From the OMAF Field Crop Report
Cereals: Scott Banks/Peter Johnson
Winter Wheat: Fusarium head blight (FHB) infection has been an issue in a portion of the winter wheat crop this year. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is the mycotoxin found in grain affected by FHB. DON can reduce the feed intake by livestock and adversely affect the baking quality of wheat. The normal ratio of FDK to DON is 1% FDK to 2 parts per million (ppm) DON for soft white winter wheat and 1.5% FDK to 2 ppm DON for the hard red wheat. This year, in some regions, winter wheat has abnormally high DON levels as compared to % FDK. These abnormally high DON levels compared to % FDK may push some elevators to utilize the DON quick test rather than % FDK to establish the grade discounts as is normally the case. In some instances this is leading to significant grade discounts, particularly in the case of grade # 3 wheat.
Spring Cereals: Most of the spring cereals are well into the grain fill stage. At this stage fusarium head blight (FHB) infection in wheat will appear as partially bleached heads. High risk fields for FHB are those following corn and/or fields with highly susceptible varieties. For harvest and storage strategies to minimize fusarium, visit Field Crop News at http://bit.ly/12k6jCL
Forages/Pastures: Joel Bagg/Jack Kyle
Forages: Good haying weather returned July 11th, with lots of first and second-cut being made. Considerably more baleage was made and more propionate hay preservative was used this year. There is some concern about hay that is heating in storage. (Refer to “Silo and Hay Mow Fires” at www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/93-025.htm.) Yields have been quite variable across the province. Some areas have excess hay, while others are still rebuilding inventories. Supplies of early-cut hay without rain-damage or mould are very tight and will likely be priced at a premium. Late -cut but “green” first-cut hay will satisfy much of the horse hay market. There is lots of rain-damaged and mouldy hay, so prices for poor quality hay will likely soften.
Seeding oats in late-July or early-August following wheat for an early-October harvest can be a useful double-crop, low-cost option for producing additional forage supplies. Oats can make excellent forage when harvested at the correct stage of maturity and made into “oatlage” or baleage. Peas can be added where higher forage quality is required. The challenges can sometimes be lack of adequate moisture in August for germination and growth, and having dry enough weather in October for adequate wilting. http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=4264
Potato leafhoppers (PLH) are being reported at low levels, but some new seedings are being sprayed. PLH dramatically reduced alfalfa yield and forage quality last year. New seedings are very susceptible and can be permanently damaged. Reduced stem and root growth, and vigour results in stunting and slow regrowth. Adult PLH are 1/8th of an inch long, lime-green and wedge-shaped. They insert a stylet into a leaf midrib and inject a toxin that results in a wedge-shaped yellow “hopperburn”. Once hopperburn is observed, the damage is done and it is too late for control. http://fieldcropnews.com/?p=3902
Pastures: Pasture growth has been good to excellent in most of the province with abundant moisture in most areas while a few areas are looking for moisture. During hot weather it is critical that cattle have access to clean water, if your water source is getting low be thinking about alternative measures to provide water. Fly control is important throughout the summer months; use one of the fly control products to minimize the impact of flies on your livestock. Internal parasites can have a negative impact on animal performance, work with your veterinarian to take fecal egg count samples and select the appropriate wormer if egg counts are high. Providing salt and mineral for the cattle is essential, locating the salt and mineral in underutilized areas of the pasture will draw the livestock to those areas and improve the utilization. Planting an annual crop such as oats immediately following cereal harvest will provide extra pasture for the fall.
Soybeans: Horst Bohner
Soybeans are growing well and most fields have reached the R3 growth stage. (beginning pod). R3 is achieved when small pods are visible at one of the top 4 nodes of the plant. Weather conditions over the next four to six weeks are crucial to seed development and will play a larger role in final yield than the first half of the growing season. Rainfall continues to be sporadic with some areas receiving excess moisture while other areas are dry. High humidity has brought on downy mildew in some fields. Yield reductions from this disease are usually insignificant and control measures are not necessary. On the whole the crop is in good condition depending mainly on planting date, rainfall, and field drainage. Soybean aphids can be found across much of Ontario, but numbers remain low in the southwest. Some regions in the east have reached threshold and required spraying. In some cases numbers have dropped naturally due to insect predator feeding and weather conditions over the last two weeks. Fields will need to be monitored until plants have reached the R6 (full seed) growth stage, which usually does not occur until the end of August. White mould is present in some fields but infection levels have been lower than anticipated considering the weather. Low disease levels in the southwest over the last few years have kept the inoculum levels low. Eastern Ontario generally has higher levels of white mould than the southwest.