Spring 2020 06/23/20 12:59:01 PM
Newsletter – Spring 2020
The big change would be how farmers apply for neonic treated seed. Under the revised Bill, growers would complete a one-time pest assessment report and one-time IPM course to purchase treated seed. Website: www.rosendalefarms.com Follow us on Twitter! @WaterlooCrop
With the COVID-19 situation, we had to cancel some of our winter meetings. We have expanded this newsletter to include some of the topics that were going to be covered at these meetings. Hopefully at the time of this newsletter, you and your family have remained healthy!We want to recognize the tremendous efforts and risks the front line health care providers take in serious situations like this...As well as the critical people like farmers involved in producing and processing a safe food supply and for the truckers and store workers who all make it happen. Some extremely dedicated people have made big sacrifices and we want to recognize their efforts. Grain MarketingTrade wars, oil wars, COVID-19 … some crazy times we are in! First off, the Canadian dollar dropped from about 76 cents to under 68 cents which has helped support basis levels (remember our price is made up of the Chicago price and the basis) -- basis is mostly a reflection of exchange rate and demand for the grain. Soybeans and wheat had some nice rallies in mid-late March as Chicago rallied a bit and the $CDN dropped which was really friendly to make some good sales. However, sometimes we get frustrated customers who see a nice bump in Chicago but for some reason, the basis drops so there really isn’t a bump in the price. One thing to remember is the basis is partially about demand .. so when Chicago prices rally and the buyers are able to buy a bunch of their needs because farmers made sales ...sometimes they drop their basis bids because they may have bought up what they need to meet their needs for the current time. They still might buy but only for a reduced price. So be careful when you are making sales … a good time to sell is when the buyers are hungry and have good basis bids! Don’t wait till they have their needs covered! Invest in your Nutrient Bank Account!The stock market has been brutal lately… huge losses have been taken but hopefully time will see the markets and investment accounts rebound. One strategy that you should use - Not just in these uncertain times, but this should be a part of your investment strategy -- invest in your soils! Don’t let your nutrient bank account get drained as it takes a big investment to get those levels back to levels where you can achieve maximum yields! Keeping nutrient levels adequate allows you to miss the odd year when maybe you don’t have the cash to buy enough fertilizer. High yields are more than just good nutrient levels, but it is one way you can continue to control the things you can control. Land prices are high -- try and maximize your returns on your existing acres! When levels get low, you can’t afford to take a year off. Be a smart investor and continue to add to your nutrient bank to maximize yields! Changes to the Ontario Pesticide ActThe Provincial government recently introduced Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019. The Bill involves changes to multiple individual Acts including the current provincial Pesticides Act. What does this mean for Ontario farmers ? The amendments to Bill 132 now aligns the provincial pesticide categories with the federal categories, basically pesticides are now reviewed and registered only through the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) instead of both the Ontario Pesticide Advisory Committee (OPAC) and the PMRA, as they previously were. As a result the OPAC, which used to advise the provincial pesticide classification system, is removed from the Pesticides Act. This will hopefully help get pesticides to the market more efficiently, with products being reviewed by one regulatory agency; the PMRA.
Through all these changes, the ban on cosmetic pesticides remains in place with the current exceptions (i.e. golf courses, agriculture, forestry etc).
For more information visit: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0481.
SCN and Sudden Death Syndrome Spreading
This isn’t the first time Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) or Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) have been featured in an agriculture newsletter or update. The pests have been on agronomist and grower’s radars for a few years now, even so there has been little success in slowing their spread across the province. The diseases tend to be a package deal, once the SCN invades the roots that opens the door for the SDS fungus to enter the roots and move throughout the plant. The fungus causes the tissue between the leaf veins to turn yellow/brown (as shown below), and in severe cases can cause defoliation.
Photo credit: Dr. Owen Wally, AAFC; featured in Top Crop Manager (Feb 2020)
Through tight corn-soybean rotations, SDS has adapted to use corn residue as a surface to grow although corn is a non-host crop.
With all this news, hope is not lost. The best way to manage a pest is to know what you are dealing with. Proper identification of the disease is the first step, along with testing your soils for SCN. Which fields should you check first ? Fields with high fertility and yield potential are ideal environments for SDS to develop and should be scouted for SDS/SCN, as well as fields that have tight corn-soybean rotations and or high SCN populations. Choose soybean varieties with good resistance to SCN and consider purchasing seed with a fungicide seed treatment (i.e. Ilevo).
As always, control what you can and manage the rest.
