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The Cropwalker - Volume 2 Issue 20

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Crop Conditions

Weather – Rain, overcast, not nice. We have accumulated 250-300 CHUs which is slightly less than 30-year average. Winter wheat – Earliest in Essex is “head in the boot” will head out this week. Most fields of earliest planting has flag leaf showing or ready to pop out. Be cautious about spraying herbicides. Fungicides are ok. If weeds and red clover get big, you can always apply Eragon pre-harvest. Corn - planting progress is all over the place. Odd grower done. Many areas have not started. Planting % ranges from 0-75%. We are guessing at over all planting but guess is 30-35 %. Soybeans - over all less than 10%. Forages are fast approaching first cut time. We have enough heat to start alfalfa weevil in the south. Watch fields that historically have weevil. Need all the forage we can get.

Crop progress 2014 on this date

We have received about 200 CHUs. This is about 100 fewer than this date normally. Winter Wheat – Nitrogen is 98% applied. Most weed control is done. Most fields have flag leaf emerged or will be this week. Some fields will not be sprayed for weeds due to time constraints. Fungicide applications are in progress. Corn – Planting is probably 50% done. Ranging from 10-15% in Elgin/Lambton to 50% in Middlesex/Huron to 75-80% in Harrow, Harriston and Alliston areas. Soybeans – Planting is about 15-20% across the region.


Burndowns Before Corn or Soybeans

We tried to write a short article on the options you could use, and, go to either corn or soybeans. The article got so long since there are so many options, but each has a different twist. You only need to be concerned with adding a tank-mix partner if weed is glyphosate resistant, and you can’t control it in-crop or with tillage. So, the point is do a burn down and probably only use Roundup on fields that might be planted to either crop. Then once the crop is planted apply your residual herbicide.

Glyphosate Tolerant Fleabane

You really have to be scared about “this sucker” They are really getting big. Watch the neighbours fields also. You would rather not have any seeds blowing from their fields to yours. Once they bolt, I would not rely on Eragon or Elevore plus metribuzin to control them. Better bet is to use a dicamba-based product. You are then limited to dicamba-tolerant soybeans.

Spraying dicamba (Engenia, Xtendimax/FeXapan) on before Xtend Soybeans

We are now entering the season to apply dicamba for these soybeans. Please read and understand the precautions about spraying dicamba. I would rather spray it now as opposed to mid-June. Using the high rate now should control fleabane, even if it has bolted. Spraying now should give 2 weeks residual of many broadleaf weeds.

This Weeks To Dos

1.     Plant

2.    Switch corn hybrids to 200 CHU or 6-8 CRM days earlier.

3.     If done planting return corn seed as it is needed

4.    Spray wheat with fungicide for grain and straw yield. Two fungicide applications have shown to increase straw yield by 600 lbs/ac

5.   Spray burndowns

6.   Check corn/beans planted for emergence

7.    Review marketing plans

8.    See if you can help your neighbour if you are able

What to do with Cover Crop

Many cover crop acres have not received a burn down. It is possible that you can harvest this as forage. Consider burning it off, then harvesting. This could make planting easier. If planting into standing cover crop, those that have done it with some success have commented that you must plant deeper than conventionally tilled fields. One grower commented to not rely on increasing the closing wheel pressure to close the seed trench. In his experience, you are better off to plant deeper and use less closing wheel pressure.

Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) Timing

You start timing when you can see the first spikelet visible in the ‘boot’. This is day -3. Once 75% of the heads have emerged it is day 0. The next 3 days, day +1 to day +3 are the optimum days to spray for FHB control. Prosaro or Caramba can be sprayed from day +1 to day +5. Spraying early is generally better than spraying later. Once you get to day +6 and day +7, fungicide applications are less beneficial for Fusarium protection, but will still help with leaf disease. Weather after application has a lot to do with the severity of Fusarium. You can spray Caramba or Prosaro in the heat of the day. Bayer has an excellent timing guide with expected yield benefits, below;

Fusarium Timing Guide

Bayer CropScience Canada

Horsetail Control

This species loves wet weather. It has expanded its’ territory between last year and this. Horsetail can grow under extreme conditions of wet, dry, pH extremes, light soil etc. We have been battling it on many farms for years. This year it is really showing up in no till soybean fields. There are a number of options. You want the soybeans to get a quick start so you want the green of horsetail gone at time of bean emergence. If you have a few patches then a light cultivation of those patches gets rid of the top growth. Note from BASF research “I have seen Eragon burn horsetail and not even touch the plant directly beside it. There are so many different biotypes and it appears that Eragon has more activity on the biotypes in eastern Ontario and Quebec than the western side of the province. However, over the last couple years Eragon virtually has no activity”. High rate of Roundup seems to give some control. Broadstrike also gives some control. So, a tank mix Roundup and Broadstrike is probably your best bet.

Drag Hosing Manure on Emerged Corn

Last week we mentioned this is an option. One grower asked is it really OK. I do not know anyone who has done it but the research from the US indicates you can safely pull a full drag hose over corn up to V3 stage. I asked Wayne Snyders owner of Ontario Greenways Inc Mitchell (519 348 0414) if he would do it. He said no because he is afraid of killing corn. He said he would do it for someone if they took all responsibility for any damaged corn. I said I will put it out there. I guess to be fair you hire Wayne to custom apply manure on emerged corn and if you think there is too much damage you stop and pay for setup or put the manure somewhere else. I would not recommend drag hosing manure on planted soils. Too big of a risk of surface compaction from the hose on moist soil. Doing this on emerged corn avoids that risk.

Some Things About This Weather

1.     Crusting is not an issue

2.    Wet ground is not apt to have frost damage

3.    Rhubarb is better this year. Sunshine builds lignin in plants. This year with less sun the rhubarb is sweeter. I have had some great rhubarb crumble and cake.

Three Possible Types of Fleabane

When scouting fields, it is important to mark which ones have fleabane, as Canada fleabane can become a significant problem in 3 years. However, there are two other biotypes that are common in Ontario that are not glyphosate resistant. These are Annual and Philadelphia fleabane. If you are still getting good control of fleabane with glyphosate, it could be one of these other biotypes. The Ontario Weed ID Guide for Field Crops provides a few clues on how to tell the differences. The guide is available at this link; https://fieldcropnews.com/2016/09/weed-id-guide-for-ontario-crops/

1.     Canada Fleabane - Canada fleabane has narrower and darker green leaves with margins that are generally less toothy. Annual fleabane has larger and broader leaves and showy “daisy-like” flowers.

2.    Annual/Rough Fleabane - The leaves of annual or rough fleabane are much broader, more coarsely toothed and are usually lighter green. The flowers of annual or rough fleabane are much different than Canada fleabane, resembling a daisy flower, although much smaller.

3.    Philadelphia Fleabane - The flower heads of Philadelphia fleabane are similar to annual fleabane in shape and size but are usually pink to purple in colour. Its upper leaves are broader and strongly clasp the stem.

Picture 1 - Canada Fleabane (Source: fieldcropnews.com)
Picture 2 - Annual Fleabane
Picture 3 - Philadelphia Fleabane (With some deer feeding)

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