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

Thompsons Automatic Soil Sampling

Micronutrients — more important than you think


Micronutrients are essential to plant growth and aid in achieving yields that growers need. Unlike a macronutrient such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, micronutrients are required by the plant in small amounts, but are equally as important for proper crop growth and yield. The micronutrients that are key to growth include Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Chloride, and Zinc.  Read more

Snow mould in winter cereals


Holly Loucas, Agronomist, DOW Agroscience

What is snow mould?

Snow moulds are cold-loving fungi that can attack many economic plants under a cover of snow.

Pathogen biology

WinterMouldChartThe important species of snow moulds that infect winter wheat are Microdochium nivale and Typhla spp.

Gray snow mould (Typhula spp) is the less damaging form of snow mould. It is able to survive throughout hot summer months as sclerotia under the ground or in plant debris.

Pink snow mould (Microdochium nivale) is usually more severe than gray snow mould. It can survive the summer months in decayed plant debris as spores or mycelium. Read more

Temperatures climbing? Check the grain bins.

Warmer weather’s nice, but could affect grain quality.

As much as warmer weather may have growers in Ontario thinking of spring planting, a provincial ag specialist warns farmers to consider the old crop ahead of any plans for the new crop.

Temperatures are moderating and in southern Ontario, they’ve risen well above freezing for the first time in nearly two months.

Peter Johnson, shown here in 2009, urges farmers to check their bins given the recent rise in outdoor temperatures. (Ralph Pearce photo)

Peter Johnson, shown here in 2009, urges farmers to check their bins given the recent rise in outdoor temperatures. (Ralph Pearce photo)

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Frost seeding clover

With the snow beginning to melt and spring just around the corner, it’s time to begin thinking about seeding your clover cover crops on the frost for your winter grains. Clover is still one of the most beneficial cover crops to use when you have a winter grain crop. Thompsons Agronomy has put together some tips to help achieve good success when frost seeding clover.

Why clover?

  • Establishes and maintains growth under low light and under competition for other crops
  • Well adapted to all of Ontario
  • Has an extensive root system with a tap root that can work though compacted layers and extensive lateral roots in the top 6” of soil which contributes to good structure and tilth
  • Provide nitrogen credits to the following crops
  • Termination of the crop is relatively easy with proper tillage and/or herbicides

Species selection

Generally Red Clovers are used (single or double cut) because the seed is dense, which improves seed-soil contact, it germinates at low temperatures and has high seedling vigor, allowing it to start growing early in the spring. Double cut is ideal if you are looking for the maximum nitrogen credit or are wanting to graze/bale the crop for feed as it is more vigorous in the seeding year. Single cut clovers put more emphasis on root growth and are consider better at soil conditioning. Other options are alfalfa, sweet clover, or various mixes (45% single/double and 10% sweet clover).
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