubber closing wheels. If you need to replace or modify your closing wheels, maybe it’s time to try a few options.

Eragon on Red Clover

Unsure if you should put red clover into your thin wheat stand? Concerned about harvestability? Two management actions you could do and still use red clover as part of your crop rotation. 1) Use single cut red clover 2) If the red clover could be a harvestability issue (mainly for those wanting straw) – spray the wheat pre-harvest with Eragon LQ at 30-40 mL/ac + Merge at 0.4 L/ac to knock back the clover without killing it. Based upon experience in 2014 it will regrow.

Group 14 Soybean Pre-Emerge Herbicides

There are two herbicides part of the group 14 family that should be part of almost every IP or NON-GMO soybean program; sulfentrazone (Authority) and flumioxazin (Valtera). Here are a few notes on the products.

1.     Both actives provide control of Lamb’s Quarters, Nightshade or Pigweed;

a.     Authority is also labelled for Cleavers, Smooth/Large Crabgrass, Wild Buckwheat and, very importantly, Common Waterhemp

b.    Valtera is also labelled for Chickweed, volunteer Canola, seedling Dandelions, Lady’s Thumb/Wild Buckwheat, Waterhemp, Common Ragweed, and the suppression of Foxtail.

2.    Authority can be mixed with any grass herbicide. Due to crop injury, Valtera cannot be mixed with Frontier or Boundary. Consider mixing Valtera with Prowl or pyroxsulfone or as a pre-mix with pyroxsulfone in Fierce.

3.    Either active performs best if applied after seeding but prior to crop emergence. If applying prior to seeding, ensure minimal soil disturbance occurs (i.e. no drills with coulter caddies).

4.    Regardless of which active you chose, consider a tank mix partner that contains metribuzin as well as a grass partner.

Rebranded Soybean Herbicide

In the past if you had used Guardian Plus II (pre-mix of Classic @ 14.4 gr/ac and Valtera @ 56 gr/ac), look for it this year as Diligent. Still the same rate 70.4 gr/ac. This version of the pre-mix does not come co-packed with glyphosate.

Tavium – Follow up

Last week we were asked some additional questions on Tavium. It is a pre-mix of Dual @ 0.5 L/ac plus Xtendimax plus Vapourgrip @ 0.66 L/ac. There is no crop safener with this pre-mix, as it is not registered for use on corn. Because of the rate of dicamba used pre-emerge, you cannot make any additional full rate applications in-crop.

"If you think the same as everybody else, you will take the same actions as everybody else, if you take the same actions as everybody else, you will have the same performance of everybody else. And that, by definition, cannot result in above average results. So you can't think the same as everybody else."

- Howard Marks