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flood damage in corn and wet fields

Wet fields create big dilemma for farmers

After a deluge of rain last week, London-area farmers are anxious to get their corn planted.

But an agronomist is advising them to wait until their fields have dried out.

“Farmers will have to have some patience this week,” said Peter Johnson, an agronomist with Real Agriculture.

Earlier planting increases chances of a good harvest but planting on soil that is too wet risks soil compaction that can stifle root growth, he said.

Johnson said there was a wide variation of rainfall across the region last week ranging from a low of about 30 mm around Bayfield to more than 100 mm in some areas. Read more

wheat seedlings

Winter wheat condition holds for second week

The condition of the U.S. winter wheat crop held steady for the second straight week this past week.

Monday’s USDA crop progress report put the condition of the nationwide crop at 54% good to excellent as of Sunday, unchanged from a week earlier and 7 points behind last year. Crops in Kansas and Oklahoma were battered by severe weather over the weekend – including heavy snow in parts of the Read more

wheat seedlings

Can winter wheat get too big?

Source: Wheat School on RealAgriculture.com.


Ontario’s winter wheat crop is growing like gangbusters thanks to unseasonably warm fall temperatures. But could it grow too much?

“No way,” says agronomist Peter Johnson in Real Agriculture’s latest Wheat School episode. “The only thing we have to worry about is if it’s still growing on Christmas Eve, like last year.” In that case growers may have to adjust spring nitrogen rates.

The 2016 wheat crop benefitted greatly from early planting to produce a record 96.7 bushels per acre. Johnson has encouraged growers to plant early again this spring, but many have asked whether plants could get too big as good growing conditions persist.

In this episode, Johnson looks at a fast growing wheat field and concludes that the plants can still add more tillers. He says last year many plants had 10 to 12 tillers and he’s seen nowhere near that number in fields he’s scouted this fall.

“Well advanced wheat in the fall makes you money next spring,” says Johnson. “This is a an awesome crop.”

Managing Fusarium Head Blight at harvest

Fursarium Spores WheatThe less infected kernels that go into storage the better, and the greater of a chance a grower will have for not getting docked to a lower grade of wheat.

Combine tips and notes

  • Higher fan speeds are needed to blow infected kernels out the back. Ridgetown College has done studies on fan speeds, and there is a tenfold decrease in the amount of Fusarium damaged kernels in a sample when the fan speed is at maximum blast. But with that comes challenges of losing good healthy kernels.
  • Research from Ohio State showed combine fan speeds between 1375 and 1475 RPM and the shutter opening at 3.5 inches received the lowest discounts at elevators from FHB damaged wheat kernels and DON levels in the harvested grain.
  • Reduce combine speed. Having the combine traveling at a slower speed, will allow better separation between the good and bad kernels.
  • In fields which are severely affected by leaf diseases, the lower test weight of the grain may make it more difficult to separate normal kernels from Fusarium damaged kernels.

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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

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

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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Informa: Bean Acres Exceed Corn Acres

By Katie MicikDTN Markets Editor

OMAHA (DTN) — Private analytical firm Informa Economics sees farmers planting more soybean acres than corn acres next year for the first time since 1983.

Based primarily on its survey of producers in December, Informa said farmers are likely to plant 88.8 million acres of soybeans next year and 88 ma of corn. The changes are slight adjustments to group’s prior estimates.

“Informa Economics made a slight reduction to their estimate for corn acres in 2015, from 88.3 million to 88.0 million acres,” DTN analyst Todd Hultman said. “Their estimate of soybean acres increased slightly, from 88.3 million to 88.8 million acres, based on their December survey.” Read more

Wheat field

Late Planted Winter Wheat

During years when soybeans are harvested later than expected or environmental conditions delay field work, winter wheat is generally skipped in the rotation or planting is rushed. When planting winter wheat later than the recommended planting dates, even more care should be taken to ensure yield potential is not lost.

Planting date

In general, delaying planting past the recommended planting window can cost a producer from 0.6 to 1.1 bu/day. It is best to strive to plant around these dates (See figure 1).

planting dates map

Figure 1: Optimum Planting Dates in Ontario.

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