15 min read

The Cropwalker - Volume 4 Issue 32

Always read and follow label directions.

To become a member and receive all issues, sign up at: https://www.getrevue.co/profile/Cropwalker/members

After becoming a member, you can view past members only issues at newsletter.fieldwalker.ca, plus any future issues will be emailed directly to your inbox. Issues with a blue star indicate that they are member's only, just enter your email address on the issue, and it will be sent to your inbox.

Spam Filters

Please ensure  the Cropwalker newsletter is added to your safe sender list or add cropwalker@getrevue.co to your email contacts. There are a few email providers blocking the newsletter. If you missed getting a past issue, you can send it yourself at newsletter.fieldwalker.ca.

Crop Conditions

Corn – Generally looks pretty good. Very few problems in most fields. A number of diseases and insects showing. If you sprayed a fungicide, check your fields to see what diseases you have. Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB) and Tar spot are showing up in the southern part of western Ontario. Ryan Benjamins, CCA in Lambton commented that he is seeing a lot more anthracnose this year than other years. Soybeans also look great across the province. Earliest fields are starting to show a colour change. There are some diseases, Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) soybean cyst nematode (SCN) showing up. Sometimes in the same field. Lots of white mould. Nothing you can do about any of these but take notes on varieties and disease to plan for next year. Forages new seedings emerging well. Check for volunteer wheat and other weeds. Established stands all doing better than average.


Top things this week

1.     Check out https://www.gocereals.ca/performance.php for the 2021 winter wheat variety yield results.

2.    Make a list of what packages you want for corn hybrids. What insect and diseases you need protection for?

3.    Continue to quick check corn and soybean fields for diseases.

4.    Get combine ready for soybeans and drill ready to plant wheat

5.    Check which soybean fields need preharvest weed control.

Corn rootworm continues. A lot of people are hoping it will go away and not be an issue next year. It will not go away. For  corn after corn fields that are in the main livestock area of western Ontario, it is an issue. The strategy is pretty simple. First year corn do not use a rootworm traited hybrid. Second year corn use an insecticide. Third year corn use a Rootworm Resistant traited hybrid. This insect will not go away in a couple of years. It is still a major pest in the US. The possibility of resistant hybrids or nematodes or any other treatment coming along in the next 2-4 years are close to zero.

Top 3 things I learned this summer that I didn’t expect to know

Over the last four months, I have learned a great deal about the agricultural industry, practices, and technological advances. Out of all my learnings, the three most interesting involve the technological advancement in farming, the appearance of plants across different life stages, and the number of factors that could impact a crop yield. Before this position, I was unaware of the technological use in farming. From self-steering tractors to variable-rate planting. From drone field observations to SWAT mapping. Technology's efficiency, effectiveness, and progress allows for improved results, lessened cost, and reduced environmental impacts. Secondly, while performing burndown walks and learning common weeds in a field, I learned about common burdock. I had seen bur bushes near my home, but only in their reproductive stage. So, to see them in their earlier vegetative stage, I was amazed to see and learn their lifecycle and differences over time. Lastly, I have seen crops facing weather, weed, pest, and disease challenges over the growing season. With all the potential difficulties, I am amazed to see an entire lifecycle, overcoming these hurdles, and the management practices to optimize their growth. Overall, I have learned so much regarding the agriculture industry and plant lifecycles, but more importantly, I now understand that agriculture is a complex but fascinating industry.

Brittney Littlefield, Fieldwalker Agronomy Intern

Q Last week you said we should terminate any alfalfa fields that were seeded 2019 or previous. Do I have to if I only take two cuts a year?

Ans The “best before’ criteria for alfalfa is 10 cuts. So, if 2-3 cuts the first year and 3-4 the next two years you will reach 10 well before the end of the 4th year counting establishment year as year one. If you have driven on the field with heavy haying equipment and manure equipment the plants will start to suffer early. One of the big benefits of forages is the yield enhancement to following crops. The more fields that grow alfalfa the higher your overall yields. Put another way, the longer you leave a stand down the smaller the benefit to following crops. That was a long answer. But in your case, 2 cuts over 3 years, means you should get good yields in year four.

