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Winter wheat field

Soil fertility benefits of wheat in rotation

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.

Winter wheat field

Figure 1: Winter wheat field in Perth County, April 2017.

What other benefits does wheat provide? And how might having wheat in rotation be positive from a soil fertility perspective? Read more

Thompsons Soil Sampling photo - people

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.

Canola and wheat field photo

Principal field crop areas, June 2017

Canadian producers reported seeding record areas of canola and soybeans in 2017, with the canola area exceeding wheat (all varieties combined) for the first time ever. Seeded acreage of corn for grain and oats also increased. Meanwhile, the areas seeded to all wheat, lentils and barley declined from 2016.

Due to unseasonal early snow last fall, harvesting in some parts of the country was delayed until this spring. Additionally, localized areas reported very wet spring conditions and some flooding occurred in Ontario and Quebec. These conditions may have affected some of the seeded areas reported. Read more

soybean and wheat field photo

Corn, soybeans: when to start paying attention to crop condition ratings?

The USDA will report crop condition ratings for the 2017 U.S corn and soybean crops in the 18 major producing states in the weekly Crop Progress report beginning May 30 and continuing until harvest.

Weekly crop condition ratings have been made for all the major producing states since 1986. Market participants typically follow the crop condition ratings closely as an indication of crop health, yield potential, and change in yield potential as the growing season proceeds. Read more

corn seedling

OMAFRA field crop report: May 25, 2017

Winter Wheat

Winter wheat is progressing well across the province. The winter wheat is mainly at early flag leaf (Zadok’s 37) to the swollen boot stage (Zadok’s 45-47), and some heading has been observed in Essex County. Disease pressure across the province is currently low, and fungicide applications are expected to start in the next week. Cereal leaf beetle is present, but Read more

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.

Wheat leaf diseases, percentage

How do I know when to apply a fungicide?

Read more

CBOT building

Funds all-time record short across CBOT grains, oilseeds

CHICAGO, May 1 (Reuters) – Speculators hit a milestone in the Chicago grains and oilseeds market last week as they have reached a new level of bearishness across all seven grains and oilseeds futures and options contracts.

Combining corn, hard and soft red winter wheat, hard red spring wheat, soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal, hedge funds and other money managers now hold an all-time record net short position of 464,376 futures and options contracts in the week ended April 25. Read more

flood damage in corn and wet fields

Weak El Niño may mean wetter than normal summer Midwest weather

Commodity weather group forecasts wet summer will boost corn, soybean yields.

A weak El Niño pattern will develop in the Pacific, meaning there’s the likelihood of a wetter summer in the Midwest, Commodity Weather Group, the Bethesda, Maryland-based forecaster, said in a seasonal report Tuesday.

The wetter-than-normal weather likely will have a negative effect on planting but a positive impact on crops that get planted due to ample moisture, the forecaster said. The El Niño pattern will mean warmer waters near the Baja Peninsula and relatively cooler waters in the Pacific Northwest.

“The central (and) southwest Midwest is at most risk for slower-than-average corn (and) soy seeding, but rains aid moisture for the heart of the Corn Belt heading into summer,” CWG said in the report. “Summer temperature outlook trended warmer in the eastern U.S., but mostly unchanged in the Corn Belt, keeping the threat for notable Midwest-focused heat low this season.” Read more

Wheat Pete's Word screenshot image

The dollar value of soil, world record wheat, and down pressure decisions

We’re racing towards planting season, with field activity about to begin rocking and rolling.

Lessons from the new world wheat yield record, the value of soil and subsequent impact of erosion, cover crop management, corn planter down pressure, and more — it’s all in this week’s edition of The Word the RealAg agronomist Peter Johnson.

Wheat Pete's Word screenshot image

Click to listen to the audio recording from Real Agriculture.

Summary

  • The value of soil – assuming Ontario price of $20,000/acre. 2 million pounds in top 6″soil is worth 1 cent a pound. How much does it cost to lose to wind erosion (and other forms)? Snirt (soil off the snow) — a tonne/acre (COULD be 3 tonnes per acre and you don’t really KNOW). That’s 6,600 lbs. or $66/acre. Maybe up to $100/acre.
  • World record wheat — 250 bu/ac of wheat on 29 acres in New Zealand. What can we learn? First, it’s irrigated wheat. Tissue test for micronutrients — should you follow suit? Expensive when not needed. When needed, a huge benefit. Overload on vitamins equals expensive pee.
  • Wheat doesn’t like wet feet — tile drainage is one way to control. Do we underestimate the impact of excess moisture on wheat?
  • Seeding rate — reduce tillering to boost yield? Did it work? Not necessarily. Durum wheat seeding rate eg in North Dakota, targeting 1.4 million live plants/ac, what’s the math to working back to seeds per ac? 32 live plants/sq ft. That’s plenty high in dry climates, can use up soil moisture by plant growth. Germination and mortality must be factored in 5% in dry soils, but can be 20-25% in wet conditions in Ontario.
  • Nitrogen rates and calculating credit from previous crop and manure…
  • Straw plugging and fusarium problems with airdrill in Manitoba. Derek’s wondering if fall tillage should be more aggressive. Does more tillage break down more residue? Likely not. Could cause more plugging, first of all. Need to ensure rotation isn’t contributing to fusarium problem.
  • FHB in rye before potatoes — yes, rye also gets fusarium. Recommended 60 lb of N unless a hybrid.
  • Moist soils and N options — 50% urea, 50% treated with ESN scenario — in wet weather, side band has higher losses than a deep band (that’s because of soil bugs are closer to surface.) How does temperature contribute to urea gassing off and role for Agrotain?
  • Cover crops seeding into corn — which species? Annual ryegrass can tolerate shade from corn.
  • Seeding grass into RR alfalfa — grass seed will establish anytime there’s enough moisture. Kill weeds in alfalfa stand, broadcast orchardgrass a few days later. Less competition from alfalfa, the better for establishing grass.
  • Active down pressure on a corn planter  — is it really that big of a deal? Flag test data shows big yield implications of having every plant come up on time. On only 300 acres, very little yield impact when seeding under reasonable conditions. Big win is in tacky areas of field, which are hopefully less than 10 percent of field.

 


Source: Real Agriculture: Wheat Pete’s Word by Peter Johnson