Wheat Pete's Word, June 30: Wettest June Bumps White Mould Risk, Complicates N Apps

Episodes:

(We’re a day early with this week’s Word, because, hey, it’s Canada Day and our audio editor’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Rhett!)

If you’re sick and tired of rain and wet conditions, you’re not alone — Ontario has recorded its wettest June in over one hundred years. Which means, with apologies to Western Canada facing a drought and forest fires, here we are for the third week in a row talking wet feet, standing water, lost nitrogen and mounting disease pressure.

To kick off this week’s Word, Peter Johnson, RealAgriculture agronomist, talks about perhaps the one side-benefit of a cool, wet June — excellent grain fill in the cereal crops. But even that has a potential downside, in that all this water means nitrogen could be limiting, especially for spring wheat. If you’re after protein you may need to add some N, even this late.

Missed last week’s Wheat Pete’s Word? Find it here.

Staying with cereals for now, Johnson says that farmers looking to begin winter wheat harvest need to keep fusarium management top of mind. Two things: fusarium continues to cause damage once the wheat is mature, so if you know you have fields with the disease (or higher levels) those fields need to see the combine first. And, when you get in those fields, it’s  MAXIMUM blast for air settings. Johnson explains why in more detail in the audio below, but start with high air and work it down to minimize downgrading in the sample.

From there, Johnson tackles reports of smut in barley and if there’s anything you can do now and how to avoid it in the future. What is perhaps more concerning is rust levels in the oat crop — if you haven’t sprayed, there’s likely still time to do so, and based on reports, it’ll be worth your while, Johnson says.

And we can’t talk disease threats without talking white mould on soybeans, though. We’ve got a host crop (soybeans) on tight rotation, high inoculum levels held over from last year, and if conditions continue like they are, there’s going to be a  very high risk. Johnson runs through timing for the first application of a fungicide, and why a second may be warranted (See a full discussion on crop staging for fungicides on soybeans here).

Two things to round out this week’s word — Y-drop application of N on corn and taking out red clover. If you’re on Twitter (you can follow @WheatPete), you may have caught the Tweetnado of discussion about y-drops in corn and whether or not skipped row is the way to go. Johnson explains his reasoning on why it is, and also covers your other N options (forms and application methods) in the Word below.

And for those who have issues with too-tall clover looking to make harvest a pain, Johnson has an update on the use of Eragon as a pre-harvest desiccant in wheat and barley, what rates to use it at and why you must use Merge with it.

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