Copper Deficiency in Wheat – Symptoms and Cures

Submitted by John Heard, Soil Fertility Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture
Classic symtoms of copper deficiency on soils likely low in copper are:
·         twisted leaf tips 
·         sandy, low OM , high pH soil with known low copper levels 
Or could it just be environmental stress due to frost injury, lack of moisture and drying winds?
A tissue test is needed to confirm copper deficiency as the culprit. 
Studies in Manitoba compared three timings of foliar copper sprays on deficient spring wheat and showed that copper deficiencies and impact on yield can be severe or slight and can vary from year to year.
Timing and application method are important to regain yield! For more information and pictures on copper deficiency, see the full .pdf copy of Copper Deficiency in Wheat
Respond
Have a follow-up question?

What Does Seedplaced Fertilizer Injury Look Like?

Submitted by John Heard, Soil Fertility Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Already we are hearing of spotty emergence with cereal crops in Manitoba.  Possible culprits may be dry seedbeds, poor quality seed, seed depth, herbicide residues, or seed placed fertilizer injury.Past Prairie studies suggested a 15% stand reduction was tolerable for cereals since surviving plants tillered and filled in the stand.  But maturity is less uniform and is delayed up to 4 days.
How might one confirm seedplaced fertilizer injury?  Close inspection can show a range of symptoms:
1.        Seeds that imbibed water but did not develop any root or shoot
2.       Seeds that developed shoots but no roots
3.       Seeds that developed root and shoot but leafed out below ground
4.       Those that did germinate and emerge (about 44%) were ½ to 1 full leaf stage behind normal seedlings in the low fertilizer strip.
In other crops injury can show as:
Canola – seeds just do not germinate and remain intact.   Fields simply appear to have very poor crop establishment.
Soybeans – stands may be injured, especially with wider row spacing and on sandy soils under dry conditions.
For more information, see the full .pdf document on Manitoba Agriculture Current Crop Topics – What Does Seedplaced Fertilizer Injury look like in Cereals
Respond
Have a follow-up question?

Volatilization of surface applied urea/UAN

Submitted by: John Heard, Manitoba Agriculture, Soil Fertility Specialist
Surface broadcasting of nitrogen (N) fertilizers has become popular to increase operational efficiency – increasing the speed of seeding and reducing risk of seed injury.  But, in a dry spring with limited rain prospects, growers may choose not to till and avoid further drying out seedbeds.  Then growers must consider the risks of nitrogen volatilization loss and take precautions when risk is high.
Volatilization of ammonia (NH3) from urea or the urea portion of UAN (28-0-0) affected by several factors and can be increased under specific situations.
For more details on the risk factors and ways to minimize losses, see full .pdf 
More topics on soil fertility can be found on Manitoba Agriculture’s Soil Fertility webpages.
 
Respond
Have a follow-up question?

Spring Preplant Banded nitrogen Too Hot for Corn in Dry Springs!

Submitted by: John Heard, Manitoba Agriculture, Soil Fertility Specialist
There is no single best way to fertilize corn in Manitoba.  The 4 most common N application methods are spring broadcast and incorporated, fall banded, banded at seeding and preplant banded.
In a dry spring like 2018,  broadcasting and incorporating fertilizer before seeding, risk drying out the seedbed.  Many farmers, especially on clay-textured soils prefer not to disturb their seedbed in the spring and so prefer to fall band their N.  And although spring preplant banding is a very efficient way to place nutrients for a corn crop, it comes with some particular cautions – thinning and seedling injury.  
More detailed information and analysis in full .pdf
More topics on soil fertility can be found on Manitoba Agriculture’s Soil Fertility webpages.
Respond
Have a follow-up question?

Can Sidebanded Nitrogen Cause Injury in a Dry Year?

Submitted by: John Heard, Manitoba Agriculture, Soil Fertility Specialist

With a lack of seedbed moisture, there are justified concerns about seedplaced fertilizer injury to canola and other crops.  How safe is sidebanded nitrogen? Research studies by  Dr. Cindy Grant documented considerable canola stand thinning when high rates of sidebanded urea or UAN solution were applied.  Agrotain (AT) served to reduce stand injury, but is no longer supported for this use by the manufacturer. 

Points:
  • Stands were thinned at even modest N rates, on a clay loam soil.  At high rates stands were reduced to 50%
  • Crop growth compensated for reduced stands and generally produced as good a yield as the Agrotain protected stands, except at the highest rate.
For more detailed analysis and discussion on the issue see the full .pdf
More topics on soil fertility can be found on Manitoba Agriculture’s Soil Fertility webpages.
Respond
Have a follow-up question?

