Hello ReaderWe ran through herbicide season and have jumped straight into fungicide application. With 17 hours of daylight, temperatures in the high 20’s and excellent subsoil moisture, crops are progressing rapidly.
Leaf diseases have been low up until the last few days with tan spot and septoria showing up in wheat and scald and spot/net blotch in barley. The cooler evenings and high humidity increases the risk of disease as dew stays on the plants for 8 to 10 hours each day. Seedpod weevils have shown up in some early flowering canola fields so be sure to begin insect sweeping early this year.
This week we’ll start with tips on spraying during warm temperatures like we’re experiencing. Next, I’ll brief you on the CX6 Smart Seeder drill that was launched at the Farm Progress Show I attended two weeks ago. I’ll discuss the use of our side dress nitrogen toolbar this year and finish with a recent podcast with yours truly and some comments from readers on last week’s article on blackleg in canola. As always we’ll end with technical grain market news.
Have a great week.
Pictured above: Our bolting canola 5 days ago, ready to rise above the 16-inch tall wheat stubble, near Morrin, AB.
Crop Staging(Calgary to Drumheller to Three Hills)
Seeded May 1-7 May 8-15 May 15-22
Wheat boot stage flag leaf 2nd node
Canola 5% bloom 1% bloom bolting
Barley boot stage flag leaf 2nd node
Peas 1% bloom start of flower 12th node
Steve's tips and tricks of the week
Follow me on Twitter for in-season updates @BeyondAgronomy
- Continue post-herbicide checks to make sure herbicides performed well. If not, you have an opportunity to correct the problem with a re-spray.
- If you haven't booked a custom applicator to spray fungicide or picked up your fungicide you may almost be out of luck. Book now if you haven't!
- The best time to scout for seed drill issues is at the beginning of canola flowering. You can pick out the patterns easily and make adjustments before next year.
- With the potential for southerly winds we may see stripe rust show up in the next few weeks.
- Cabbage seedpod weevils have climbed above threshold levels in the Standard, AB and south areas. Start sweeping your canola fields.
- If your leaves are healthy and green, spray a fungicide to keep them that way. High humidity and wet weather will spread diseases quickly. SL
Tips for spraying in hot weatherThe forecast calls for temperatures in the high 20’s and low 30’s for the next 7 days and then back to the low 20’s the following week. We’re starting to apply fungicides this week so I thought I’d give you a few rules of thumb to help you improve the performance of your fungicides during higher temperatures.
The key to improving fungicide performance is to allow the droplets to remain on the leaf surface for as long as possible. This is done by ensuring humidity levels are high enough to keep droplets in solution. This will insure the active ingredient has enough time to diffuse through the leaf cuticle, stomata or cracks in the leaf surface. The longer you your droplets stay in solution on the leaf, the better your chances of maximizing the performance of your fungicide. SL
See Delta T method chart <here>
20C: Humidity must be above 35%
25C: Humidity must be above 45%
30C: Humidity must be above 50%
35C: Humidity must be above 55%
CX6 Smart Seeder revealed at Farm ProgressI had an excellent time meeting with friends, colleagues and subscribers at the Clean Seed booth at the Farm Progress Show in Regina, SK. The CX-6 Smart Seeder was on display and I must say they beat my expectations with the way it was manufactured, especially for the first prototype drill of its kind. What’s more unbelievable is the number of purchase orders they received for a drill that hasn’t seen the field yet aside from the opener shank assembly testing which passed with flying colours on seed placement and residue flow.
The team had been sending me photos for months, so it was great to see it up close. Have a look at the drill and tell me what you think. Before you do I’ve leave you with one factoid on the CX-6. There are 60 shanks with 6 electric meters, so when it’s running there are 360 electric meters running at once. In spite of all this demand, it only requires a 12 volt system and doesn’t use more energy than a 1200 watt hair dryer! Check out the drill <here>
Photo source: Clean Seed Capital
Side dress nitrogen in narrow row croppingI think we all know that applying all of our nitrogen at planting is risky, creates nutrient imbalances, leads to excessive vegetation, lodging and poor harvest indexes. Logically, split applying nitrogen to match crop uptake makes sense but finding the time to logistically apply nitrogen during herbicide and fungicide season is a challenge. On top of that, streaming on liquid nitrogen in-season, with heavy surface residue, inconsistent rainfall patterns and a ten-day optimal window of application is just as risky.
Last year Mitch and I purchased a 60 ft, FAST 8100 nitrogen side dress toolbar to begin coultering in nitrogen between the rows inside our CTF system. Side dressing is common in the corn and cotton growing areas of the world but to my knowledge has not been attempted inside a narrow row cropping system. With CTF, we have the opportunity to place nitrogen between the rows, into the soil, beside the roots where it is immediately available at the right time and away from immobilizing surface residue. We now base our decision on sub soil moisture and no longer require rainfall after application to wash the nitrogen into the soil.
