Spring Options for Applying Nitrogen Fertilizer in 2017

With the wet conditions and delayed harvest experienced in parts of Manitoba in fall 2016, very few farmers were able to complete their fall fertilization program.  Since early seeding is important for optimizing crop yield, producers will be looking for ways to apply their N requirements efficiently without delaying the seeding operation.  In addition, soil reserves of N are variable and margins between crop revenue and input costs are modest; therefore, optimizing nitrogen fertilizer use efficiency is important.  To achieve these objectives for a spring fertilization program will require use of a 4R nutrient stewardship strategy:  applying the right rate of the right fertilizer source, with the right placement and at the right time to minimize losses of fertilizer N to the environment and optimize the crop’s access to the fertilizer.

For more detailed information, see the on-line factsheet at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/seasonal-reports/pubs/spring-n-options-17.pdf

Submitted by John Heard, Crop Nutrition Specialist, MB Ag

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Will I be able to improve the grade of my grain by using gravity tables and colour sorters?

Gravity tables and colour sorters have been shown to be an effective way of sorting out fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK) if the grower has the time and money to spend on the method. Gravity tables remove kernels based on density and are effective at removing heavily infected seeds, but can also result in the loss of healthy seed. Optical sorters remove kernels based on visual differences, but the process can be time-consuming and is more suited to hard wheat than soft wheat. Additionally, fusarium-damaged barley and oat do not show significant shrivelling and are not likely to be removed by equipment sorting by density, weight or colour.

It is important to remember that removing FDK (i.e. visibly infected kernels) from a grain sample does not mean that the grain is free of DON, the toxin produced by Fusarium graminearum. The relationship between FDK and DON varies and in years where infection occurs late in anthesis (or even after anthesis), visual symptoms are not always apparent whereas DON levels can still be elevated. While the Canadian Grain Commission grades wheat based on percent FDK, some markets are interested in DON levels. It is important to discuss with grain buyers and/or elevators their guidelines regarding FDK and DON. It is also recommended that growers test their grain for DON to best determine how to market it.

There is newer technology available that sorts grain based on chemical composition using near infrared transmission (NIR). This method is more effective at reducing DON levels because it is not only dependent on visual symptoms on the kernel. The machinery required to sort grain using NIR can be quite expensive to purchase, but is relatively inexpensive to run. For more information on this technology please refer to http://bomill.com/products/.

 

Submitted by

Holly Derksen, Field Crop Pathologist, Manitoba Agriculture

Barbara Ziesman, Provincial Specialist, Plant Disease, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Michael Harding, Research Scientist, Plant Pathology, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry

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Economics & Agronomics – Crop Management Decisions Need Both!

It’s an obvious statement to say successful farm management decisions need both agronomic and economic considerations. Farmers weigh out input cost versus the benefit to yield and quality of grain before making the decisions to buy and use new or additional products.

 Agronomy and economic crop management goes much beyond inputs. Consideration of crop rotation, Cost of Production, seeding date and weather indicators for disease all need to be considered. Within agronomic decisions there can be tools to estimate the economic impacts of different decisions. The ‘My Farm’, ‘Cost of Production’, ‘Canola Reseed Calculator’ and ‘Sclerotinia Treatment Decision Tool’ are all based on yield trends and agronomy to help make economic decisions easier.

See slideshow at http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/business-and-economics/financial-management/pubs/presentation-mac-agronomicseconomics.pdf

Submitted by Roy Arnott – Farm Business Management, Killarney and Anastasia Kubinec – Crops Branch, Carman.

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Waterhemp Now a Manitoba Weed

Can you identify the plants in the two pots below?

waterhemp-and-redroot-pigweed

The plants on the right are redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus); the plants on the left are waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus).

Unfortunately, the need to distinguish between these closely related weed species has become a reality for Manitoba producers and agronomists since waterhemp was found in the province in the fall of 2016. Suspect plant specimen collected from a soybean field in the RM of Taché was verified as waterhemp by staff with the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Collection of Vascular plants in Ottawa.  Waterhemp occurs in neighbouring states and provinces, including Minnesota, North Dakota and Ontario.

Both species thrive in agricultural fields where they compete with crops for nutrients, moisture and light. Waterhemp has no hairs on its stem or leaves, which can be used to distinguish it from redroot pigweed when plants are small.  The lack of hairs give waterhemp leaves a ‘glossy’ look unlike that of the ‘dull’ green leaves of redroot pigweed.  Also, waterhemp leaves are lanceolate in shape (longer than they are wide) compared to the more ovate leaves of redroot pigweed.  Colour is not a reliable identifying characteristic since both species can be green, red or variations of the two colours.

Mature waterhemp plants tend to be more branched than redroot pigweed. And unlike redroot pigweed, which has male and female flowers on the same plant, waterhemp has separate male and female plants.  Waterhemp inflorescence are long, slender and vary in colour compared with the compact, prickly inflorescence of redroot pigweed.  Like most pigweeds, waterhemp is a prolific seed producer with up to a million seeds per plant (under ideal conditions).

