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The Cropwalker - Volume 2 Issue 36

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Crop Conditions

2014 crops were significantly behind other years. This year we are behind 2014. We need about another 30 days of frost free to get crops finished. Winter wheat - some acres seeded that were not planted this spring. For this week, keep seeding rate at 1.2-1.4 M seeds/ac.  Corn - earliest is denting. A way to go. Corn silage you can cut at 18” height to reduce moisture. This typically reduces moisture by 3-4%. This will decrease yield by about 15% but there is an 8-12% increase in feed quality. This means about a 3-4% decrease in lbs milk per acre to get drier corn silage.  Soybeans - no report of harvest yet. Should see some beans off this week. Lots of beans at R7 but still a lot of acres at R5 and R6. Weather - most talked about topic at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. Full moon (called the harvest moon) occurred last week without any frost) for those who think there is a connection.) Forages - harvest is continuing as weather allows.

Table 1 - Expected Yield by Crop Stage if a Killing Frost Occurs
Table 2 - Winter Wheat Seed Rate per Foot of Row


Can I Apply 2,4-D Before Planting Wheat?

It is on the label. There is very little recent research on this subject. Dr Peter Sikkemma RCAT summarized 8 data sets looking at this question. In his plots he applied the herbicides the day of planting. Looking at the data the difference in yield may not be significant. Do not apply dicamba prior to seeding winter wheat.

Table 3 - Burndown Prior to Winter Wheat

Glyphosate Tolerant Fleabane and Winter Wheat

Canada fleabane seed typically lands within 100 m of where the seed is produced. But it can travel 500 km from the parent plant. With this in mind presume you have glyphosate resistant fleabane. You can control this weed by: 1) spraying Eragon plus Merge® plus glyphosate pre-harvest on soybeans. 2) Spray Infinity either this fall or next spring. Infinity also controls dandelion and chickweed. 3) Tillage can work as long as the fleabane rosettes are small and the tillage effectively pulls the plants out. Bigger plants and wetter conditions makes it harder to control fleabane with tillage.

Eragon – When, Where and How Much?

Eragon is a desiccant. The use rate of 1X rate is 29 ml/ac. Use the 1X rate for desiccation. Use the 2X rate before winter wheat for desiccation and to provide residue control of fleabane and chickweed. Always use Merge and glyphosate. The rate of glyphosate is dependent on weeds present. Watch glyphosate rate and days before harvest if spraying pre-harvest. If you have a field mainly with perennial weeds, such as dandelion or sow-thistle, I would recommend only using glyphosate, and leaving out the Eragon, for better translocation.

Table 4 - Eragon Rate by Species Chart

Eragon Pre-Harvest Timing Guide

Can be found at this link: https://agro.basf.ca/basf/agprocan/agsolutions/solutions.nsf/Images/PDC-AFRV-AJ8NCD/$File/Eragon_Staging_Guide.pdf

Can I Seed Red Clover into Winter Wheat Next Spring in a field with Fleabane?

Yes. One way is 60 ml Eragon this fall, with glyphosate and Merge, as a preharvest in soybeans. This will control emerged fleabane and give SOME residual control of fleabane. Then next spring spray Buctril M to control small fleabane. If you miss the Eragon opportunity, you would have to spray Infinity in-crop this fall when the window is available to do it. First choice is to use Eragon.

Should I Spray Pre-harvest or Post-Harvest When Going From Soybeans to Winter Wheat?

My preference is for growers to spray pre-harvest. There are three reasons; 1) You are not in a rush, as there is usually time to do a pre-harvest application, so it is more likely to get done. 2) There is no residue covering the weeds from combining. 3) There is more green plant tissue on perennial weeds before combining, than after combining, providing a better kill. There are exceptions, a couple of those are 1) Your end-user does not allow pre-harvest applications, 2) You are growing soybeans for seed, and are unable to use glyphosate.

How to Control Red Clover

Red clover continues to build root mass from the end of September until the end of October. This is based on research from Dr. Steve Bowley, University of Guelph. The compromise is spraying in September so you can use conservation tillage vs. spray later to get more growth but destroy soil structure because you work the field when it is wetter and later. I prefer to spray when the soil is dry enough to allow conservation tillage. The table summarizes research from University of Guelph by Dr.’s Sikkema, Swanton and Tardiff on controlling red clover for plough

down. I would not recommend dicamba on its own, as you will not control the volunteer winter wheat, still consider adding glyphosate.

Table 5 - Red Clover Burndown Options

Syngenta Has a New Seed Treatment to Help Control Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) in Soybeans

Ten years ago, we knew little about SDS. Now we know it is related to a soil fungus. Syngenta has a fungicide seed treatment Saltro which controls this fungus. Saltro may be registered for use in the US for 2020. Probably will not be available in Canada for next year’s planting.

Highlights from Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show

There was so much to see. Demonstrations I was impressed with the roller crimper demonstration. Four roller crimpers demonstrated how you could plant cereal rye, burn it off and then roll and crimp it and plant no-till. This would be best suited to no till soybeans. The strip till demonstration had a lot of interest. I imagine there will be a lot of press and meetings on strip till this year.

