Stalk rots in corn

The distribution and prevalence of stalk rot diseases vary from year to year. However, the diseases are present in most years even though it may be at low levels. The majority of stalk rot damage in Ontario is caused by three fungi, Anthracnose, Gibberella and Fusarium. However, Diplodia and Pythium have also been observed.

Although these fungi cause different symptoms, their ultimate effect on the corn plant is the same. They reduce grain fill, stalk integrity, and accelerate senescence. The severity of this damage increases when the crop is under stress.

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Managing Fusarium Head Blight at harvest

Fursarium Spores WheatThe less infected kernels that go into storage the better, and the greater of a chance a grower will have for not getting docked to a lower grade of wheat.

Combine tips and notes

  • Higher fan speeds are needed to blow infected kernels out the back. Ridgetown College has done studies on fan speeds, and there is a tenfold decrease in the amount of Fusarium damaged kernels in a sample when the fan speed is at maximum blast. But with that comes challenges of losing good healthy kernels.
  • Research from Ohio State showed combine fan speeds between 1375 and 1475 RPM and the shutter opening at 3.5 inches received the lowest discounts at elevators from FHB damaged wheat kernels and DON levels in the harvested grain.
  • Reduce combine speed. Having the combine traveling at a slower speed, will allow better separation between the good and bad kernels.
  • In fields which are severely affected by leaf diseases, the lower test weight of the grain may make it more difficult to separate normal kernels from Fusarium damaged kernels.

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Western Bean Cutworm Larvae

Western Bean Cutworm

Why are they a concern?

The western bean cutworm is a damaging pest in corn and dry edible beans. They can cause large yield losses and reduced grain quality.

In corn

They begin to feed on the tassels and silks until they are large enough to tunnel into the ear and feed extensively on the Read more

Environment Canada says more humidity to come for June and July

Looking ahead to the coming months, Environment Canada meteorologists expect there will be more heat and humidity than normal.

“We’ve already had a taste this month of temperatures getting close to the 30-degree mark and humidity making it feel more like the mid 30s. That looks like the shape of things to come for June and July,” said Geoff Coulson, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.

Last year the usual summer heat wave to hit southern Ontario was missing in action with a lack of flow of warm moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, Coulson said.

This season southern Ontario has already tapped into that flow from the Gulf a couple of times with Humidex readings in many parts of Southwestern Ontario reaching the mid 30s.

Fusarium Head Blight

Fusarium head blight

What is it? Fusarium Head Blight is a fungal disease that affects the head of small grain crops. Also referred to as Scab, it can affect wheat, barley, oats, rye, corn, and triticale. Wheat and barley are generally the most affected. It is mainly caused by the species Fusarium graminearum, and can cause loss of […]

Critical weed-free period

Weed-free period in corn In corn this period occurs from V1 to V6 (1 to 6 leaf collars). Some sources will mention that it even begins at the VE stage (emergence). During this time the corn crop needs to stay clean. Weeds will affect yield

Early season pests

With the cold winter that we have had, a slow start of insect development may occur. Many of the acres planted in Ontario have been planted with neonicotinoid insecticides. With the current debates over neonicotinoid insecticides, the best strategies to control pests is to start with a good knowledge of crop pests. By understanding early […]

Wheat leaf diseases

What increases the risk of infection?

  • Cool temperatures.
  • Prolonged periods of wet weather.
  • Rust problems in the southern US states and Mexico could mean the same for Ontario as storm systems carry the spores north.
  • Planting susceptible varieties.Planting after another cereal or corn crop.
Percentage of wheat plant affected photo

How do I know when to apply a fungicide?

The higher the price of wheat, the more economical treatment is. In general, if trace amounts of rust, powdery mildew, or leaf spot are Read more