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Crop Update Spring 2015

Hi Everyone. Last week delivered a very nice introduction to spring weather.

Winter wheat has survived the winter/spring very well in most cases. A few later planted fields are on the bubble to replant and will be assessed again the last week of April. There is much less wheat likely to be replanted this year compared to 2014. Typically I like to see a minimum of 12 plants per foot of row consistently across a farm. 15-18 plants is ideal. The later planting dates have plants with fewer tillers however the plant stands are solid and uniform and should deliver 85-100% of normal yield. If you have any farms you are concerned about let me know and I will take a look. Nitrogen applications continued right through the weekend with 80-90% of wheat having its first pass. Ground conditions have been good. Weed pressure has been minimal to date. A weed to watch for is Canada fleabane. As of yet we have not identified Glyphosate resistant fleabane in any fields we scout. But if it escaped treatment in soys, there is a good probability it will be visible in the wheat. We will be watching for this as we scout the wheat fields in early May.

There is a new cereal herbicide for wheat and barley this spring called Pixxaro from Dow Agroscience. It can be tankmixed with MCPA, 2,4-D to pick up the mustard family. It can also be tank mixed with Puma for wild oat control. It is showing good control of some of the tough weeds like Vetch, chickweed, cleavers, prickly lettuce. Cost is just under $10/ac. There are concerns in the northern US states for chickweed developing resistance to Refine SG however none has been documented in Ontario. Pixxaro would make a good comparison against Refine M for winter annual weed control.

Spring wheat planting began on April 17. Ground conditions were good. Spring wheat will manage fine through this backward weather on deck this week. Barley is a bit more sensitive to cool, wet soils and should be planted into a good forecast when possible.

Soil Temperatures are reaching 12 degrees at mid-day highs. One notill soybean residue field tested 15.5 degrees on Friday. This is adequate for spring cereal germination.

Spring Canola is a bit more sensitive to cool ground conditions and its best to plant into a warm forecast. Fast, uniform emergence is the key to strong canola and managing early season pests. Remember to check your seed size and adjust your seeding rate.

Hay/alfalfa-as fields green up it is time to apply spring fertilizer to your hay and pasture fields. Sulphur response was documented on 20% of hay fields in 2012 with as much as a 25% yield increase from applied sulphur. We will be conducting tissue tests in alfalfa mid-late May to understand better where and when Sulphur fertilizer is needed.

Congratulations to Steph Kowalski for passing both of her CCA exams. This is no small feat. On average only 40% of candidates pass the Ontario exam. Steph will be building needed field experience in 2015 to round out her application to becoming a Certified Crop Advisor.

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