Seed Placed Fertilizer Cautions for Canola

Submitted by: John Heard, Manitoba Agriculture, Soil Fertility Specialist

Spring 2018 has brought many questions about seedplaced fertilizer rates for canola.  Several factors are causing concern:

  • Drier soils – which increase the risk of seed toxicity
  • Desire to apply sufficient P to meet crop removal – since many fields have seen decreasing P levels due to high yield.  P removal is about 1 lb P2O5/bu, so high yield potential fields are looking at high P replacement rates.
  • Increased use in low disturbance, low seedbed utilization (SBU) drills.  Many new openers are arriving on the scene, which are “close-to-seed” sidebanding for which one may need to consider as seedplaced.
  • Desire by growers to reduce seeding rates for cost savings.  Most research studies investigating seedplaced fertilizer injury were seeded at some 150 seed/m2, about double what some farmers are now targeting.
For more detailed analysis on the issue, see the full text in .pdf format 
 
Respond
Have a follow-up question?

How did the cold temperatures affect my winter wheat?

Extremely cold temperatures were experienced throughout Manitoba at the end of December and beginning of January. The cold temperatures combined with limited amounts of snow cover have many winter wheat producers thinking about winter survival.

Manitoba Agriculture’s Ag Weather Program has been monitoring soil temperatures in winter wheat fields for a number of years. There are currently three weather stations measuring real time soil temperatures in winter wheat fields at Alexander, Dauphin, and Kleefeld.  The data collected from the weather stations is made available to the University of Saskatchewan and Western Ag Labs for their Winter Cereal Survival Model, available at: https://www.wheatworkers.ca/wcsm.php.  The Winter Cereal Survival Model compares the cold tolerance of winter wheat varieties to the daily average soil temperature at crown depth (about 1”).

Plotting the soil temperatures against hardiness curves can give an early indication if there is a concern for winter injury or winterkill. Factors that can impact the level of cold hardiness of the plant include weather, fertility, seeding date, and seeding depth.  In Manitoba, the majority of winter wheat acres would likely be considered to be well-hardened.  The figure below shows soil temperatures at 1” depth in three winter wheat fields in Manitoba, plotted against three hardiness curves.

Figure 1. 2017/18 soil temperatures (as of January 16, 2018) measured at 1” depth in three winter wheat fields. Data Source: Manitoba Agriculture Ag Weather Program

Soil temperatures in Alexander and Dauphin dipped below the low hardiness curve, but have not approached the mid and high-hardiness curves at this point. To assess the level of risk on your farm consider how well-hardened your field may be and check your fields for level of snow accumulation.  It is still early in the season, so check back in on the Winter Wheat Survival Model throughout the winter to get an idea of the risk of winterkill in your area.

Submitted by: Anne Kirk, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

 

Respond
Have a follow-up question?

Submitting Grain Samples for Grading

It is important to know the grade and dockage of your grain prior to marketing to ensure that you receive a fair price for your grain. The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) provides the following grain grading services:

The Canadian Grain Commission’s Harvest Sample Program
The Harvest Sample Program provides unofficial grade and quality results at no charge for most grain, oilseed, and pulse crops.  Samples are submitted at harvest time and results are emailed to the producer.  Producers who have previously signed up for the Harvest Sample Program will receive a Harvest Sample kit annually.  For more information on the Harvest Sample Program or to sign up visit the CGC website.

Producer Request for Inspection Services
Producers that did not participate in the Harvest Sample Program but would still like to receive a grade for their grain can submit a sample to the CGC for a fee.  It is important to submit a representative grain sample as the grade received should accurately represent grain stored in a bin.  Instructions on representative grain sampling can be found on the CGC website.  Once you have a representative sample, complete the request for inspection services form I-106 and send the sample by mail or courier to the CGC Weyburn office for inspection.  Instructions and additional tests available are found on the form.

What steps can be taken when you disagree with an elevator’s assessment of your grain’s grade and dockage?
As legislated under the Canadian Grains Act producers can dispute a licensed primary elevator’s assessment of their grain. If you do not agree with the assessment of your grain at the time of delivery, you can ask that a representative sample of your grain be sent to the CGC for inspection. Payment for your grain will be subject to the inspectors grade and dockage. For more information, visit the dispute your grain grade section of the CGC website.

 

Submitted by Anne Kirk, Cereal Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Respond
Have a follow-up question?

Considerations for Overwintering Corn

The vast majority of corn in Manitoba is in the bin, but what about those few fields that may not be harvested yet? In some cases weather conditions may have made it difficult for farmers to harvest corn in the fall, but some farmers may decide that the corn moisture level and costs associated with drying mean that it is more economical to leave corn in the field to let it dry down naturally over winter.

