10 min read

The Cropwalker - Volume 6 Issue 34

The Cropwalker - Volume 6 Issue 34

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


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.
Second complimentary issue for 2023
This is the second complimentary issue for 2023, we try and send one every few months for you to see what we are currently writing about and to give you a test run of our newsletter.

If you are enjoying this issue and would like to continue to receive future issues, you can now sign up for a 30 day trial, and pay either monthly or yearly. See the link below.

Click here to sign up for the 30 day trial (about 4 issues).

Thank you for reading;

Patrick and Jonathan

2023 Harvest Progress Polls

We are pleased to announce that Bayer CropScience will be sponsoring our harvest progress polls. Please stay tuned on Twitter/X as we get rolling when combines hit the field.
Crop conditions Weather – As you can see we are still behind. Ridgetown area behind more than other areas of the province. According to this London area about normal. I checked the ozone levels and surprisingly they are still quite low.
Things to Do This Week
1.     Check that all vehicles have fire extinguishers, insurance, and proper licensing.
2.     Check that all drivers, including your dad, have proper driver’s license.
3.     Check hybrid plots for tar spot. Especially plots that have your favourite hybrid.
4.     If you harvest corn silage take a sample to one of the corn silage days to measure your corn moisture
5.     Plan your preharvest soybean herbicide program.
6.     Do a yield estimate on corn. Check populations vs ear count. Husk all ears in your 1/1000 of an acre. Figure out why you have a spread. Make note if it’s runt plants or seed mortality. Runt plants is a planter setup issue. Seed mortality is a soil condition issue.
7.     Calculate wheat seeding rate and the appropriate drill setting.
8.     Figure out winter wheat/winter barley fertilizer needs.
9.     Take time to properly setup fields and crops in your monitors and related programs (FarmTRX/Fieldview/JD Ops Centre/Agfiniti) or whatever you are using to record your yield data. Have step by step cards in the machine if you are not the only operator.
Weed Control
Eragon – When Where and How Much?
Eragon is a desiccant. (Glyphosate is not a desiccant) The Eragon 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. Since there is only one rate registered (0.67 L/ac) you will not get the weed control on some weeds that you could with higher rates. 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 consider using glyphosate alone.
Steps to calculate wheat seeding rate based on seed weight
1.     Use a kitchen scale
2.     Tare the scale with empty container
3.     Count out 1,000 seeds
4.     Weigh the container and seeds
a.     E.g., 42 gm per 1,000 seeds

5.     Use your expected seeding rate e.g., 1.6 M seeds/ac
a.     This equates to 42X 1600= 67,2oo grams

b.     Convert to pounds per acre be dividing by 454.

c.     67,200/454 = 148 lbs/ac
Q My peas that I planted after winter wheat are looking tough. My neighbor’s double crop soybeans are also looking tough. We both used Infinity FX on our winter wheat. Do you think this could have been the cause of my poor peas?

Ans (PJL) Infinity FX is a great herbicide for wheat and more acres are being treated with it every year. But the label is specific “Do not plant peas or soybeans until 10 months after Infinity FX application.”

Supplementary Q Can I interseed oats into this field so I can get some feed this fall?

Ans I asked Bayer and their response “Oats are hit and miss for Infinity FX, there’s a variety dependent injury response, some varieties have no issues whatsoever (even when Infinity or FX is applied in crop) and others experience complete kill. I don’t have a list of which ones are good and which ones are an injury risk but there are growers using infinity in oats without issue (off label and they do so at their own risk).

In this case considering the Infinity FX was applied a few months ago and there's been more than adequate rainfall in the meantime I think it will be fine (that being said it's still off label and we won't cover it if it does injure the oats).

Q – My later planted oat fields aren’t yielding as well as my first planted ones. They were treated the same other than planted date. Thoughts? (JZ)

A – I posed your question to Joanna Follings, OMAFRA Cereals Specialist. She referenced some work that Art McElory (PhytoGene Resources) had done on this topic.

“Essentially what his research has found is that early season stress has a major impact on the formation of unfilleds which ultimately impacts test weight and TKW. It is definitely variety dependent with some being impacted more than others but regardless of variety there is definitely an increase in the number of unfilleds during the early growth stages in the presence of drought stress in particular. Given how dry things were in May of this year, I suspect that is what happened in this field we were talking about.

When I asked him about doing some on-farm research he suggested that we try and set up some strip plots, with one early-planted no-till, another later-planted no-till, and a third later-planted with conventional tillage.  That would compare the effect of seeding dates, as well undisturbed vs tilled soil conditions, the later being more prone to being dried out.  It would be a lot for a grower to do but if you know of anyone that would be interested we could run some comparisons.”

Q - What late season soybean diseases should I be concerned about?
A – (JZ) There are only three that have significant yields impacts; sudden death syndrome (which is not a leaf disease, but shows up as one on leaves), white mould (a stem disease that shows up on leaves), and phomopsis/pod and stem blight.

You may also see leaf diseases like Septoria brown spot, frogeye leaf spot, downy mildew, cercospora. While some of these may have impacts on seed quality, overall, they have less of a yield impact compared to the first three diseases. When widespread in a field, frogeye leaf spot has been known to cause significant yield losses in Ontario.

If you are looking to brush up on your soybean diseases, check out the link below.

Q Hi Patrick
I have a trail back to our bush. This morning on a trip back I noticed that the outside row has smut on almost every stalk. Didn’t see it on the outside row anywhere else on the way back or on the 2nd row in next to the infested row.

It seemed unusual so I thought I would ask.

Ans That is strange Some hybrids are more prone to this than others but I have never seen every plant affected.