BASF Update: Learning From 2019 for 2020
How am I going to implement learnings from 2019 in my 2020 crop production planning? With the tight margins that we operate on, how do we maximize production and profit? Let’s consider the following three points:
First on fungicide you will want to spray any seasonal flare ups such as stripe rust in wheat or tar spot in corn. Then target the crops that give the greatest response. When asking this at meetings we often settle on wheat/cereals, alfalfa, corn silage, corn and then soybeans (for dry beans, fungicide application is a given). Make sure you are spending money on the most responsive crops. Target the fields with the highest yield potential. If the field of corn is only going to yield 150 bu/ac or less, save your money. Finally, manage the season (environment) such as high soil moisture and canopy humidity at flowering (soybeans), foggy mornings (dripping corn) at silking (Gibberella), wet soils after first or second cut alfalfa.
- How do I get the most out of my fungicide?
- Is this the year to chase rainbows?
- Plan for the simple; minimize the “OOPS” moments.
Is this the year to blow up your current cropping program and chase the shiny and new? Proven and consistent products should be your base and experiment with new products. How do I know it is proven? Check the n= # on any trial and the type of trial (replicated or non-replicated strip design (side by side, yield monitor). N= the number of plots/trials/comparisons.
With glyphosate resistant fleabane throughout the area lets use proven and consistent products to control it. You require two modes of effective action to control this weed. Moldboard plowing would be considered one mode of effective action, yet minimum tillage or vertical tillage (fall or spring) is not. There are options for winter wheat (cereals) and corn, it is soybeans that are more difficult. Don’t chase rainbows with glyphosate resistant fleabane use what Peter Sikkema’s data supports. His work shows the most consistent results with Kixor (Eragon, Integrity or Optill) + Metribuzin or Kixor plus Dicamba in Xtend soybeans. See graphs below (replicated trials).
In 2019 due to the compressed season and overlapping spray timings, we had a higher number of “Oops” moments. Increased physical movement of spray as well as sprayer clean out issues not to mention mixing errors and mixing order mistakes. We need to reduce these in 2020. Now is a good time when we are developing our chemical programs to keep it simple by reducing the number of different products we work with and research the compatibility of our tank-mixes. For example, using Integrity on soybeans and corn, Headline AMP and Caramba on wheat and corn, Engenia on corn, Xtend soybeans and wheat stubble. This helps reduce confusion and issues going from crop to crop.
BASF 2020 Crop Production Guide reference guide (https://on.basf.com/39cdkJo )
Syngenta NEW Product Launch: Miravis Ace
Miravis Ace is a NEW mode of action for fusarium head blight in wheat. Initial trial results and US data from 2019 shows a yield bump over the industry standards, helping wheat growers to produce high yielding, better quality wheat. A sister product to Miravis Neo (introduced in 2019 for corn) Miravis Ace for wheat contains a new Group 7 mode of action (Adepidyn) along with a Group 3 (Propiconazole). Based on a full US launch in 2019 and Ontario trials Miravis Ace looks to be out yielding the current Fusarium head blight products by 5-7 bu. The visual results in straw quality and colour are very apparent in the field size trials. Check out https://www.syngenta.ca/miravis/miravis-ace for all the info on yield, visuals, testimonials and rates for Miravis Ace. Call a Waterloo Crop sales representative for more information.
Pioneer: Agronomy Summary
Winter Wheat Stand Evaluation?
Now is a Great time to be getting out into your wheat fields to make some Early assessments but please ?hold off on making final decisions to tear up any fields until late April or early May. It’s amazing how much wheat can improve and surprise you over those last few weeks of April!
- Evaluate the health of the stand throughout the field.
- Look for plants that are anchored into the ground (2nd image). If the plants are not well anchored (1st image) do not include them in your counts, they will have a lower survival rate.
- Look for 7-10 plants per foot of row for a minimum stand count as that should still give you a chance at achieving 90-95% yield potential from the crop.
- With late planted wheat, error on the side of caution with closer to 10 plants per foot of row as a minimum stand and be prepared to get Nitrogen on early to promote green-up and tillering
- Scout and manage your N according to tillers
- Split application with N and S up front and a second application of N between the 1st and 2nd node is a great strategy. Plus it could save on some fertilizer costs if keeping the crop is in question. Apply ½ to ? of total planned N early and at least ½-¾ of planned Sulphur- follow up with the balance later as required.
Granular Insights: Scouting Tool
As things green up, Satellite Imagery available through the Granular Insights can help you identify and assess how much of the field may be in good or poor condition.
The way we approach farming decisions is evolving. The technology and equipment available today to manage our operation can provide layers of details. Many of these digital precision solutions are limited to those who have the latest and most advanced equipment on their farm. Granular Insights however, offers something for everyone. No matter what colour or age of equipment you’ve got, Granular has digital solutions to meet your needs. Granular Insights is a crop health directed scouting tool. Once you have enrolled your acres you will be able to monitor your crops from your smartphone, tablet or computer. You can also share this data with others, say for instance your Pioneer sales rep, giving them permission to access your information enabling them to help serve you better. The tool also prioritizes scouting plans, allowing you to find and fix potential issues early before they impact yield.