By the OMAFRA Field Crop Team
For the full report, including photos and tables, go to Field Crop News.com.
Cool and wet conditions throughout much of the province have prevented any meaningful fieldwork from happening during April. A string of warmer, drier weather is needed before the 2019 planting season can get moving at a steady pace. Naturally, this delay causes anxiety in the farming community, but experienced farmers will remind us that such delays have happened in the past and the crop always gets planted. The challenge, of course, is having the patience to wait until soil conditions are suitable for planting. Soil conditions at the time of planting take priority over calendar date.
The most significant story with the 2019 winter wheat crop has been identifying how much of the crop is worth keeping. The potential for a significant amount of acreage to be terminated is possible, so securing seed and inputs for “plan B” should be a priority. All indications are that there will be enough soybean and corn seed available to plant into terminated acreage, however, they may not always be your first choice of cultivar.
Early planted winter wheat that overwintered in good condition is now approaching Zadok’s growth stage 30 (first node). Less than 25% of winter wheat acres have received a nitrogen application. This delay is unlikely to significantly affect grain yield since weather conditions to date have been so cool and wet. There are weeds starting to show up in wheat fields. The good news is that winter wheat is extremely competitive and yield losses from weeds in research trials are only about 3% on average compared to a 50% reduction in corn.
Early planting is less critical to yield for soybeans than corn. Soybeans planted in m