Ont. soybean planting completed: OMAFRA

Emergence has been good in most Ontario soybean fields after planting wrapped up in the first week of the month, Ontario’s ag ministry reported Thursday.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in its June 12 crop report noted “some crusting concerns from heavy rains” in a few soybean-producing areas.

“If you are considering re-planting and there are 100,000 plants/acre, leave the stand,” the province advised. “The exception to this rule may be very heavy clay soils. Do not change maturity on soybean varieties if re-planting now. Stay with full season beans.”

Weed control will be the biggest priority for soybean growers, OMAFRA wrote. If the soybean crop is kept weed-free from the first to third trifoliate stage, losses to competition from weeds should be minimal.

Warmer temperatures have resulted in rapid corn development over the last week, the province reported. “Corn stands are, for the most part, quite uniform and emergence issues have been limited” and early-planted corn is close to or beyond the 6-leaf stage, OMAFRA wrote.

Warm, wet conditions may have speeded the germination of weeds and another application may be required to keep the crop clean through the critical period, the province advised. Side-dressing nitrogen has been delayed in some areas due to wet conditions.

Forage harvesting has been “challenging” so far this spring, OMAFRA wrote, as many areas have received frequent showers. “Depending on the amount of weathering, the feed value of the forage may not have been seriously impaired, but harvest management may have to be adjusted.”

Loss of soluble carbohydrates when forage is rained on can make the forage more difficult to ensile, the province wrote. And hay that has been rained on needs to be drier before storage than hay that has not been rained on, because soil splashed up from the ground has inoculated the hay with a heavy load of spoilage organisms.

Most spring canola crops are “uniform and rapidly advancing,” OMAFRA wrote, reporting that the window has closed for weed control applications in early fields, and is rapidly ending in later fields.

Most of Ontario’s winter cereal crop is fully headed to the end of the pollination stage, and early-seeded fields are now beyond where fusarium control products can be applied. On later fields, application of fusarium products “must occur now,” the province wrote Thursday. “Late application of fungicides for fusarium (day six and beyond), will not provide acceptable fusarium control, but will reduce other leaf and head diseases.”

Early-seeded spring cereals, meanwhile, are “well beyond the stage for herbicide applications in most fields,” OMAFRA wrote. “Continue scouting cereals for the presence of leaf diseases, watching the oat crop, in particular, for signs of rust infection. As cereals reach the flag leaf stage, growers must decide if a foliar fungicide is required.”

Cereal aphids are noticeable in many spring cereal fields, but still below economical thresholds, the province said, advising farmers to continue scouting for the pests and to spray “immediately” when the economic threshold is reached.

Wet weather has delayed planting of edible beans in most areas, with 10-30 per cent of the Ontario crop planted and emergence generally good, OMAFRA wrote, although crusting has been a concern on heavy soil types.

“If planting continues to be delayed, consider when beans will mature before continuing to plant,” the province wrote. “When late planting cannot be avoided, consider switching to soybeans.”

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