Rainfall. Most areas have now received some rain May 30 and 31. However there has been a range across the region with rainfall amounts of 0.5-2.5 inches.
Frost: The topic of last week. May 23rd morning's temperatures reached as low -3 for over two hours in a few regions. -2 was a fairly common temperature across Central Ontario for over 3 hours. There are a few factors that determine the extent of damage caused by the frost that may explain why your neighbour got hit harder than you, or in some cases- you were the neighbour. Sandier and gravelly soils, with less moisture holding capacity cannot buffer that cold air as much. Muck soils especially are notorious for being the most impacted areas. Also fields with heavy residue tend to be hit harder. This is because the residue acts as a blanket and does not allow the soil radiation to heat the air. Topography- cold air settles because it is more dense than warm air, so while the tops of the fields may be fine, those lower areas could be hit. We have been through the troubled area last week and there has been some beans replanted. Soys can tolerate 2.5 Celsius for about 2 hours, anything over that and they will be killed if they are above ground significantly and the growing point gets frosted. If you planted soys that week or day, it should not impact their emergence. The corn may look browned and depressing in many areas but you will probably already be seeing new green tissue coming. Most of the corn, even the earliest plantings, still had the growing point below ground (4 leaf corn and under). There may be some thinning of the stands but overall the corn should bounce back.
Corn: Pre-emerge herbicides have been troublesome with the lack of rainfall at the beginning of the season. With this most recent rain that some areas got, the herbicide should activate. But it will not pull down the weeds that are past 2 leaf but it should keep any second flush at bay. Just a reminder we need to have all weed control done by 8 leaf corn and early fields are now at 6 leaf stage. The interns have been checking and are re-checking fields that may have escaped or were borderline so we will continue with that to ensure the fields are clean. We will be working through Nitrogen and tissue testing in corn over the next 10 days.
Wheat: There is some concern about the wheat in areas with no rainfall. The plants are short and have been significantly stressed. It’s important to be objective when fields are in this state. There could still be significant benefit from a heading fungicide spray. We can help with those assessments. The flagleaf has been emerging in many areas last week! This means all nitrogen and weed control should be on the wheat. This also means heading fungicide timing is right around the corner and is expected to begin by Wednesday in the earliest fields. The interns will be completing second wheat walks this week, so watch for timing reports in your inbox to help gauge how far along your wheat is. We are seeing cereal leaf beetle pressure in many fields. The pest is lagging behind in terms of development relative to the wheat stage. Interns will provide some insight into what that pressure is for your fields. Many fields in the hotspot zone of south Simcoe will need an insecticide treatment for this pest.
Spring cereals: Lot's of spring cereals in the ground this year. The crop is off to a great start. Looks like the canopy has been too small for the most part to tank mix the first round of fungicide with the weed control so plan on a second pass 10-14 days later with just a fungicide. This fungicide application is very economical in protecting yield, so it is worth the trip through the field. No sign of rust to report locally as of yet.
Canola: this crop is moving along in a hurry. The cool nights recently have provided optimum growing conditions and fields are rapidly moving to full ground cover. Weed control is now urgent in many fields. Flea beetle pressure has been minimal and most fields have grown beyond a stage to be any concern now. Swede Midge traps are out in the canola around the region. So far to date only one field has registered a moderate number of midge. It was a high risk field and was expected. We will continue to update you regularly on the status of this pest.
Soybeans: emergence has been a challenge. Getting plants established into heavy corn residue is proving a challenge. Numerous replants due to only half emergence rates. Planters have been handling this residue and providing excellent emergence.
Drone: we have had our drone out for its maiden voyage. Our capabilities include HD video/pictures, mapping to quantify problem areas, and NDVI mapping. This tool is very useful to build zones to manage crops differently across a farm.