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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Historical Seeding Progress in Manitoba for First Week of May

Producers who participate in AgriInsurance provides seeding date information to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).  This dataset provides us a historical perspective of when seeding has taken place in the past.  Seeding date data information is broken down into a week:month format, i.e. 1:05 is Week 1 in the 5th Month (May).  So 2:05 is Week 2 in May, and so on.

Each week is then categorized dependent on the day of the week in which the month starts.  So if Week 1 starts on a Sunday, there will be 7 days of seeding captured in Week 1 (which applies to 2016 as May 1st was on a Sunday).  However, if Week 1 starts on Friday (like we had in 2015), there are 9 days captured in Week 1.  Confused yet?  Essentially, each year will have a different number of days captured in each weekly timeframe, varying from 5 days up to 12 days.  However, the data still provides good reference points to seeding progress in Manitoba.

In Table 1, cumulative seeding progress to the end of Week 1 in May for six crop types is provided.  The last five year (2010-2014) average cumulative seeding progress is noted, along with what was seeded in the same timeframe in 2015.   Please note that data is for final insured crop in the ground.

Table 1:  Seeding progress (%) in Manitoba by end of Week 1 in May (1:05)

Seeding Progress First week of May

Based on the May 9th Manitoba Crop Report (Issue #2), overall seeding progress is estimated at 48% complete.  There isn’t a provincial breakdown provided of seeding progress by crop type in 2016. However, looking at the information for the various crop types, we can infer that seeding progress in Manitoba in 2016 is likely ahead of the five year average.

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

Follow Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter (@MBGovAg) to receive updates on seeding progress through the weekly Manitoba Crop Report.
The weekly crop report is also available at Manitoba Crop Report.

 

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Historically, what has been seeding progress prior to May 1st?

Some producers have been able to start their 2015 seeding operations.  However, the recent cold, wet and snowy weather conditions have slowed that progress. With some seeding done, I’ve been asked the question: “What has been seeding progress prior to May 1st in Manitoba in recent years?”.

Producers who participate in AgriInsurance provides seeding date information to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).  This dataset provides us a historical perspective of when seeding has taken place in the past.

In Table 1, cumulative seeding progress prior to May 1st for six crop types is provided.  A five year (2009-2013) average cumulative seeding progress is noted, along with what was seeded prior to May 1st in 2014. I have also included 2010 as that crop year had the highest cumulative seeding progress since 2009.  Please note that data is for final insured crop in the ground.

Table 1:  Seeding progress in Manitoba prior to May 1st.

seeding progress prior to may 1st

As the data shows, there has been variation since 2009 on when producers were able to start seeding. Look for future updates to historical seeding progress as we enter May!

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, MAFRD

 

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Late Seeded Canola – Yields are Still There, But Control Your Weeds!

Even though we are in the 4th week of May, there is still opportunity and good yield potential for seeding canola. MASC crop insurance deadline in June 15, except for Risk Area 16 which is June 10, so the final deadlines are still two weeks or more away.

Yes, our seeding date is later than what we would like, but remember seeding date is only one component of yield. After getting the seed into the ground or planning of getting the seed into the ground,  weed control is key to a giving canola an early advantage.  Canola is very vulnerable to the weed competition (meaning yield losses) before it reaches the rosette stage. Scouting is important and should start now to get the jump on those yield-robbing weeds!

If you haven’t seeded yet –  a pre-seed burn-down, if time allows, is a great way to get weeds under control before the crop emerges. Seeding can resume soon after – for annuals and winter annuals, glyphosate needs only 24 hours to get to the growing point. For perennial weeds, 3 days should be enough in sunny and warm conditions but 5 days is recommended if weather is cloudy or cool.

If you are fortunate enough to already have your canola seeded – go look for those emerging weeds, noting the weed species, numbers and staging. Then spray as soon as recommended for you canola type, usually targeting the 2 true leaf stage, as weeds will also be small and easier to kill than when they are 4-leaf stage or later and you remove that competition from stealing the water, light and of course fertilizer you put in the ground to feed your crop!

 Insects and disease can also impact yields, but those may be dependent on the weather throughout the spring/summer, weeds though seem to be a consistent concern in most fields and need to be controlled. Good Luck with finishing seeding.

 

MAFRD Guide to Field Crop Protection: http://gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/guide-to-crop-protection.html

MAFRD Weed Identification: http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/weeds/

 

Submittted by: Anastasia Kubinec, Oilseed Crop Specialist, MAFRD

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Update to Historical Seeding Progress in Manitoba – May 23

Another week has passed and despite May Long Weekend precipitation, seeding has resumed in some areas of Manitoba.  Once again, hopefully many producers are able to make good seeding progress while the sun shines over the next few days!

