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The Cropwalker - Volume 3 Issue 27

Always read and follow label directions.

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Crop Conditions

Weather – typical Ontario summer weather. Some areas with great moisture and crops looking great. Other areas dry and no rain in sight. Winter wheat - harvest is into the middle counties. Lambton is 50% off. Perth, Huron, Oxford Middlesex, Elgin 25-40%. Harvest is starting in central Ontario. Early planted early harvested wheat has good yields. Then next acres had less yield because plants were filling during hot and dry. Yield has gone back up with fields currently being harvested that had received rain. Comments about how dusty straw is even in fields that had 2 fungicide application. Watch for combine and straw fires. Great idea to have at least two fire extinguishers in the combine and at least one in all tractors. Some keep a tank of water (100-200 gallons) on the bank of the grain buggy with a small water pump + hose. Cheap insurance. Straw yields are good. Lots of little kernels. Turning the wind up to blow these small kernels out should improve bushel weight. No fusarium reported. Quality is great except for small kernels. Corn continues with few issues. Except uneven tasseling. Lots of interest in spraying for Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) in traditional WBC areas. This link gives you a look at trap counts across Ontario https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=df7c044f224e4345825e75d1fa561560 Main WBC products are Coragen, Delegate and Voliam Xpress. Uneven tasseling is making spraying for DON reduction a challenge. Soybeans fields that have received rain are looking phenomenal. Should be good yield and early harvest. Soybean aphid numbers are still low. Spotty spraying for spider mites. Keep watching. Forages third cut is growing well in fields that received moisture. In dry areas there are a lot of leaf hoppers.


Send us your cover crop questions

We will be doing a few articles on cover crops, have a particular topic you would like for us to cover? Please send it in.

Summary of Products for Fusarium and Other Disease Control in Corn

The best products to control both Fusarium and some other leaf diseases in corn, in no particular order, Miravis Neo (meer -a-vis), It is registered at 0.3 to 0.5 L/ac. At 0.3 L/ac you control leaf diseases. At 0.4 L/ac you control leaf diseases and expect a 50% reduction in DON. The 0.5 L/ac gives more DON protection., Proline at the high rate of 0.17 L/ac for DON and stalk rot suppression, the lower rate of 0.128 L/ac only provides leaf disease control. Headline AMP at 0.3 L/ac + Caramba at 0.2 L/ac. from BASF. Caramba gives fusarium control and Headline provides plant health and stay green. Can also apply just Caramba on its own but will give up some leaf disease protection.

Figure 1 - Common Ontario Corn Fungicides

How does Fusarium infect corn kernels?

The article above explains how corn is pollinated. I believe that the fusarium spore lands on the silk. Then once the pollen grain lands on the silk it pushes or caries the fusarium spore to the kernel to start the infection. Once infected you need a susceptible hybrid and the right weather conditions to allow fusarium to grow.

How Do I Time a Fungicide in Uneven Corn

There are two times that affect fungicide applications, tasseling or silking. Spraying at silking targets corn ear diseases and tasseling targets foliar leaf diseases. According to Dave Hooker RCAT/University of Guelph “There is a six-day window of silk infection and this is the time that we should be spraying our fungicide from full silk to when the silks just begin to brown.

This means when you have a field that is tasseling over a 10-14 days try to spray when the majority is mid silk. That may mean that the first 5% has brown silks

A study by Ridgetown researcher Art Schaafsma showed that there is a 60 per cent reduction in DON levels if corn is sprayed for Gibberella ear rot around silking, within a six-day window, before the silks begin to brown.

Should I be controlling Volunteer Corn in Soybeans?

What is the yield impact if you decide to leave it? OMAFRA data suggests 1 volunteer corn plant per m2 is a yield loss of 4%, 5 volunteer corn plants per m2 is 15%.

How Much Organic Matter Does Wheat Produce?

Before the advent of fungicides, it was shown that there are about 100 lbs./ac of residue produced/bushel of wheat. (I feel with fungicides there is more residue). Thus, an 80 bu/ac crop produces about 4 ton/ac of residue. If you sell 1.5 ton/ac you still have 2.5 ton/ac of residue. Selling 1.25 ton/ac at a profit of $100.00 – $125.00/ac is a sound decision. This straw will remove about $25-30 /ac of fertilizer. You still have a lot of residue and dollars left to maintain organic matter. If you plant a cover crop of oats or have red clover you produce much more organic matter than what you sell.