Q Can I fall apply boron on alfalfa?

Ans Probably best information comes from Harvey Wright OMAFRA former forage specialist for years. In 1986 he wrote “Boron is best applied to new seedings of alfalfa in the fall of the seeding year with a fertilizer top dressing. Never use boron at seeding especially if using oats as a cover crop since boron can be toxic to oats. Once alfalfa is established Boron can be applied any time during the year.” Harvey measured yield increases of up to 1200 kg/ha with boron on alfalfa.

Q If I no till soybeans into corn stalks and then wheat and corn stalks are still on the ground when I plant corn is there a rootworm concern?

Ans No. The rootworm larva is attracted to the gases given off by living corn roots. They need live corn roots to survive. While rootworm can feed on roots of grassy weeds, they can only survive on corn roots.

Q Will high rate of a neonic seed treatment control rootworm?

Ans High rate of Poncho gives some control, but is not enough, and is much less than the control given by Force properly applied.

Q I sprayed for white mould twice but still have mould showing up. How come? And should I spray again?

Ans Spraying for any crop diseases can reduce the amount of damage but not eliminate it. Applying a fungicide to reduce DON in wheat, reduces DON levels by 50% We use herbicides and can get close to near perfect weed control. With insects and diseases, it is different. For diseases if we get good coverage, you get 10-14 days protection from the targeted diseases. When you spray for white mould Ontario research shows a 14-20 bu/ac yield increase when white mould develops after spraying. But a year like 2021, in fields with high mould pressure, you will still have a lot of mould. You cannot spray now to stop mould. It would be like spraying Primextra or Integrity on foxtail in head and expecting control. For fields with mould, don’t look at them until harvest. Nothing you can do

Rules for perennial weed control

I would rather have to control perennials like sow thistle or milkweed or bindweed than annuals like ragweed and lamb’s quarters. You can eliminate perennial weeds, but it takes years to get rid of annual weeds. The basic rule of three applies to perennial weed control. You have to control these weeds at least three times to get rid of them. Using glyphosate repeatedly over 2-3 years will control them. Rates are not as critical as consistency. With perennial sow thistle spraying after wheat harvest when it is forming rosettes works. Spraying preharvest in soybeans works. Spraying post emergent in corn works. Too often a grower will spray twice and then figure it is under control and does not go for the third spray. You must write down what perennial weeds are in which farm/field and figure out your three times spraying approach.

Thoughts on fertilizer rates with higher fertilizer prices

Ryan Benjamins CCA Lambton county gives a valid comment. “You have to look at the grain to fertilizer ratio.” Price of fertilizer has gone up, but so has price of grain. Before you make wholesale cuts to fertilizer rates develop a strategy. This may include only applying one year’s rate of P and K vs. multiple years. If you have been building soils, maybe this is the year you just apply removal rates. For high testing soils, you do not have to apply removal rates. Depending on the soil test level, a starter may still pay. And you have to factor manure. It cannot be categorized as “I call it a bonus”. Some are waiting to buy fertilizer in the spring vs. fall purchasing. I am not sure that is a good strategy. If you look worldwide, there is still a better chance of fertilizer being priced higher in the spring vs. lower. But no one knows for sure.

Eragon use for pre harvest on edible beans. (Notes from BASF)

Most processors are not allowing Eragon LQ to be tank-mixed with glyphosate as a harvest aid in dry beans. This does make grass burndown more difficult as Eragon has minimal activity on grasses. Product & Rate:    • Eragon LQ at the 2X rate (59 ml/ac) plus Merge (400mL/ac) ***always refer to contract requirements for certain dry bean classes and the use of Glyphosate*** Application Tips: • Apply during warm, sunny conditions when plant metabolism is active.  This will provide much faster burndown activity. • Coverage is key (20 gpa of water, minimum) • Do not apply during morning dews – this may reduce activity and efficacy, leading to inconsistent results. Application Timing:  DRY BEANS  • Apply when 90% of pods have changed colour and are no longer green.