In Table 3 below, cumulative seeding progress to the end of Week 3 in May for six crop types is provided.  The last five year (2008-2012) average seeding progress is noted, along with what was seeded in the same timeframe in 2013. (In 2013, Week 3 ended on May 25th).   Please note that data is for final insured crop in the ground.

Table 3:  Historical seeding progress in Manitoba by end of Week 3 in May (3:05).

Crop Cumulative 5 yr Ave Cumulative 2013 (%)
(2008-2012) (%)
Red Spring Wheat 83 81
Barley 76 59
Oats 73 54
Argentine Canola 67 56
Grain Corn 89 98
Soybeans 68 70

In the May 20th issue of the Manitoba Crop Report, overall seeding progress overall was estimated to be approximately 20% complete. However, with seeding operations resuming for some and good weather forecasted for the next couple of days, progress should be made.  Look for the May 26th issue of the Manitoba Crop Report for an update!

Good luck to everyone with their seeding operations and keep safe!

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, MAFRD Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist

 

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Seeding Date Relationship to Crop Yield

One of our most used extension messages is seed early!

In a year that is later, this may cause some concern that seeding into the second half of May is not going to have good crop yields. Typically seeding earlier does normally translate into higher yields, but good yield potential remains when seeding throughout the month of May, provided you don’t compromise the seeding operation.

Things Other than Seeding Date That Influence Yield:

  • Using clean seed with high %germination
  • Applying the appropriate fertilizer nutrients and rates to support yield goals
  • Seeding for a good plant stand – taking in account TKW, %germination and seed mortality!
  • Seeding into a firm seedbed
  • Seeding into soil warm enough to result in quick germination and emergence
  • Timely weed control
  • Timely fungicide application if needed
  • Appropriate harvest operation timing

2005-13 Seeding Date x Yield

Table 1: Crop Yield Response to Seeding Date (2005-2013)

Source: MASC – Harvested Acreage Report (2005-2013)

For more information see MAFRD website post “Crop Choice Considerations in a Delayed Year”  http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/production/crop-choice-in-delayed-year.html

 

 Contributed byAnastasia Kubinec, MAFRD Oilseed Crop Specialist

 

 

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What is ‘normal’ seeding progress for this time of year?

Continuing cold temperatures (both air and soil) and wet conditions are impacting seeding operations across Manitoba, and in other parts of Canada and the Northern United States.  So what is ‘normal’ seeding progress for this time of year, early May?”

Producers who participate in AgriInsurance provides seeding date information to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).  This dataset provides us a historical perspective of when seeding has taken place in the past.  Seeding date data information is broken down into a week:month format, i.e. 1:05 is Week 1 in the 5th Month (May).  So 2:05 is Week 2 in May, and so on.

Each week is then categorized dependent on the day of the week in which the month starts.  So if Week 1 starts on a Sunday, there will be 7 days of seeding captured in Week 1.  However, if Week 1 starts on Thursday (like we have in 2014), there are 10 days captured in Week 1.  Confused yet?  Essentially, each year will have a different number of days captured in each weekly timeframe, varying from 5 days up to 12 days.  However, the data still provides good reference points to seeding progress in Manitoba.

In Table 1, cumulative seeding progress to the end of Week 1 in May for six crop types is provided.  The last five year (2008-2012) average cumulative seeding progress is noted, along with what was seeded in the same timeframe in 2013.   Please note that data is for final insured crop in the ground.

 Table 1:  Seeding progress in Manitoba by end of Week 1 in May (1:05).

Crop Cumulative 5 yr  (2008-2012) (%) Cumulative 2013 (%)
Red Spring Wheat 50.0 7.4
Barley 41.3 6.8
Oats 43.4 5.3
Argentine Canola 16.7 1.9
Grain Corn 44.9 12.2
Soybeans 2.4 0.2

 

So, is it time to worry?  I think many are aware of the ability of producers to seed a large amount of acres in a short time frame, as witnessed in 2013.  All we need is Mother Nature to send warm, dry weather our way!

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist

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Should I Be Cancelling My Soybean Seed?

