Photo of Bob McIntosh

Researchers defining phosphorus movement in Ontario soils

4R strategy plays a key role in reducing phosphorous runoff

Three short huts with solar panels on them sprout in Bob McIntosh’s wheat field near St. Marys, Ontario.

Photo of Bob McIntosh

Bob McIntosh has been using no-till planting on his farm in Ontario for 27 years. Photo: John Greig

Inside the huts are monitoring equipment that goes right to the tiles that systemically move water from his farm. His farm is one of six across Ontario with the monitoring equipment that allows University of Waterloo researchers to study how water, and especially the phosphorus in it, flows off of farms.

“We’re trying to capture the natural variability in the Ontario landscape,” says Dr. Janina Plach, who is doing post-doctoral research at the University of Waterloo.

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Bean Leaf Beetle

The season is not over yet for late season pests like bean leaf beetle, soybean aphids and others

Despite it being the middle of August, some pests are not showing signs of wrapping this season up. Bean leaf beetle are a particular concern in food grade IP and seed soybeans and edible beans across Ontario. As are pod piercing pests like stink bugs and tarnished plant bugs. Soybean aphids are also increasing in numbers, particularly in fields in Eastern Ontario. So scouting is not over yet, I am afraid. Read more

USDA Chart

USDA Throws Corn a Curve Ball

Divide Between USDA, Trade Yield Estimates Mostly Due to Different Methodologies

In a ballgame eerily similar to last year, USDA threw a curve ball at the corn market Thursday. But unlike last August when the bulls were able to hit that bearish offering and close higher, this year they clearly swung and missed.

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Western Bean Cutworm Identification photo

I.D. worms in silks and ears

This year’s Western Bean Cutworm (WBC) flight in northern Indiana counties has been quite impressive. Though it is not over, by looking at the moth captures the past couple weeks we are past peak flight. Most eggs have been laid by this point, and there were many.

We are aware that many fields have been scouted, found over the 5% threshold, and subsequently treated with insecticide. In the next weeks, folks will be out to determine the extent of damaged ears, if any, are present in fields.

The distinguishing characteristics between mature western bean cutworm and corn earworm (CEW) larvae are found below. It is a little trickier to determine species when the larvae are small, i.e., early instars. Read more

Thompsons Soil Sampling photo

Understanding in-field variability: soil sampling

Written by Alex Richardson, Agricultural Consultant, Thompsons – Blenheim.


Wheat harvest is complete and yields have given us great insight about our fields once again.

Variability was evident, and the results remind us it’s time to soil sample.

Soil sampling after wheat harvest is a great option to allow for the right conditions, and the time to do the sampling properly. It gives us the ability to plan using these results–not only for the remaining growing year, but for next year as well.

Results gathered now can be reviewed and used to apply some fall fertilizer or make spring plans for fertility management. Knowing what nutrients are already in the field is the best way to start that process.

Thompsons offers 3 main soil sampling packages, with options to suit any grower and any field.

Intensive Zone Sampling
Using data from numerous sources, grower expertise, and your local Thompsons Agricultural consultant, management zones will be mapped and generated throughout the field.  Soil samples will be taken across these zones to best represent the field following the topography, yield, or problem areas depicted in the zones.

Site-specific Sampling
Choose from a 1 acre, 2.5 acre or 5 acre sample area.  Your field will be overlaid with a grid, followed by samples taken in each grid from an area that best represents the lay of the land within that grid space.

Precision-Lite Sampling
Generate larger zones across the field to sample. Zones range from 10 acres to 25 acres in size, again based on numerous sources and grower expertise.  Monitor and map the variability in your field!

Talk to your local Thompsons Agricultural Consultant today about any of these sampling packages and customized options. We can build a soil sampling plan to suit your individual farm and management situation.

We all know our fields are variable and need to continue managing the variability on our farms!

All soil sampling options include a complete mapbook of your field and soil analysis, with lab results attached.

Once the results have come from the lab, the value of soil sampling begins as fertility management progresses. With the help of your local Thompsons Agricultural Consultant, your field’s fertility can be reviewed and a plan put in place to build and maintain your soil health.