The 59 mL/ac rate in the fall will also provide burndown and short-term residual control of winter annual and perennial weeds such as Canada fleabane, Chickweed, and Henbit. There are no issues with

planting red clover in the spring following a fall application of Eragon LQ. This past spring, when weather challenged our ability to apply in-crop cereal herbicides on time, we noted that fields with a burndown applied were much cleaner than those without, and in many cases these fields didn’t require in-crop weed control at all.

When used as a pre-harvest aid, certain weed species will burn off differently than others. Common Ragweed and Pigweed will die off nicely, however lamb’s quarters will stay upright and only show the usual Eragon burn. In most cases, this will enough get the beans through the combine without green staining. Combine setup and harvest management will be important if effectively managing this tough weed.

Eragon will also have a similar effect on Canada Fleabane, and the victory here is to dry up the plant enough to make it easier to harvest and eliminate some of the seed bank if the weed growth stage is not too far advanced. Note that optimal fall conditions may result in weed regrowth off the “stump” left by the header knife, and fields with a high population of Fleabane will require additional control measures with a Group 4 herbicide (Distinct or Engenia) before freeze-up in the late fall.

Eastern Black Nightshade will dry off and defoliate, however the activity on nightshade fruit is variable, and there are no guarantees that the berries will dry up and no longer be a grade

consideration at the elevator. Often to dry up the berries the crop must be left 21 days or more

before harvest. If possible, harvest the patches in the field and come back harvest the patches later.

Integrated Weed Management

There are multiple ways of management yield losses and quality problems when it comes to weed control. A heavy focus that gets lots of press is to rotate herbicides, layer with residual activity, rotating modes of action. But the word “integrated” implies that you use other methods that maybe proactive and reactive beyond applying herbicides to do the job.

Some examples that should be under consideration, “beyond herbicides”


-Validate off farm inputs prior to application (manure/compost/NASM materials) for weed seed contamination

-Validate seed sources for weed seed contamination (don’t forget about cover crops)

-Stale seed bed

-Crop Shading – row spacing/populations

-Crop Shading – cover crops

-Fertility management – excessive manure/fertility applications beyond what the crop can use can increase weed density.

-Fertility placement

-Crop rotation

-Seed Destroyers – mounted on harvesting equipment, these units destroy/reduce seed viability prior to being returned to the soil.  (very expensive)

Figure out how to make a “scour clean” like we used to have

-Clean new equipment to the farm, especially those purchased from areas with known weed resistance issues


-Weed flaming

-Weed electric shock


-Clipping using a mower/blade

Why do your knolls yield less corn?

Is it less plants, leading to less cobs? Or maybe the plant number is on par, but there are more runts. Or is it the cobs have less rows around? Or is it less length in the size of the rows, leading to more tip back? Until you measure, you won’t know why. You know it’s likely related to water availability, but you will not know where and why are you losing the yield?  And most probably because you have lost topsoil from those knolls.

Picture 1 - Cob showing tip back, possibly phosphorus deficiency.
Picture 2 - Full cob, but how many plants/cobs are in that area?

Winter Canola – Fall Management – Meghan Moran

If you’re planning on trying winter canola for fall of 2021, you should already have your seed order already in place. Meghan Moran put together the guide below with the help of a few of KSU Winter Canola experts.

Winter Canola Guide

Growth Stage Guide

A few pointers

1.     DO NOT use Eragon as a burndown prior to planting winter canola. Check on other herbicide restrictions such as Classic, dicamba, Pursuit etc.

2.    If you do need a burndown product above and beyond glyphosate, Lontrel is safe on canola.

3.    Fall applied starter of 30-40 units of N, 15 units of S, and 40-60 units of P2O5 are required for an optimal start.

4.    You can seed winter canola too thick, check on seeding rates listed in the guide above.

Winter Barley

Looking to try double crop soybeans in 2022, or wanting to try something other than winter wheat? Maybe Winter Barley is the glove for that hand.

