RealAg LIVE! with Alberta Wheat Commission's Jeremy Boychyn

Episodes:

Jeremy Boychyn, Agronomy Research Extension Specialist at Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions, is a regular contributor to RealAg Radio’s Agronomic Monday shows as well as our Wheat School series. He joins host Shaun Haney for this Tuesday edition of RealAg LIVE! to talk all things cereal agronomy (summary available below the video).

  • There are different areas of Canada dealing with different amounts of rain (Peace Region seeing full saturation, for example)
  • Soil saturation is preventing some of the 2019 harvest from coming off; farmers are having to juggle the fields they’re working in
  • South of Stettler and further into Lethbridge saw 2 – 3 inches of timely rain — a rarity in the Palliser Triangle
  • A great start to the levels of moisture needed for filling and anthesis
  • Harvesting, seeding, and spraying all within the same two week period (the trifecta of work!)
    • Moisture is starting to lead into issues with herbicide spraying
    • The harvest fight is going to continue to be a fight as the weeds start to emerge
    • If you’re having weeds emerge before your crop, you’re already taking a hit on your crop
    • One weed emerging before the crop is equal to a hundred weeds emerging after the crop
  • Plants take in two different types of red light on the light spectrum; they’ll respond differently to competition weeds by knowing what type of light they’re reflecting
  • If they sense competition too soon, they’ll work too quickly to fill the kernel – but they’ll also adjust to prevent direct competition
  • We’re starting to get into grasshopper season and grasshopper nymphs are starting to show up
    • The Prairie Pest Monitoring Network publishes updated maps of where insects are located
    • The Field Heroes campaign & progress made towards knowing more about beneficial insects is a great direction to take
  • Does rolling your cereal crop post-emergence create crop injury and have an effect on yield?
    • Make sure you’re delaying to the two- to three-leaf stage
    • Rolling when wet risks creating mud that pulls the plant out of the ground
    • beating up the leaves risks bringing in disease
  • Even though you can see disease on the plant, unless disease moves onto yield-bearing leaves, there likely won’t be a huge impact on yield
  • In-crop N-application; what are some of the considerations for topping up your nitrogen, especially after rain?
    • efficiency in uptake goes down when you apply in-crop
    • aim for between tiller and elongation stage; you want to go as early as possible, but after elongation, you’re trampling and breaking stems
    • timing is critical, because it needs to be washed in by rain to get the full benefit and change from urea to nitrates
  • Can you use melted urea?
    • It takes more energy to break it down, so you’ll want to use warmer water
  • Can we use some of the research for corn in Ontario and bring it across to spring wheat?
    • We’ve got different soils and different conditions, but we can’t completely dismiss an agriculture practice because it’s from a different area
    • It’s beneficial to keep an eye on what different areas are doing, because you never know what will work for you
  • It’s a good practice to take good photos of your crop to share with your agronomist when getting support
    • You need to think about not just what the picture is, but also what the environment around is, and what the cause might be
    • Is it a low part of the field? Is the soil different in that area?
    • Take a wide-angle picture that provides contrast with what’s around; take multiple pictures
  • Any tips for early-season disease scouting?
    • Producers that had a lot of moisture late in the season last year should be checking in those areas for disease now
    • Don’t just focus on the weeds, but also focus on your plants as well
    • If you’re seeing disease early, a fungicide at herbicide timing has shown no benefit (through multiple surveys)
    • You’re selecting for fungicide resistance and you’re showing no yield benefit
  • What do some of the early nutrient deficiencies look like?
    • typically nitrogen — you’ll see general yellowing of the leaves (same as sulphur)
    • sulphur can be a bit more patchy; nitrogen can be across the whole field
    • potassium can show up as purpling, like cold stress
    • copper shows up as pig-tailing and stunting
  • It’s too early to tell for fusarium; you can’t predict what the weather will be like when it comes to heading time
    • As you head into flag-leaf timing, start looking at the map and see if you’re in the risk area
    • If it continues to be moist, the inoculum and risk for fusarium is going to be there
  • How would a high iron level affect wheat yields?
    • It depends on what the toxicity level is, and is high iron really the issue?
    • If you decide on the reasons for a particular issue, you stop looking at what the other possibilities are
  • Should you spray for fusarium at both flag leave and flowering, or just wait and spray once at fusarium?
    • Research suggests that you gain just as much yield advantage spraying at head timing vs. flag leaf timing
    • It’s about establishing whether you need to spray at flag leaf — if not, wait until head timing
    • Yield advantage doesn’t necessarily translate to economic advantage when spraying at both times
  • Clean out while switching product is critical, especially when the need is to get the crop into the ground as quickly as possible

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