Farmers and agronomists across Ontario are struggling with a few pest and agronomic challenges right now. From decreased corn stalk integrity, to western bean cutworm, and on to lodged or early death in beans, a relatively good year is still throwing some curve balls.

For this episode of The Agronomists, host Lyndsey Smith is joined by Dr. Dave Hooker, associate professor with the University of Guelph-Ridgetown. Peter “Wheat Pete” Johnson tries his best to join too, but tech trouble got in the way – but don’t worry, he joins us in the comments!

Catch a new episode of The Agronomists every Monday night at 8 pm E!

SUMMARY

  • Adding wheat into the rotation… Dr. Dave Hooker’s favourite approach, is a systems approach
  • Also part-time farming, best of both worlds for Hooker. Long-term crop rotation trials are his favourite
  • Long-term = no less than 5 years. But when you’re talking about a system, usually it takes about 10 years to see differences in management changes
  • Late-season decisions in corn and soybeans… let’s get into it
  • Anthracnose stalk rot in certain corn hybrids. Localized, but a critical management concern
  • Leaving things out over the winter? Stalk integrity is a big concern
  • Shorter season soybean variety to get winter wheat in the ground earlier and better yield returns on winter wheat
  • Timely wheat planting, as we know, is incredibly important — one bushel per acre per day yield loss for every day beyond optimal planting date
  • Clip #1: Corn School: Learnings from a 10-year fight with western bean cutworm
  • Rotation, rotation, one more time for the people in the back: rotation
  • Corn rootworm issues
  • Land swap to get the rotation sorted out
  • Resistant weeds… resistant insects. Are you seeing escaped insect populations after a control measure?
  • Depending on chem to solve this “overnight” isn’t feasible
  • Kochia is making the most of late rains
  • Tar spot. Where are we at with it? Seems to be spreading quite quickly
  • Also, how to take better pictures to send to your agronomist… see this
  • Ontario Diagnostic Days (shameless plug!)
  • Alberta Tenuta has some tar spot trials in this year
  • Long-term field trials, is the same seed variety used? If not, do you account for genetic improvements?
  • “Take the test to beat the pest” for soybean cyst nematode!
  • The average farming career is 40 to 50 seasons, so that’s 40 to 50 chances to figuring out hybrids/varieties and their related diseases
  • Clip #2: Wheat School: These aren’t your Grandpa’s seeding rates (An “ancient” video with Pete, that he now disagrees with)
  • Use a scale that is good to 0/1 grams, Weight 100 seeds three times. If they are close, use the average, and if they’re not, do three more counts and weighs, and use that average (says Pete in the comments, since he couldn’t join us virtually)
  • Lodging in wheat: you only get one chance to plant early, planting into corn isn’t ideal for fusarium risk, lower the seeding rate to improve standability
  • 100 growing degree days and more heads per plant. The relationship between tillering and GDDs
  • In a drought, how important is it to control late-season volunteers and weeds after some rain going into winter? Post-harvest spraying is happening but what are the research results to support it?
  • Spider mites? Aphids? Watch the pre-harvest interval!
  • We could do a whole show on wheat curl mite, and other interesting insect names

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