Assessing winter survival in wheat

By Holly Loucas, Agronomist, DOW Agrosciences

Factors affecting winter survival in wheat

The ability of winter wheat plants to survive winter often depends on each plant’s ability to tolerate low temperatures. Winter wheat plants go through a process called ‘cold acclimation’ in the fall during which each plant acquires the ability to withstand the cold temperatures experienced during the winter. This process is affected by planting date, fertility, seeding depth, and most importantly, the weather. Read more

corn seedling

Benefits of starter fertilizers


A starter fertilizer application is key to achieving the highest yield possible. It promotes an increase in early season plant growth, increased nutrient availability, and earlier crop maturity. Applied nutrients are used more efficiently and provide a greater return on investment for your fertilizer dollars. Finally, starter fertilizers promote good environmental stewardship because Read more

Get the “Real Dirt on Farming”

If you missed the Globe and Mail insert in Saturday’s paper, you can view a copy online.

The Real Dirt on Farming booklet is designed to connect you with the food you eat, and introduce you to some of Canada’s farm families. This booklet provides basic facts on topics such as the difference between growing crops conventionally and organically, pesticide use, animal housing and animal welfare, environmental sustainability, technology used in farming as well as many other subjects that you have indicated are important to you. The goal of this book is to help you make informed decisions about the food you’re serving your family.

Speaking of dirt, get the dirt on field crops.

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Thompsons Rannoch

Thompsons Limited acquires Rannoch Grains Inc.

BLENHEIM, Ontario, March 30, 2015

Thompsons Limited announces today it has acquired Rannoch Grains Inc., of Rannoch, Ontario, near St. Marys.

“This opportunity expands the reach for our Grain Marketing, Agronomy Solutions and Food Products business into a strategic geographic location that will help us better serve our customers,” said Dawn Betancourt, President of Thompsons Limited.

Thompsons–Rannoch will be serviced through the Thompsons–Granton facility and offer producers comprehensive grain risk management tools, fertilizer, crop protection products, custom application services, seed and advanced agronomy solutions.

Starting today, grain producers are able to contract grain for delivery after June 30th by calling Thompsons–Granton facility at 519-225-2360 or toll free at 1-800-928-9969. The purchase of Rannoch Grain Inc. by Thompsons Limited is expected to close June 30, 2015.

Additional investment in Thompsons–Mitchell facility

Thompsons is dedicated to expanding and revolutionizing our business through commitment to service excellence. In addition to the Rannoch purchase, the company is announcing today, Thompsons is also investing in infrastructure at Thompsons–Mitchell/Schoonderwoerd facility which will allow for increased efficiencies in unload times, drying and grain handling.

About Thompsons Limited
Thompsons is an agribusiness and food origination company rooted in agriculture. Founded in Blenheim, Ontario, in 1924, the company conducts business across Ontario and exports grain, organic and specialty crops worldwide to over 34 countries.

SOURCE Thompsons Limited

Media contact:
Dawn Betancourt, President, Thompsons Limited, 519-676-5411, extension 20405 or e-mail dbetancourt@thompsonslimited.com.

Nitrogen on winter wheat

Cereals are very responsive to nitrogen. However, over-application of nitrogen causes lodging resulting in reduce yield, quality, and harvestability. The optimum rate of nitrogen for a particular field will depend on the type of wheat grown, past applications of manure or fertilizer, soil type, and crop rotation. Use general recommendations as a starting point but combine them with observation of crop growth and lodging tendency. The idea is to ensure nitrogen is available early and consistently though the major uptake period (node development though booting).

Timing

Time single applications for late April. This avoids significant N loss from wet soil conditions that might occur earlier, while providing N when the crop demand goes up. Large single applications increase lodging potential.

Split application are preferred. The main benefits are reduced concerns over N loss, greater weed control due to increased crop vigor, more uniform heading, and less lodging. Yield benefits are secondary. Apply 50-80 lbs/ac N as early as possible (on frost any time after March 15-20), with the balance at 1st – 2nd node. Nodes can be easily seen or felt on the stem above ground level.

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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).
Read more

Grain analyst warns of leaner years ahead for Ontario growers

By Blair Andrews, QMI Agency

The next few years will be leaner when it comes to grain prices, a market analyst for an international feed and grain company warned Thursday at the Chatham-Kent Farm Show.

Bruce Trotter based his sobering outlook on a few factors, including lower growth expectations for China and the ethanol industry.

Trotter, who works in Blenheim as the managing director for the Canadian branch of Dutch-based Cefetra, said the era from 2006 to 2011 was a time of rising land prices and better crop margins driven by bio-fuel mandates and very high growth in China.

But the mandated growth in ethanol and bio-diesel is over, and he described the most recent years as an “ethanol hangover.” Read more