Conservation tillage of a cover crop. Really, all 14 pieces of equipment performed well. I believe there is a great opportunity to rent some of these pieces of equipment if you don’t want to share with another farmer. This year they were mostly high-speed disks. This year more models had a shortened distance between the rows of discs. Most had serrated disc but a couple with non-serrated. There was emphasis on how long the blades would last and the “never need sharpening” features. Sealed bearings and individually mounted discs (that could move up to 9” over ha stone without affecting the other discs) were also featured. Probably will not be another tillage demonstration in the near future.

The fertilizer spreading demonstration was attended by serous folks. There were at least two spreaders sold as a result of the demonstration. The features of some of the spreaders included VR capabilities, GPS, Section Control, and ISOBUS compatible. One feature that was appreciated was the spreading from one side because of split delivery chains. This feature is great for driving along waterways, around the outside of a field or beside a neighbours crops.

Attendance, official numbers have not been released. First two days were good attendance. The crowds in the aisles were reasonable but with 750 exhibitors the area has increased. On Wednesday night we got about 4” of rain. Some tents went down. This hurt attendance the third day but still a lot of attendees. They were still coming in at 2:00 on Thursday.

European Fertilizer Spreaders

When it comes to running a well-oiled operation, one area I suggest growers look at is how they apply fertilizer. I am a big fan of European fertilizer spreaders; I do mean fertilizer spreaders from Europe. Why? Many have featured options that North American suppliers are still dreaming about. Rather than recommend one brand over another, I will provide a list of what I think is critical when looking at a hi-tech fertilizer spreader.

The list of features that you should consider when looking at a high-caliber fertilizer spreader;

1.     Section Control – The spreader rate controller will adjust spread width in wedges and headlands to minimize overlap. This is especially critical in cereal crops when pushing nitrogen rates. Compare the number of sections each manufacturer offers; more sections mean less overlap. i.e. AgChem Airflow has 2 sections on a 70’ boom, 35’ sections; One brand of spreader has 16 sections on 120’ spread, 7.5’ sections.

2.    Border Control – Many of the spreaders overlap their spread pattern by 100%, resulting in a total spread width of 240’, when the effective spread width is set to 120’.

3.    Double spread – Many of the spreaders use a double spread pattern (100% overlap) to negate spread pattern issues due to wind.

4.    VR capability – Is usually standard on units with section control. Some even have separate rate control by spinner.

5.    Spread Width/Capacity – Many of the spreaders can spread more than 90 or 120’, the limiting factor to spread width is product type/product quality. Without booms to fold, the capacity per hour can be similar to an airflow machine, as twice the distance is covered per pass. The limiting factor to productivity is keeping material at the field. There is a difference between brands on output/minute, which limits ground speed when applying at high rates.

6.    ISOBUS Monitor – Many of the manufacturer’s allow you to run your spreader on an existing monitor you may already have for GPS/machine control. Just plug in and go.

Potash Recommendations by Soil Cation Exchange Capacity

A recent study published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal, suggests, that to improve soil test accuracy for North Dakota corn recommendations, you should be considering clay type. In this particular study, if they included clay minerology along with a standard soil test for potassium, they were able to improve the probability of predicting a response from 16 out of 25 times (64%) to 19 out of 25 (76%) times. The clay smectite/illite ratio of 3.5 separated the sites into one requiring a higher critical K soil test value and one with a lower critical K value. This research aligns with potassium recommendations in the Tri-State Fertilizer Handbook. You can find a copy of the study (open access) at this link; https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/sssaj/abstracts/83/2/429

Should I use 6-24-6 or 10-34-0 in-furrow on wheat?

It depends on what you can buy it for. Based upon research by one fertilizer manufacturer, you would have to buy 10-34-0 at 75% of the price of 6-24-6 to be money ahead.

Should I use MESZ or MAP for fall starter?

It depends, does your local retailer sell both? If not, maybe it is time to try a strip of MESZ in a field and see for yourself. Mosaic suggests a 1.8 bu/ac advantage to using MESZ over MAP, when both were applied at 40 lbs./ac actual P2O5. I expect much of this could be due to a response from the sulphur. I have noticed that growers that use MESZ never seem to have sulphur deficiency in their winter wheat crop the following spring. On those acres, I still plan to apply additional sulphur with the spring nitrogen application.

Winter Wheat Fertility

A quick reminder from OMAFRA’s publication 811 on winter wheat phosphorus management. If you have a soil testing above 20 ppm, not as critical to have seed placed phosphorus, broadcast applied at some point in the crop rotation to replace crop removal is a good idea. That being said, it would pay for a pass with the spreader in the fall if you have the time.

Figure 1 - Winter Wheat Response to Phosphorus

What do you think about Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs)?

There is a short, 14-question, mainly multiple-choice survey we would like you to complete. According to Survey Monkey, it should take approximately six minutes to complete the survey. It is compatible with phones, tablets and computers. You can enter your email address for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card. Your answers will not be linked to your email address. There is no obligation to enter your email address. The link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P8TC8M7   It would be appreciated if you could complete the survey by Friday, September 27th.

Looking for a burger? McDonald’s will not be adding plant-based burgers to their 1400 locations across Canada.

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

- John Wooden