Waterhemp populations resistant to group 2, group 9 (glyphosate) and group 2+9 exist throughout the US, including Minnesota and North Dakota, and in Ontario. Seed from one of the plants found in Manitoba have been sent to Ontario for resistance testing.

Information on waterhemp will be added to Manitoba Agriculture’s weeds webpage shortly (http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/) and will be included at the Weed Seedling Identification Day (hosted by the Manitoba Weed Supervisors Association).  Manitoba Agriculture staff will conduct a waterhemp surveillance program in and around the RM of Taché in 2017.

Additional information on waterhemp is available at: http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/BP/gwc-13.pdf (excluding herbicide recommendations).

waterhemp-tone-ag-consulting

Photo: Waterhemp in Manitoba, Tone Ag Consulting

Submitted by: Jeanette Gaultier, Provincial Weed Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

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Many Options to View Current & Past Editions of Seed Manitoba

Did you know you can view the 2017 edition of Seed Manitoba, as well as past editions, on www.seedmb.ca?  Well, you can!

Flip-view digital editions of the current guide (2017), as well as the six most recent editions, are available at http://www.seedmb.ca/digital-edition/.

digital-editions-screenshot-of-seedmb

Screen shot of digital editions of Seed Manitoba on www.seedmb.ca

Also, full PDF versions are available at http://www.seedmb.ca/digital-edition/pdf-editions-and-separate-section-pdfs/ where you can download the entire edition, or the commodity section you are most interested in.

pdf-versions-of-seedmb

Screen shot of PDF versions of Seed Manitoba on www.seedmb.ca

Seed Manitoba is a collaboration of Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Seed Growers’ Association and Farm Business Communication.

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A Look at FDK & DON in Winter Wheat Varieties

In 2014, a study was initiated to evaluate how winter wheat varieties being tested post-registration by MCVET respond to fusarium head blight under non-misted conditions (natural infection) by assessing harvested samples for fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) and deoxynivalenol (DON) accumulation. The results from 2014 can be found here: Winter Wheat Varieties Response to Fusarium Head Blight in 2014 and Effect of Fusarium Head Blight on Winter Wheat Varieties in 2014.

2015 Results. With funding from Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc., the study continued in 2015. Composite samples of eight registered winter wheat varieties were collected from the three replicates at four MCVET sites: Carman, Hamiota, Melita & Minto.  BioVision Seed Labs in Winnipeg, Manitoba conducted the analysis. The level of FDK (%) was measured as per the Official Grain Grading Guide of the Canadian Grain Commission. The accumulation of DON (ppm) was measured using the ELISA test method.

The variety Emerson, rated as Resistant (R), had lower levels of FDK and DON compared to the other varieties (see Figure 1).  Some varieties rated as Susceptible (S) consistently showed higher FHB severity, FDK and DON levels across all sites. However, data also shows there is variability of performance within the five resistance categories of Resistant (R) to Susceptible (S).

Figure 1: Average Levels of Fusarium Damaged Kernel (FDK) and Deoxynivalenol (DON) by Winter Wheat Variety at Four MCVET Sites in 2015

2015-average-don-fdk-at-four-mcvet-winter-wheat-sites

Figure 2: Fusarium Damaged Kernel (FDK) and Deoxynivalenol (DON) Comparisons at Four MCVET Sites for Winter Wheat Varieties in 2015.

2015-fdk-don-comparisons-at-four-mcvet-winter-wheat-sites

 

2016 Results. In the 2016 Manitoba Fusarium Head Blight Survey, the average FHB index for winter wheat was 2.7% which was slightly below the 10-year-average (3.1%).  Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc. again is providing funding to have the MCVET winter wheat varieties tested for FDK and DON. Analysis is currently underway and results should be available for the Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc. Annual General Meeting on March 15, 2017.

Summary. Extensive research over the past 20 years shows using multiple management options, including crop rotation, fungicide application and variety selection, is the best way to mitigate the risk of FHB. Although FHB infection will always be highly influenced by environment, the first step is to select varieties with improved resistance and then use them in combination with other management strategies. In years where there is higher disease pressure, such as 2014, variety selection will be critical to minimize the impact of FHB on yield and quality. However, under high disease pressure yield and quality loss due to FHB can still happen in varieties that have improved resistance as resistance does not equal immunity.

Remember, caution must be used with one year of data, as presented here. Using data derived over two or more growing seasons over multiple sites is always recommended to provide the best indicator of variety performance.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Special thanks to: Winter Cereals Manitoba Inc. for providing funding to conduct FDK & DON analysis; BioVision Seed Labs who conducted the FDK and DON analysis; Manitoba Crop Variety Evaluation Team (MCVET) & contractors who provided the harvested samples.

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Updated Cereal/Oilseed/Pulse Maps for Yield, Acreage and Seeding Date Now Available

Manitoba Agriculture’s Crop Industry Branch and MASC has updated and posted yield, acreage and seeding date maps for cereal, oilseed and pulse crops at https://www.masc.mb.ca/masc.nsf/mmpp_index.html

The maps can be found at the link above under the heading “Thematic Crop Maps“‎. Time frame in most cases is 2006 to 2015 (10 year), but 2011 to 2015 is also available for soybean, feed wheat and corn to reflect the acreage changes that occurred in the past 5 years.