Just how much dry down can be expected over winter? The amount of drying that occurs in the field depends on the corn maturity, variety, and moisture content, as well as environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, solar radiation, and wind speed. Field drying is extremely slow in the winter, and corn will only dry to about 20 to 21% moisture content. In a typical year, it is expected that corn will dry approximately 11-12% in October, 4-5% in November, and just 2% per month in December and January (Table 1).      

Table 1. Estimated corn field drying

Month

EMC (%)* GDD PET (in.) Estimated Drying (% pt.)
Month Week
Sept 15 250-350 4-5 18 4.5
Oct 16 100-125 2.8-3.5 11-12 2.5
Nov 19 20-30 0.8-1.2 4-5 1
Dec 20 0 0.5-0.8 2 0.5
Jan 21 0 0.5-0.8 2 0.5
Feb 21 0 0.5-0.9 3 0.8
Mar 19 0 1.3-1.6 5 1
Apr 16 50-90 3.2-4.5 16 4
May 14 200-300 6.5-8.5 30 7

*EMC – equilibrium moisture content, GDD – growing degree days, PET – potential evapotranspiration 1EMC is the moisture content to which corn will dry and is based on air temperature and relative humidity

Source: Ken Hellevang, 2009. 2009 Post-harvest tips for later maturing corn. NDSU Extension Service.

Risks of overwintering corn Heavy snowfall during the winter can cause significant amounts of lodging resulting in yield losses. Root and stalk strength should be taken into consideration when deciding if a field should be overwintered. Research conducted at the University of Wisconsin examined corn yield loss during the winter (Table 2).

This researched showed that in 2000, a year with heavy snow cover, yield loss was much greater than in 2001, a year with very little snow cover.  Standing corn may result in more snow catch and slow soil drying in the spring, which could delay planting.

Table 2. Percent yield loss of corn left standing in the field through winter at Arlington, Wisconsin.

Harvest Month
Year Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr
2000 No Loss 45% 58% 59% 65% 38%
2001 5% 5% 9% 18% 7% 10%
Mean 3% 22% 32% 37% 32% 24%

Source: Schneider and Lauer, 2009. Weight risk of leaving corn stand through winter. UW Extension -Team Grains.  http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/Teams/TG001.pdf

Corn can be harvested throughout the winter if conditions are cool and there isn’t much snow. If stalks stay standing throughout the winter, and ear drop and wildlife damage are limited, corn can get through the winter without much yield loss.  Yield loss throughout the winter will vary by hybrid and environmental conditions.

If you are planning to over winter corn please contact your local MASC agent.

Submitted by Anne Kirk, Cereals Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

 

Respond
Have a follow-up question?

Early September Frost – What is Going to Happen to My Soybeans?

September 5, 2017  – Pinawa, Winnipeg, Whiteshell and Steinbach overnight forecasts, Environment Canada is stating there is a risk of frost. 

Whether or not there is yield loss in soybeans depends on two factors.  One is how cold it gets and how hard it freezes.  We won’t know the story on that until tomorrow.  The other factor is the growth stage the soybeans are at and that is determined by examining the pods on the plant.  It is all about the pods, so don’t get distracted by the condition of the leaves.  The more advanced/mature the soybeans pods are, the less the potential yield loss.

Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers has a maturity guide on their website that will provide you with excellent pictures and descriptions of the growth stages we are now seeing in our fields.  Use it as your guide in determining where your beans are at.  Click on the link below to access:

http://www.manitobapulse.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Soybean-MATURITY-GUIDE_Apr-2017_WR.pdf

In terms of yield loss, use the following as a guide:

  •  Frost during the R5 stage can reduce yield by 50%-70%.
  •  Frost at the R6 stage can reduce yield by 20%-30%.
  •  Frost at the R7 stage can reduce yield by only about 5%.
  •  At the R8 stage no yield reductions are expected. Dupont Pioneer has also put together a factsheet on frost damaged soybeans that is helpful  https://www.pioneer.com/home/site/us/agronomy/library/frost-damaged-soybeans/.

You will always find some variation around predictions of yield losses due to frost in soybeans.  This is to be expected.  There is no absolutely right answer.  No crop is uniformly at one growth stage and every frost event is unique in how it plays out.  The information above is merely meant to serve as a guide.

Let’s hope we stay well above zero!!

Submitted by: Terry Buss, Beausejour Farm Production Extension Specialist – Crops, MB Ag and Dennis Lange, Pulse Crop Specialist, MB Ag.

Respond
Have a follow-up question?