The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs released its latest Field Crop Report on July 27, commenting on the quality of a number of crops currently growing around the province, including corn, cereals, soybeans, forages, edible beans and canola.
The report describes how dry weather has impacted fields around Ontario.
“In areas which have been severely dry, corn growth has been impacted significantly and growers are contemplating using the corn for feed or removing the crop,” reads the report prepared by the “OMAFRA Field Crop Team.” “Recent rains have helped but again growers are encouraged to continue to assess their fields in these regions.”
For farmers considering removing their corn crop for wheat, the authours of the report remind farmers that “Fusarium head blight risk always exists when planting wheat after corn” and “wheat planting date in Ontario begins second week of September.”
For corn that will be used as feed, they directed farmers to ensure that they “monitor quality and nitrate levels.”
With most soybeans currently in the “early pod stage,” as with corn, “moisture is the critical factor between a thriving crop versus one which is struggling,” they wrote in the report. “The minimum target as of August 1 is 90,000 soybean plants per acre.”
Dry conditions are favourable for “soybean cyst nematode (SCN) infection,” they write. To check for signs of the infection, they advised farmers to gently dig out plants and remove soil to examine the roots for small white or yellow cysts.
The winter wheat harvest has resulted in higher than average yields, while the spring wheat harvest is still a few weeks away. “Once the wheat is off, growers should use this opportunity to manage weeds especially glyphosate resistant weeds such as Canada fleabane to avoid them going to seed,” they wrote. “One Canada fleabane plant can deposit 30 million or more seeds per acre.”
Regarding Edible beans and Canola, the report states that “most of the edible bean crop is in the pin stage and overall the crop looks good with some moisture stressed areas.” Continuing on, it says that “disease and insect pest levels are low with limited root rot,” and the “canola crop has completed flowering although the heat did result in some flower and pod abortion.”
Most alfalfa is in full bloom, reads the report, though “second cut alfalfa yields significantly lower (50 percent) compared to first cut.”