A few pointers

1)    Ensure you have a market for the barley prior to seeding… in some areas there is demand for feed barley.

2)    The main variety available in Ontario is LCS Calypso. See more information listed below.

3)    You will want to seed 10-14 days earlier than optimal winter wheat seeding date.

4)    Phosphorus fertilizer is critical to ensure adequate tillering for optimal yields.

Winter Barley Variety Info

LCS Calypso is a new 2-row winter barley with strong yields and malting quality. It has shown good winter hardiness relative to Branson SRW wheat in trials over the past two years, and in seed production has anecdotally had better winter survival than previously marketed winter barley varieties. Winter barley registration trials were initiated in fall 2019 to offer new and improved winter barley varieties to Ontario growers. LCS Calypso is the first available variety to the Ontario market to have come through these registration trials. Here are two photos from the winter barley registration trial at Wabash this year – June 1 and June 29. LCS Calypso is on the left and SU Ruzena (another new 2-row winter barley from SeCan which will be available for fall 2022) is on the right.

Fall 2021 Seed Selection for Winter Wheat

Thank you to those in the industry that have put time and effort into ensuring Ontario has a quality and profitable wheat crop to market. A summary of top genetics and a few suggestions on management practices in one place.

Largest Self-Induced Yield Limiting Factors in Winter Wheat

In no order.

1.    Seeding Date.

2.   Lack of starter phosphorus fertilizer. Soil testing is an imperfect science and cannot account for all weather conditions or soil fertility scenarios. Starter phosphorus puts a floor under your yield potential.

3.   Uneven spreading of previous crop (soybean) residue when trying to no-till wheat.

4.   Improper drill maintenance, leading to an open seed trench and hair pinning and, in some situations’, uneven depth control.

5.   Shallow planting leads to heaving, open seed trench. (I like to see 1.5" inches, when this occurs on the soils I work with, I see less winterkill/heaving in the spring).

6.   Lack of awareness on thousand kernel weight (TKW) to set the drill to seeds per acre, rather than pounds per acre.

7.    Use of improper seed rate for the time of year/yield potential. The plant will put out less tillers if you have adequate seed. Tiller heads contribute less to yield than main heads in winter wheat, out of everything you do to maximize yield potential in wheat, getting enough seed on is mission critical (adjust based on planting date!).

Winter Wheat Variety Summary

A summary of current market offerings for fall 2021. Focus is on new genetics. A few suppliers reporting strong demand for some of these products, so if you haven’t firmed up your wheat seed needs, now is the time.

For most wheat classes, you can essentially divide what most suppliers have into two, maybe three categories. The first two are what I would call wheat for typical management and are subdivided for winter survival purposes into poorly drained or well drained genetics. From my experience, the poorly drained wheat genetics tends to tiller more in the spring, to make up for plant stand mortality.  Under normal conditions where higher levels of stand mortality are not a concern, these tillers tend to be a hinderance, and lead to increased lodging.

A third category would be those looking for a wheat that responds to high levels of management.

Soft White

Nothing new for the 2021 season in the soft white category. Most common varieties by supplier.


Ava (awnless) - Excellent yielding, sprout resistant relative to other SWW varieties. Sound agronomics that responds to slightly higher seeding rates.


25W38 (awned) – Excellent lodging score with strong disease package. Short variety.


AC Mountain - High yields, good quality and excellent tolerance to barley yellow dwarf virus.

Soft Red


B654SRW (awnless) – best adapted to areas 1 and 2, medium tall plant, excellent winter survival and stripe rust resistance. Early maturity and stable yields across multiple years. Responds to intensive management. Try this variety if you have been happy with Branson in the past.

Branson (awnless) – adapted to all areas, short to medium tall plant. Has been a standard on many farms that have grown SRW.

DS572SRW (awned) – a mid to full maturity wheat, adapted to zones 1 to 3. if you have grown Emmit in the past, this is its replacement. Excellent winter survival, seed, and test weight. Largest seed out of all varieties in the Brevant lineup.

