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The Cropwalker - Volume 5 Issue 47

The Cropwalker - Volume 5 Issue 47

By Jonathan Zettler CPA, CMA, CCA-ON and Patrick Lynch CCA-ON


Fourth complimentary issue for 2022
This is the fourth complimentary issue for 2022, we try and send one about every 3 months for you to see what we are currently writing about and to give you a test run of our newsletter.

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Thank you for reading;

Patrick and Jonathan
Send us your questions
If you have a question, just reply to this email, we try to have an answer for you within 48 hrs.
This will be the last 2022 issue. Next issue will be in 2023 after we return from the Ontario Agricultural Conference.
Weed Control
Control of Waterhemp (PJL)
The following charts have been taken from information provided by Mike Cowbrough OMAFRA.
As you can see there are not a lot of options for soybeans. You do not want to get this weed on your farm. Suggest you use a program in corn to make sure you have none there, and then watch your soybeans for waterhemp. (We are presuming all waterhemp is glyphosate resistant).

Fierce pre-emerge in soybeans is rated as giving 95% control. Last year there were some soybeans damaged where Fierce was applied on heavy textured soils, consult your Nufarm rep prior to use on these soil types.
Efficacy ratings (percent control) were taken 8 weeks after application. Source: Dr. P.H. Sikkema, University of Guelph (Ridgetown)

Multiple studies have shown that waterhemp emergence is greater in no-till cropping systems compared to ones that include tillage (
Refsell and Hartzler, 2009). An Iowa study demonstrated that duration of waterhemp emergence was 26 days longer in a no-till cropping system compared to one that used a chisel-plough (Refsell and Hartzler, 2009).

Waterhemp in Cereals
Generally, waterhemp has not been a problem in winter cereals as winter wheat early growth tends to out compete waterhemp. Waterhemp is an annual, not like Canada Fleabane that gets started in the fall. the herbicides registered on winter wheat Infinity, Lontrel XC, Pixxaro, and TruSlate Pro all give 95% control.

Puryield Notes (PJL)
Last week we told you about PurYield and how it will fit for 2023. Just to clarify a couple of points on ESN.

ESN is produced in Carsland, Alberta and New Madrid, Missouri. Current low levels in the Mississippi are hindering the movement of nitrogen products from New Madrid, MO. This suggests that nitrogen produced in western Canada will be needed there. The plant in Alberta that produces ESN needs to supply western Canada before they ship any to Ontario. As a result, there are expected supply chain challenges with ESN this year.

Q How much elemental sulfur does it take to reduce soil pH?

ANS These are rated for soils with pH above 7.0. It is felt that above pH 7.0 the quantity of S needed is too great to even contemplate. And you would need multiple applications.
Grid sampling and the Easter Bunny Another take (PJL)
The idea of this newsletter is to give you information that is a fact such as which herbicide to use and when to control certain weeds. But we also want to encourage and challenge the public opinion on certain topics.

Last week Jonathan commented on grid sampling. Here is my perspective. Grid sampling does have a place. In the US my friend Darel Walker CCA IN says in his area about 60-70% of the soil sampling are done on a grid basis. But they have variable rate fertilizer spreaders and agronomists knowledgeable enough to make variable rate application maps and equipment to apply variable rate. Years ago, when I was with Cargill, we did a lot of variable rate fertilizer applications. Within our system we had 5 variable rate spreaders and the know how to make maps and run the equipment. The current issue is not a lack of equipment. There is lots of spreader capable of doing this. However, the adoption rate is low because people have not perfected operational excellence so that it can be done at scale.

Right now, I am working on two sets of fertilizer recommendations that have grid samples. The first is a lighter soil with about 20% needing lime. The grids show where those areas are.

The second 120-acre field is made up of 4-6 smaller fields at one time. In these 120 acres there is about 20% needing lime and magnesium. (Mg levels around 50-60) There is about 20-25% of the 120 acres that has high P values, and the other areas have medium to very low P levels. In this case this farm had separate fields, some received a lot of manure.

In my estimation grid sampling is worthwhile in both of these scenarios, I am not sure we need to continue to grid sample these areas as we now know which areas have low and high levels. These are not apt to change dramatically in the future. We know where the low pH areas are and can use some type of zone sampling.
I do like Jonathan’s SWAT system of sampling. However, with that system, same if you have grid samples you may need someone to variable apply P and K.

JZ – Grid sampling was developed in the late 1990s when we had no other options for building maps to manage crop inputs. The general principle behind grids has not changed in over 30 years. Precision agriculture has continued to evolve, your methods of managing inputs should too. Reality is that spatial variability is not the limiting factor when it comes to getting a crop response, it is spatial x temporal variability, and unless you have a map that can model that, you are still farming in 1997.

Using Polymer Coated Nitrogen Fertilizer in Winter Wheat? (JZ)
If you are using polymer coated fertilizer as part of your winter wheat broadcast, I would caution you on the % that you use as part of that program. The later and later this material is spread, the smaller and smaller the amount should be of the total nitrogen %. In Soft Red Wheat, I would start at 30% of the total N being from a polymer coated material if applied in late March/early April and start to work the % back as you start to get later into the spring.
Q – Jonathan, why are you reviewing what I consider textbook values for making potassium recommendations?