See article on results from side dress toolbar in 2013 <here>
Photo top: the furrow where nitrogen is placed. It closes over and seals up very well.
See a video of our side-dress nitrogen toolbar in action <here>
• 60-ft wide
• 1,800 gallon tank
• 10-ft axle width
• 18-inch coulters
• 24-inch spacing on coulters
• Air drill is set up on 12-inch spacing so we are mid-row banding the nitrogen
FAST 8100 spec sheet
We are now in year two and have discovered there are two things holding us back from running the coulters between the rows accurately. One) we have slight drift on the toolbar at 8mph, which we discovered with a GoPro camera during application this year. 2) The 3-inch offset hitch on a 30 foot Concord drill creates an uneven shank pattern, which the coulters on a 60 foot toolbar can only follow one way.
Here are the solutions we’ve come up with to address this issue that would apply to anyone attempting to inter-row side dress nitrogen in random traffic or controlled traffic system.
1) Match the drill and side dress toolbar width.
2) Place hydraulic hitch on draw bar and move 3 inches side to side each pass. This will create an even shank pattern across the field.
3) Install ProTrakker implement guidance. The hydraulic hitch steers the toolbar to keep in on track.
We managed to place trials in our wheat and canola this year to compare streaming on nitrogen with 24-inch row spacing versus side dressing on 24-inch row spacing.
60N at time of seeding plus 90N and 120N streamed on just prior to bolting.
60N at time of seeding, 120N side dressed
60N at time of seeding, 90N and 120N streamed on at GS30
60N at time of seeding, 120N side dressed at GS30
It may appear that we’ve applied an excessive amount of nitrogen with totals reaching 150 to 180 lbs/N/ac in wheat and canola. However, we have excellent sub soil moisture and an excellent crop stand. We used NDVI readings from a handheld GreenSeeker along with the Connected Farm app to help calculate nitrogen rates. The beauty of side-dressing nitrogen is analyzing crop and soil moisture before you add the extra investment.
I do believe the side dress nitrogen system is very efficient compared to streaming on nitrogen. To me it makes a ton of sense and even outside of a CTF system, a drill set up with implement steering to keep rows straight along with a small front wheel assist tractor with a steer assisted side dress toolbar could easily apply nitrogen between the rows. One person is dedicated to the sprayer and one to the side dress toolbar. No compromise between the two. SL
Photo: The 3 inch deep furrow the coulter produced injecting nitrogen.
Precision Agriculture PodcastTim Neale of www.precisionagriculture.com.au from Toowoomba, QLD, Australia stopped by over the weekend after attending the World Congress on Conservation Agriculture in Winnnipeg last week. He produces a podcast devoted specifically to precision agriculture technologies and he interviewed me on what’s happening with PA in Alberta and on our farm. Listen <here>
Fungicide used to control blackleg in canola
Comments“In the blackleg fungicide article, in your point one, the 200gai/ha of flutriafol we use is in-furrow, not on the seed. We put it in the liquid stream at sowing that is placed close to the seed. It does work and does have additive control when Jockey [seed treatment] is used on the seed, but both only last until about the 2-leaf stage of the canola. Prosaro then does give visual good control when used foliar, but like you said, it is not viable on R rated varieties. Wayne Smith, Albany, WA
“Uniform was released this year (azoxystrobin and metalaxyl) for fertiliser treatment. This may have a fit for you also on blackleg. It will give long residual control of stripe rust in wheat also. With we generally apply 300-400ml/ha of flutriafol (500gai/l) to all crops as a coating on the fertiliser. Paul Lavis, Corowa, NSW
Pictured above: Ipsum lorum, Dell naga photicia by Pieter Brown
CTF tour Tuesday, July 15th, 1:00 pmWe're hosting a field day with CTF Alberta Tuesday, July 15th from 1pm - 4pm at our farm NW of Morrin, AB. Please join us!
When: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Where: One mile west of Morrin, AB on HWY 27 and 1.5 miles north on RR 20-4 (N 51 40.234 and W 112 47.543)
Google map and directions
1:00pm – Sign in
1:30pm – Crop walk and lessons learned after 5 years in CTF – Steve Larocque
2:30pm – CTF systems Q&A with long time CTF farmer Robert Ruwoldt, Vic, Aus
3:30pm – Improving soil quality – Peter Gamache & Roger Andreiuk
4:15pm – Nitrogen side dressing in wheat and canola on narrow rows
5:00pm – Chinwag and refreshments
There is no charge for the event. Refreshments will be provided. Qualifies for three Soil & Water CEUs.
The charts I use take a short and long term look at whether the market is oversold, neutral or overbought. I use charts as a way to pull the trigger, not to determine the best price.
Canola Nov 14: The long and short term trends are down.
HRS Wheat: Dec 14: The short and long term trends are down.
Corn Dec 13: The short and long term trends are down.
Soybeans: Nov 14: The short and the long term trends are down.
Canadian $: Sept 14: The short term trend is up and the long term trend is down.