Answer (provided by Dennis Lange, MAFRI Farm Production Advisor at Altona):

 Before you considering cancelling you soybean seed, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Variety Choice:  Is the variety suited for your growing region? If you chose a variety based on maturity ( found in Seed Manitoba 2013) and you are planting in May, you should reach  maturity  before reaching a killing frost, based on a normal growing season.
  2. Soil temperature: Soybeans like warm soils to germinate and grow. The warmer the soil, the quicker the beans come out of the ground.  For example, with soil temperatures at 10°C soybeans  take 14-17 days to emerge  vs. 7-10 days when soil temperatures are at 15°C.
  3. Seeding Date: Know the seeding deadlines in your growing region. If in Soybean Area 1, full coverage deadline is June 6. If in Soybean Areas 2, 3 or new crop insurance test area, your deadline is May 30. For further information contact MASC to determine which area you are in. Table 1: Soybean Yields by Seeding Date (2008-2012)

Using MASC seeding information from 2008-2012, yield potential differs depending on seeding date by Risk area.  

  • Risk Area 12 (includes Red River Valley) – highest yield potential was seeded during the 2nd week of May. 
  • In Western Manitoba:
  • Risk Area 1 – best yields when seeded in the 4th week of May, followed by week 3
  • Risk Area 2 – best yields in the 2nd week of May, with weeks 3 and 4 equal
  • Risk Area 3 – best yields in the 3rd week of May, followed by the 4th and 2nd weeks
  • Risk Area 4 – best yields in the 2nd week of May, with yields dropping in 4th week
  • Risk area 15 – similar to Risk Area 4 trends with best week the 2nd and yields dropping in the 4th week of May 

 In conclusion, if you are planting a variety that is suited for your growing region and planting in May, you should be confident that growing soybeans this year is still the right decision. Beans like warm soil so typically, planting in the 2nd or 3rd week of May when soil temperatures are warmer, allows the beans to get out of the ground quicker. But, waiting until June to plant, increases the risk of fall frost damage and yield reductions.

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Grain Corn Yield Potential

When looking at MASC data on a weekly basis (Table 1 – Relative Grain Corn Yield in Manitoba by Week-Month (2008-2012)), yield potential is impacted by planting date.  However, there remains good yield potential going into the third week of May where the 5-year average shows grain corn yielded about 90% of the provincial average yield (97 bu/ac).  If planting is pushed back to the last week of May, yields were still 79% of the provincial average yield (85 bu/ac).  

Data is also presented by MASC Risk Areas (where there was an average of >500 acres grown over the past 5 years).  However, data for risk areas such as the combined Risk Area 1,2 & 3 should be viewed with caution as there have been limited acres grown in those areas in the past.  But the data does provide some guidance, particular for those newer growers who may have limited experience with grain corn on their own farm.

So although we will be entering that second week of May timeframe soon, there is still lots of time to get corn seed into the ground and still have good yield potential.   One final note is during the planting operation, make sure you aim for uniform emergence, as well as ensure adequate fertility and reduce early season weed competition.  This will help ensure your crop gets off to the best start possible.

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The Month of May is A Good Time to Seed Canola

Question: When is the ‘Right’ Time to Seed Canola?

Answer (submitted by Anastasia Kubinec, MAFRI Oilseed Crop Specialist):

The ‘right’ date to seed canola will change every year in Manitoba.  Earlier works in some years, but not all. 

To set your canola crop up for a good start in all years, fields should be monitored to assess when machinery can successfully get across and when soil temperatures are warm for quick seedling establishment (average 5C or higher). Also, planning seeding dates to avoid the last spring frost, or have canola seedlings at a stage where they can handle a frost event better (3 to 4 leaf canola is less susceptible than at the cotyledon stage).

Looking at the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (www.masc.mb.ca) data on canola seeding date and yield (2000-12), most of May looks pretty good as a seeding date. For the first three weeks (May 1-22), canola yields regionally are above 100%.  In the fourth week of May (May 23-31), yields are around 95% or higher (see  Table 1: Manitoba Canola Yields by Seeding Date (2000-2012)). 

Looking at the acres seeded, it shows Manitoba farmers typically do seed the majority of the canola crop in May (64 – 89% depending on region). Figure 1: Manitoba Canola Acres Seeded by Week (2000-2012).  So for the most part, Manitoba farmers have the timelines for the ‘best’ seeding dates figured out pretty well (if the weather co-operates).  But please remember the other factors that will boost establishment and yields – not seeding too fast, not putting seeds too deep (or shallow) and proper fertilizer placement and amounts. Even though the entire month of May looks good for seeding canola, we usually only get one chance to do it right!  

 

 

 

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