A – Even the elite in professional sports review the basics from time to time. Why should I be any different? Advanced agronomy is mastering the basics and applying it at a higher level of detail, or the combination of basic concepts.

Manganese Soil Test and Recommendations (JZ)
The accredited Manganese soil test for Ontario is a phosphoric acid extraction. Manganese is also influenced by soil pH like Zinc. As a result, Ontario recommendations have a Manganese index to help determine crop response to Manganese. The recommendations listed below are for foliar applications of manganese, as soil applications are inefficient in addressing the deficiency symptoms that can come. As new plant tissue grows, repeated foliar applications are typically required, as Manganese is not mobile within the plant.

You can also have Manganese deficiency on sensitive crops, even if the soil test is adequate, due to environmental conditions. In these situations, you will also have to supplement with a foliar application. If the conditions persist causing the deficiency, repeated applications will be required to assist new plant tissues.

The one watch out with this nutrient is there are many foliar products on the market that contain manganese, but not all of them have a high enough concentration or rate per acre to address the deficiency. Ensure that you are using a product that is effective (typically only contains manganese).

Corn Nitrogen Requirements – Corn Price vs Yield – What’s the impact? (JZ)
I met with someone recently to discuss how farmers make nitrogen recommendations. They had asked about using the Ontario corn N calculator, which can be a very useful tool in making nitrogen recommendations. Where I have struggled with using it in the last year is there is now more uncertainty when it comes to making this decision when purchasing nitrogen, the price of corn, and what the expected yield will be.

Based on this conversation, I did not want to be viewed as a complainer that throws their hands up in the air and does nothing. Instead, I have ran a matrix on what the expected N value should be at various prices and yield levels to show the impact it can have. In this example I have used three yield levels, 180, 200 and 220, picked a clay loam field is Western Ontario that had the straw removed following winter wheat, and we applied all the nitrogen up front. For side-dress values, you can use 80% of the rate in these charts.

Nitrogen value of red clover (Cornell University) (PJL)
Nitrogen Credits In studies reported in the literature, the 1st year N fertilizer replacement value (NFRV) of clover for corn can be large. When clover was interseeded into a small grain (oats, wheat, etc.) the year before corn, the NFRV was 70 lbs. N/acre in studies conducted in Ontario, 135-140 lbs. N/acre in Pennsylvania, 85-100 lbs. N/acre in Wisconsin, and 90-120 lbs. N/acre in Michigan and New York. The N release from spring-killed clover tends to coincide with the time of greatest N need of corn.

Do you give a nitrogen credit to your red clover underseeded in winter wheat ?

Win some free red clover seed (PJL)

Semican Seeds is donating 1500 lbs. of red clover seed to this competition. First prize is 1,000 lbs. of seed and second prize is 500 lbs. of red clover seed. The seed to be picked up at the nearest Semican Seed supplier. Rules are fairly simple. Have a CCA send us a picture of your red clover stand. We will decide from the pictures who has the best 50 acres. In the event that there are numerous stands that look similar we will do a draw. We just want to know some basics of how you got the stand. When seeded, N rate on wheat, herbicide used, previous crop and how wheat and clover was planted.

Maximizing Nitrogen $$ (PJL)
A presentation looking at nitrogen emissions and how we can reduce them
1.     Different products and ways to reduce emissions
a.     Use of inhibitors
b.     Side dressing
c.     Using slow-release fertilizer ESN, PurYield

2.     These methods will reduce N2O emissions but generally won’t increase yield.
3.     The best way to increase profit is by using one of these techniques, by reducing nitrogen rate and maintaining yield with this reduced rate.
Consensus of two speakers is that we can reduce our emissions by 30% without reducing yields by using different techniques
They talked about the 5th R in fertilizer use. The 4Rs are right rate, right time, right source, right place. They believe the 5th R is rotation. By using more crop rotation, we get better use of nitrogen.
You can watch the presentation here
Maximizing Nitrogen $$ - Part 1 of 4 - Overview of the science of the N cycle, N losses & emissions - YouTube

Q – How much background nitrogen is released by different soil types? (JZ)

A – This is built into the Ontario Corn Nitrogen calculator, here is the data for Western and Eastern Ontario.

Precision Ag
Gift idea – Floor Maps for Carpet Farming/General Interest
Boundi Maps is able to put your farm on a carpet. If you are looking for that hard to buy person, this might be the solution. See below.

Link to custom order form if you want a satellite picture of your farms/fields on a map.

Business Matters
Ten years ago, I wrote (PJL) “Land Values and Rent – A rule of thumb is that: land should rent for 3% of its value. Currently land is renting for less than that (in most areas). If you are negotiating with a landlord suggest to them that their land increased by about 46% in the last 5 years. During that time, you have been looking after their investment. Suggest that you will continue to look after their investment. If they rent to a new renter there is no guarantee they will look after it as well as you have. If you have made improvements to their land including taking down old buildings, removing dead trees, etc., remind them of that. Often these activities are forgotten.
“You gotta wanna.”

— Anonymous Successful Farmer