Many thanks to Doug Wilcox‎ from MASC for the database, and Les Mitchell and Natalie Azure from the Crop Industry Branch who developed and created the maps for this project.

 

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SEED MANITOBA 2017 NOW AVAILABLE!

picture1SEED MANITOBA 2017, the Variety Selection and Growers Source Guide, is a collaborative effort between Manitoba Agriculture, the Manitoba Seed Growers’ Association and the Manitoba Cooperator.  SEED MANITOBA remains one of the best sources for unbiased variety performance information with yield and quality information collected at various sites across Manitoba.

SEED MANITOBA 2017 will be available:

  • Local seed growers
  • Subscribers of the Manitoba Cooperator
  • Local Manitoba Agriculture Offices

 

A digital edition of SEED MANITOBA 2017 will also be available at www.seedmb.ca

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Summary of Presentations from the International Congress of Entomology, September 25-30, 2016

Submitted & Summarized by: John Gavloski, Entomologist, Manitoba Agriculture

The following link provides highlights from some of the presentations most pertinent to agronomists and farmers in Manitoba. Please contact me for further information on these presentations or meetings. Due to there being concurrent sessions at these meetings, there were many more presentations than what is presented in this summary. These were selected because of their relevance or potential interest to those working in agriculture in Manitoba. I have categorized the presentation reported by commodity group or discipline.

The information presented is a combination of material from oral presentations, poster presentations and provided as abstracts for the various symposiums. Many presentations have multiple authors, however only the presenting author is reported in this summary.

http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/insects/pubs/int-congress-of-entomology-2016-summary.pdf

Visit the Insect Pages of our Manitoba Agriculture website at: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/insects/index.html

 

 

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If I plan to sow Fusarium-infected seed, when should I use a seed treatment?

Using good quality seed, with high germinability and vigour, and low disease incidence, is always recommended. Cleaning of grain to remove fusarium damaged kernels can improve grade and seed germination. In addition, seed should be planted into warm, well-drained, fertile soil at the appropriate depth. Applying fungicidal seed treatments to cereal seed is also a beneficial management practice that helps reduce risks associated with seedling mortality and reductions in stand establishment due to seed-borne, seed-transmitted and soil-borne fungal pathogens especially when planting conditions are not optimal. Fusarium species are examples of fungi that can cause disease on germinating seeds and seedlings and reduce plant populations. The level of Fusarium infection in a seed lot should be determined by laboratory testing, not just by counting fusarium damaged kernels. In cases where Fusarium infections reduce germination, a germination test should be used to adjust the seeding rate so that emergence and yield are not compromised. Research has shown that when seeding rates are adjusted based on germination rates, seed with low levels of infection (5-10%) have no significant improvement in emergence or yield due to a seed treatment (May et al., 2010). However, it is important to keep in mind that other soil-borne, residue-borne or seed-borne microorganisms (i.e. pests other than Fusarium spp.) can also cause diseases on germinating seeds and seedlings, so even if Fusarium is not detected on seed, a seed treatment should still be considered as a beneficial risk management tool to protect against additional threats such as Pythium spp., Rhizoctonia spp., and others.

Seed treatment recommendations for each province are as follows:

Alberta

Threshold – 0%

Actions/Recommendations – Always use healthy seed with no detectable levels of F. graminearum

Always use a registered fungicidal seed treatment that includes Fusarium on the label

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex5210

Saskatchewan

Threshold – 2-3%

Actions/Recommendations – Use a seed treatment for F. graminearum infection in areas where F. graminearum is not established

Threshold – 5%

Actions/Recommendations -Do not use seed when F. graminearum infection levels exceed this threshold in areas where F. graminearum is not established

Threshold – 10%

Actions/Recommendations -Use a seed treatment when total Fusarium spp. infection levels exceed this threshold in areas where F. graminearum is established or when F. graminearum levels are less than 5% in areas where F. graminearum is not established

https://www.saskatchewan.ca/business/agriculture-natural-resources-and-industry/agribusiness-farmers-and-ranchers/crops-and-irrigation/crop-protection/disease/fusarium-head-blight

Manitoba

Threshold – none

Actions/Recommendations – Use clean seed with good germination, seed treatments may improve germination

http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/plant-diseases/print,dealing-with-fusarium-head-blight.html#field

REFERENCES

May, W. E., Fernandez, M. R. and Lafond, G. P. 2010. Effect of fungicidal seed treatments on the emergence, development, and grain yield of Fusarium graminearum-infected wheat and barley seed under field conditions. Can. J. Plant Sci. 90: 89 3_904.

Submitted by

Holly Derksen, Field Crop Pathologist

Barbara Ziesman, Provincial Specialist, Plant Disease, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

Michael Harding, Research Scientist, Plant Pathology, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry

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