Wheat School: Action item prioritizing in a difficult spring

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Wet soil, cold nights, weeds, disease, and nitrogen needs are all converging at once – what’s a wheat grower to do?

As Ontario’s cold, soggy spring continues, deciding what to do next with the winter wheat crop can be a challenge, especially as the need to plant corn and soybeans becomes more pressing. In this episode of RealAgriculture Wheat School, resident agronomist Peter Johnson and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) weed specialist Mike Cowbrough assess the state of Ontario’s wheat crop.

“It’s time to get out there and get it done,” says Johnson who offers tips on whether growers should be applying herbicide, fungicide, or both under current growing conditions.

When it comes to weed control, Cowbrough suggests growers really need to know what they want to achieve before rolling out the sprayer. If growers need to control winter annuals or perennials, spraying can be justified, but there are plenty of situations where growers would be better off not putting herbicide in the tank.

From his perspective, Johnson feels fungicide application is more important than weed control in most situations. But if the crop still needs nitrogen, that’s the top priority. He also warns growers of the dangers of applying nitrogen and fungicide at the same time. “If you can’t do both nitrogen and fungicide – don’t do both together – the nitrogen is more important.”

Click here for more Wheat School episodes.

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