C&M Seeds

Blaze (awned) – Excellent yields with great winter survival. FHB1 gene (prevents secondary infection) for excellent fusarium tolerance. Strong stripe rust. Small seeded for seed cost savings. Medium plant height with great standability and lots of straw. If you are an organic grower, look for this one (due to strong fusarium tolerance). Well suited to all soil types and regions.

Hilliard (awned) – C&M is recommending this racehorse on high fertility and intensive management farms. It has very fast emergence with an excellent disease package. Short plant height with great standability. Lots of straw, expected to respond to intensive management. Position on loam and clay loam soils.

Cruze (awned) – Has traditionally done very well in area 1. Responds very well to management. If pushing N rates, consider split N application or a growth regulator to keep it straight. With aggressive tillering, position on clay, clay-loam, and loam soils in area 1 and 2.


25R74 (awned) – 25R40 performance with stronger fusarium tolerance; shorter; more likely to respond to late season management for growers wanting to manage with multiple passes. Use typical seeding rates based upon calendar date and ground conditions.

25R61 (awned) – 25R40 performance with stronger fusarium tolerance; taller. Less responsive to intensive management than 25R74. Use typical seeding rates based upon calendar date and ground conditions.

Please note that R61 is rated moderately resistant, and R72 is rated moderately susceptible in the OCCC trials for fusarium tolerance. R40 has a highly susceptible rating on the trials.

Continue to have; 25R46 (awned), 25R40 (awned).


Secan members have offered the following the past few years, with one new variety.

Emperor (awnless) - Average heading date and good milling quality. Medium to tall plant height with good standability and straw yields. Solid choice for producers who are looking for more straw than is produced by shorter statured winter wheat varieties on the market.

Secord (awned) - Strong yield potential. Has a medium plant height, good stripe rust tolerance, acceptable winter survival, and adaptability to all winter wheat production areas of Ontario.

OAC Constellation (awned) - is a new awned SRW wheat developed by the winter wheat breeding program at the University of Guelph. It is strong strawed with a short to medium plant height. From a disease perspective it is moderately susceptible to FHB and has excellent resistance to stripe rust. Here is a photo comparison of plant type versus Secord – OAC Constellation is on the left and Secord is on the right. This was taken on July 15, 2020 at a field near Cambridge, where high pedigree seed plots of both varieties were grown under the same management conditions.

Snobelen Farms

Marker (awnless) – Consistently top yield performer. Responds very well to intensive management. Highest rating for FHB resistance. Earlier heading. Small seed for seed cost savings.

Hard Red

C&M Seeds

C&M positions both Adrianus and Pro81 as having yields comparable to soft red wheats, while maintaining a stronger protein profile than Priesley.

Adrianus (awned) – It is Priesley with awns and stronger protein. Clean, short, and stands well. If you have grown Priesley and are looking for the next generation of Hard Red, consider Adrianus. Suitable for all soil types.

Pro 81 (awned) – If you have grown Gallus in the past, consider Pro 81. It has a strong leaf disease package, and it looks like Gallus, but yields more! Taller than Adrianus, with aggressive tillering. Rate as suitable for all soil types.

Lexington (awned) – Medium height. Similar plant to Gallus, 2018 area III trials rate it better for winter survival and straw yields. Can have slightly better protein than Gallus. Impressive plant with large, plump kernels. Possibly a good fit if you have grown Princeton or Harvard in the past. Suitable for area 2 and 3.

Hybrid Rye

C&M continues to offer Brasetto Hybrid Rye. This hybrid is suitable for sandy or lighter soil textures where having adequate moisture is a concern for winter wheat. End users like the consistency and high-quality grain while providing strong tillering and plant health for those growing it.

Winter Wheat – Unsure on your area?

Ontario Cereals Crop Committee Test Area Map below.

Source: https://www.gocereals.ca/performance.php

Figure 1 - OCCC Variety Trial Test Map/Areas

"Editor: a person employed by a newspaper, whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed."

– Elbert Hubbard