Tag: MAFRI

Manitoba Government Renames a Slew of Ministries, Including Agriculture

Manitoba’s NDP government very quietly established, de-established (their word, not mine) and re-named several government ministries on Friday. How quietly? There was no press release, no official word, just an order in council that eventually got circulated to media et al. Of particular note for farmers and the agriculture community, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food… Read more »

Soybean School West: What’s Eating my Soybeans? Which Insects to Blame & More

If you’re relatively new to growing soybeans, you’re likely checking on the crop more often than others. That’s good, of course, as scouting is rarely a waste of time. What you may be seeing at this time of year is leaf damage — insect feeding on leaf margins or in a “shot” hole pattern. What’s… Read more »

Canola School: Aster Yellows: Why it’s Best to Leave the Sprayer in the Shed

Two years ago if you had asked the average Saskatchewan canola grower what aster yellows was, they likely wouldn’t have been too concerned about it, if they had ever heard of it at all. That’s because aster yellows, a disease carried by the aster leafhopper insect that mangles the buds/pods of a plant, typically occurs… Read more »

Canola School: Scouting for Diamondback Moth & How to Tell all the Green Worms Apart

Unlike bertha armyworm, which is discussed here, diamondback moths are quite small and are carried on winds that come up from the south. This makes monitoring and scouting for the pest somewhat more difficult than others, as pests that overwinter have a more easily anticipated emergence timeline. Beyond monitoring, there are some very telling ways… Read more »

Canola School: The Basics of Insect Sweeping

By now you’re fully aware of the importance of monitoring insect pests in your canola. So, you’ve collected and assembled your sweep-net, now what? The standard technique for sweeping is one 180 degree sweep for every quick step through the canola field (accompanied by the odd fall, of course). Sounds simple (and perhaps slightly embarrassing), but… Read more »

Canola School: Bertha Armyworm Monitoring, Scouting and Control

Have you been keeping an eye on the bertha armyworm monitoring trap numbers in your area? As we crawl closer to mid-July, it’s important to be aware of regional risks, and have a good understanding of proper scouting techniques and spray timing. “You’re going to have your best success spraying at night,” says John Gavloski, provincial entomologist with… Read more »

Wheat School: Midge Scouting, Susceptibility and Thresholds

In recent years, wheat midge has caused yield losses to fields across the prairie provinces, and has been blamed for wheat quality losses as well, including: aborted kernels, feeding lines and bran rupturing. So we know wheat midge is a significant pest, but did you have any idea that once anthers are present, the plant is no… Read more »

Wheat School: Don’t Miss the Fusarium Suppression Window!

Manitoba has the not-so-great distinction of being the fusarium hot spot of the Canadian Prairies. This year, ample moisture and recent heat have combined to create a high-humidity soup pot of fusarium head blight growth and spread. Farmers in other provinces need to be on the look out as well, as the disease spreads west…. Read more »

Silage Isn’t Just a Rescue Operation — Planning for Silage Success w/ Ray Bittner

There are times when high quality high just isn’t in the cards. In fact, sometimes the weather makes even attaining low quality hay nearly impossible. It’s times like these that some farmers choose to turn too-wet hay into silage or haylage. The downside there, however, is that quality has already been lost — had you… Read more »

Optimal Fertilizer Application Timing for Hay Fields

Whether you’re using commercial blends or manure, shortly after first cut is a great time to fertilize forage fields. But, wait, aren’t perennial crops low-input? Top notch hay producers will tell you that fertility is paramount to getting top production out of a hay corp and to ensure maximum persistence of that stand. In this… Read more »

Establishing Alfalfa — The Pros and Cons of a Nurse Crop

The seeding pass is the most important one you make on your fields. This is true for annual crops, but perhaps even more so for perennial crops as these fields may need to produce for four, five or several more years. What’s more, forages can be quite tricky to establish, as the seeds are typically… Read more »

My Winter Wheat is Written Off — Now What?

While winter wheat is a darn hardy crop — just 15 plants per sq. foot growing in the spring can reach a very respectable yield potential — there are times when crops just don’t make it through. The southwest corner of Manitoba is reporting some winter wheat issues, and crop insurance adjusters are out evaluating… Read more »

Canola School: Group 2 Injury — Soil Residual & Drift Symptoms

Darling Mother Nature can really be tricky at times. It’s bad enough that nutrient deficiency symptoms can be subtle at best, but there are some symptoms that look like several different things. Group 2 drift injury of young plants, for example, can look very much like sulphur deficiency. Soil residual Group 2 injury may be… Read more »

How to Evaluate Alfalfa Stands for Winterkill

There are few things I love more than the smell of fresh cut hay. The joy of that smell for some comes from the incredible value a high-producing alfalfa field creates. But while alfalfa stands can produce for several years, each winter takes its toll on the crop, and a careful evaluation of production potential… Read more »

Wheat School: Early Evaluation of Winter Wheat Stands & Ideal N Application Timing

The ideal set up for winter wheat is plating in mid-September at about half an inch deep with starter fertilizer. Then it rains and the crop grows to three leaves plus one tiller, then gets covered in a cozy blanket of snow, where it stays until it warms up in the spring. Reality, however, often… Read more »