Wheat harvest is underway in southern parts of Ontario, with yields ranging anywhere from an ugly-and-diseased 40 bushels an acre to 110 bushels in areas south of London, as Real Agriculture agronomist Peter Johnson shares leading off his update this week.
What’s there to be learned from all the fusarium in wheat this year? It’s that moderately-resistant varieties that were sprayed with fungicide at the right time were much better off, says Wheat Pete. Where unsprayed wheat is showing 5 percent fusarium damage, sprayed wheat is in the 3 to 4 percent range, which should make a difference on elevators’ discount schedules.
When harvesting this high-disease wheat, he recommends waiting a few days for moisture levels to come down, as the combine will do a better job blowing light kernels out if moisture is under 16 percent.
From there, Johnson focuses on corn and how Western Bean Cutworm moth counts have been spiking. If corn tasseled earlier, there’s less risk, but corn that’s just starting to tassel is at high risk. The threshold for spraying is reached when you see an average of 1 egg mass in 20 plants after surveying at least five different places in a field, he explains.
After corn, Wheat Pete moves to sustained white mould pressure in soybeans and how temperatures have been ideal for soybean aphids. There have also been some issues with poor nodulation, so Johnson cautions about burning soybean plants if streaming on liquid N.
And finally, he answers a few questions from listeners on getting good quality soft white wheat, using fusarium-infected wheat for seed next year, and putting buckwheat in the ground after wheat harvest. Johnson also discusses whether the shift to less tillage has contributed to increased disease issues this year and how to boost a spotty alfalfa stand.
Wheat Pete will be back Wednesday — July 29th — with another update, including some answers to weed control questions from listeners.
Never miss a post from RealAgriculture! Subscribe here. (It’s free!)