With the recent moisture we have had the humidity has been high on a daily occurrence. Coupled with mild temperatures, we have a good environment for fusarium to become an issue. The last time we had fusarium issues was 2016 – and that was a disaster – with almost all cereals downgraded severely due to FHB and vomitoxin levels. That year was an extreme, as it was wet all spring leading up to cereals heading out and flowering, but we know the innoculum is present in the soil and need to do what we can to limit infection.
This year we will spray all our cereals – we have found that oats and barley have the biggest and most consistent payback for bushel weight and yield; while wheat is typically to maintain grade and quality. At this point we are likely only going to spray a small portion of our canola. Sclorotinia can cause severe yield damage (last outbreak was 2016) but with the extreme dry conditions we had all of May and the first half of June, we just don’t see any sclerotia bodies forming in canola fields. Sclerotia needs to be present at the time of flowering so they can release the spores which infect the plant when the petals drop onto the leaves.
We likely will have a full week and half of next week of spraying and then we will be starting to get equipment ready for harvest. The bug watch has already started as well, starting to see a few bertha army worms and diamond back moth worms in our canola as well as the odd wheat midge in our wheat. Hoping there won’t be an outbreak this year….
Overall the crops are still progressing positively and look considerably better. Earlier planted canola is still below average but the cereals have rebounded and should have decent potential. We will need routine rainfall over the next 6 weeks and warmer weather to keep this crop progressing and help it finish in good time before any cool bouts this fall.