Roots, worm casts and different cover blends show amazing effects Source: Country Guide, written by Ralph Pearce. Soil health has been a buzz phrase that’s gone from a whisper three to five years ago to a chorus that’s spreading across the agrifood industry. That goes to show the swinging of the pendulum away from plowing […]
Ontario Agriculture College boosts spots in its agriculture programs by 30 per cent
The University of Guelph continues to increase enrollment in its agriculture programs, but graduates will continue to find four jobs available for each of them.
The Ontario Agriculture College (OAC), at the university has boosted spots in its agriculture programs by 30 per cent since 2012 and by 50 per cent in its Bachelor of Science in Agriculture program.
However, in the five years since the university last did a similar survey, respondents in agriculture and food processing say they have even more trouble filling jobs in the sector than they did five years ago – 67 per cent of agriculture companies and 51 per cent of food companies report difficulties in recruiting qualified workers. That compares to 40 per cent of agriculture and 28 per cent of food companies reporting similar challenges in 2012. Read more
Best management practices for late planted winter wheat
Source: OMAFRA Field Crop Team
With many soybean fields across the countryside just starting to change colour, harvest is not likely to begin anytime soon. A cool, wet spring delayed soybean planting in much of the province and cooler temperatures in August and September have pushed harvest back this fall compared to the last two years. As a result, growers are wondering whether or not they will be able to get winter wheat planted at an optimum time.
With winter wheat having huge benefits to a cropping system (an additional 10 bu/ac to the following corn crop and an additional 5 bu/ac to the following soybean crop) growers are encouraged to keep winter wheat in the rotation this fall if possible. Delayed planting can result in lower yields so being diligent this fall with our best management practices for establishing the winter wheat crop will be very important to reduce the risk of significant yield loss. Read more
Before long, the 2018 winter wheat crop will be seeded across the province (Figure 1). Long-term research at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus shows that winter wheat in rotation provides an additional 10 bushels per acre to corn and 5 bushels to soybeans. At current crop prices, that means an extra 107 dollars per acre over a rotation.
What other benefits does wheat provide? And how might having wheat in rotation be positive from a soil fertility perspective? Read more
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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