It can start from damage to the plants. Could have been wind or hail but I don't see any symptoms of that, so it wasn't hail, so some other thing may have damaged the plants

It looks like there are no kernels on those ears. Generally, there are some kernels. Although a plant can be infected anywhere and at any growth stage, infections of the ears are most common. This happens when spores land on the silk and grow down into the ear. The fungal growth causes the infected plant cells to multiply, forming a spongy, greenish-white gall within a few days. The gall continues to increase in size and eventually bursts, releasing thousands of black, powdery spores teliospores, which serve as the source of inoculum the following year. Smut-infected crops are often destroyed, although some farmers use them to prepare silage. Interesting, the infected galls are still edible, and in Mexico they are highly esteemed as a delicacy, where it is known as huitlacoche, (pronounced weet-luh-kow-chay) being preserved and sold for a significantly higher price than uninfected corn.

Huitlacoche is a prized food in Central America where it is used in soups, enchiladas, tortillas, and many other dishes. It also can be found as a canned product at the grocery store. The taste has been described by different people as being mushroom-like, sweet, savory, woody, earthy, smoky corn-like, or inky.
In Mexico you would be able to make big dollars by selling those smut balls. Foodies in Ontario love to harvest them. You can try to sell them but probably too far advanced. (and now you know and can impress your friends. Due to all the wet weather at pollination I expect to see more of these)

Q I have a customer who applied N rich which is a sludge material with a liming agent. Can he turn cattle on to this field?

from Christine Brown OMAFRA “ I don’t think it would be a problem. Since this is a source of lime, pH of this material is so high I don’t think many pathogens would be able to survive”

Ans from an independent CCA consulting agronomist. ”N rich is sludge with a liming agent, not sure I would be turning cattle out in immediately following application for a few different reasons (not related to pathogen content).”

Q I have a nice stand of forages that my neighbour beef farmer wants to harvest. Should I let him?
Ans (PJL) You are  concerned about harvesting during the Critical Harvest Date. (CHD) I don’t put as much significance to CHD as I did years ago. I have seen lots of times where fall harvesting date really had no impact on winter survival. One very recent year it did not matter whether alfalfa was cut or not it still winterkilled. In this case if you can sell for at least 4 cents a pound I would sell. If all you can get is 2 cents a pound do not cut.
Boron – Coles Notes (JZ)

If there is one micronutrient, I feel that I have spent considerable amount of time researching, it is Boron. The Coles notes of what you need to know.
1)    It is taken up with mass flow, meaning water, into the plant. For the plant to take it up, it needs to be freely available in soil water. Once in the plant, it is not mobile and is locked into plant material.
2)    To be freely available in water, it is mineralized mainly from soil organic matter. When in dry conditions, where water is not available in parts of fields with high soil organic matter, it will stop mineralizing. Therefore, you see boron deficiency showing up in dry weather on susceptible crops, plus soil water is being pulled from deeper in the soil profile, where there is little boron to mineralize.
3)    Not all crops respond to boron. But because we have not been using it as part of the fertilizer program, we are starting to see it on crops that are usually considered less responsive, like corn and soybeans.
4)    In most manure tests I have come across. there is very little boron.
5)    Boron availability can be impacted by liming, especially on soils over 6.5 pH, due to complexing with Al (OH)3.
6)    In soils with high calcium availability, plants can tolerate high B availability.
7)    Sandy soils, especially those with coarse subsoils, are the most responsive to B. Soils with clay textures or clay subsoils, tend to have lower responses to B.
8)   Relative to other nutrients, boron can be toxic to plant roots at low application rates, which is typically why broadcast or foliar applications are favored on most crops, and annual applications of low rates should be made.
9)    Plant species can have genetic variability in response to boron due to a single recessive gene, for example, in tomato varieties and corn hybrids.
Business Matters
40 crops, not 40 years

I had a conversation with a colleague this morning that helped put a few things in perspective.

You don’t have 40 years of cropping. You may have 40 crops. And of those 40 crops, some of you will have 10 days of harvesting and 10 days of planting, you may have 400 days of harvesting and 400 days of planting over your whole career. Even if you stretch it out to 20 of each, you’re still looking at 800 days or pick the number you want to work with. Time is finite, make what you do today count.
From the Archives - 10 Years Ago
Winter Wheat Seeding Rates – The table below is for thinking about. The Ontario Cereal Trials are seeded at 400 seeds/m2. That, theoretically, gives 22 seeds/foot of row (7 inch rows). With 85% germination, that is a theoretical stand of 18.7 plants/foot (never happens). Note: In the spring we believe that any stand with 7-8 plants/foot of row is good enough to keep. The table shows the theoretical lowest seeding rate you could go to and the resulting stand. We over-seed soys to get a final stand. Seed soys at 200,000 to get 140,000 viable plants. We over-seed wheat to a greater level to get a good stand. When reducing seeding rates, the plant compensates by producing more tillers. These tillers will pollinate later than the main stem. When you reduce seeding rate significantly, you increase the probability of Fusarium since you lengthen the pollination time. We notice that often stands are thin where compaction is an issue. Consider double seeding any areas where there is compaction such as the headland where there was a lot of traffic.
Fall Weed Control in Wheat – Advantages to controlling weeds in wheat in the fall: 1) A pre-plant burndown allows the wheat crop to get off to a better start with less competition. 2) It’s easier to kill winter annuals in the fall when they’re small. 3) You will have better weed control in the spring, or you might not have to spray at all. 4) If you underseed with red clover, controlling weeds in the fall will result in a cleaner field in the spring.
“Ideas are cheap. Execution is expensive. The ability to execute separates people, not the ability to come up with ideas.”

 Shane Parrish