Broadcasting Oats Cover Crop After Wheat and Using Vertical Tillage

The idea is to mix oats with fertilizer and broadcast it all. For vertical tillage you want something that will mix the oats into the top 1 ½ to 2 inches. You need a tool with rolling baskets that will firm the soil. I believe that other types of harrows will not pack the soil well enough. Use 80 lbs/ac oats. This is about 20 lbs/ac more than if using a no-till drill. However, you will not get as good emergence this way as opposed to drilling. But the vertical tillage will give annual weed control. There are some producers using ultra low rates of Oats in a blend. You just need enough for soil structure and weed suppression purposes. Try a few different rates if you do not have a fine-tuned rate.

Question: Should I grow something other than Oats for Dry Cow/Heifer Feed?

Answer: In my experience triticale will yield more than Oats when it comes to feed. You will pay more for seed. If you can buy good quality Oats for $400/MT out of a bin (arbitrary number), then triticale cost per acre is about 3x as much ($50/acre vs. $18/acre for Oats). If buying cleaned seed, costs maybe comparable. However, you need to consider triticale will provide more volume, and will not suffer the issues of crown rust, which can reduce palatability. Add in a fungicide pass and costs are within $10/acre.

Plant Mobile vs Non-Mobile

If the nutrient is non-mobile within the plant, that may mean you need to make repeated foliar application if the plant is unable to access the nutrition it needs from the soil (due to environmental stress or low fertility). One example is Manganese. You can correct the deficiency with the first application, but if environmental conditions persist limiting uptake, this means that the new growth within the plant is unable to acquire the previous foliar application or from the soil, because manganese is not mobile within the plant foliage. Plant mobile nutrients will exhibit deficiencies on lower or older leaves, with non-mobile nutrients exhibiting deficiencies on new growth.

Figure 2 - Yara Plant Nutrient Uptake and Mobility

Understanding Tissue Tests

When you send a plant tissue test to the lab, it is oven dried, weighted and then analyzed for the various nutrients. The report comes back. The lab puts together a report with your values, and the expected values. The expected values the lab uses on the report are for specific stages of plant growth for comparison purposes. In most field crops there are three stages you could compare against. Early vegetative, late vegetative, and early reproductive. During late reproductive the plant is actively moving nutrients into the grain or oilseed, giving false readings, and are generally unreliable if you were to try and make fertility adjustments. One reading that is relatively reliable, would be to do a stalk nitrate test in corn, to determine if you had adequate nitrogen fertility at grain fill. If you have a minor use crop (Adzuki beans, for example), the lab’s database maybe thin when it comes to having benchmark values, as a result you may have a visual deficiency but it will not flag when sent to the lab, as it’s not properly calibrated for that crop. In these instances, it is a good idea to send in a reference sample, for comparison purposes, from a field, or part of the field that is not showing any of the symptoms.

Figure 3 - Yara Average Plant Nutrient Concentration

Question: I have perennial weeds such as Sowthistle and Field Bindweed, I want to plant cover crops, when should I spray them, and what product should I use?

Answer: Unless you have a glyphosate resistant weed you are chasing, spraying pre-harvest at 1 REL of glyphosate will provide the best bang for your dollar. At this stage you will have the maximum amount of leaf surface to root ratio. Any other timing is inferior to this timing when trying to control perennial weeds with glyphosate. Then if the weeds are still there in the fall, spray them again prior to fall free up. Yes, it may mean 8-10 weeks of cover crop, such is life. It is cheaper to control perennials in the fall than the following year in most crops where most products hold them back, at best. Lastly, if you have just cut the field, I’d suggest planting the cover crop, with the intention of spraying it off earlier than normal to try and tackle perennials when you still have adequate growing degree days to translocate the herbicide.

Now is the time to think about planning fall fertilizer on forages

Depending on your management style and type of forage, August is the month to ensure you have adequate fertility in place as your perennial forages start to build root reserves for fall dormancy. The main nutrient of concern is potash. If you do not have a current soil test for the field, I would also recommend getting that done if you do not see switching to another crop in the foreseeable future.

1st Application Fungicide Timing in Edible Beans

Based on activity on Twitter, early planted edibles are being sprayed. This is a reminder you should see a few pin beans (but flowers have not dropped – see pin bean at end of my thumb), when making your first white mould/anthracnose application.

Picture 1 - Pin Beans in Adzuki Beans

"You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills."

-  Jim Rohn