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Fungicide Starts – Warm Weather Coming!

For the week of July 1st – 8th

The crops sure advanced this past week. We had daily highs in the low 20’s with sun on most days – and that is exactly what the crop needed. You could almost hear the crop growing!

With herbicide season completed and a bit of a wait on fungicide – we took advantage of the “lull” to haul some grain – have a few bigger canola contracts that are contracted for July. With 3 trucks on the road and a shorter haul we were able to get a lot of grain moved. We also finished up the work on our air drills – we had to change out the primary hose (2 1/4″ hose) on the two newer units, and did a fair bit of work on the remainder of the drill. We also got to work on our fall equipment such as harrows and our tillage units (Salford – we run across all our cereal stubble once it is harvested and harrowed) and Lemken in case we have some ruts to close up.

We started fungicide application on our oats last weekend – it gets applied at flag leaf – and we are targeting leaf disease. Since it is an earlier plant stage than the other cereals, we usually start applying fungicide in our oats prior to anything else.

For wheat and barley we are targeting control / suppression of fusarium – and the plant is most susceptible as the head is emerging. It also provides some protection of the flag leaf as well. Fusarium is worse on years with ample moisture and high humidity. If you walk in the crop mid to late morning and your pants get wet, that is usually a sign that conditions are favorable for fusarium. We spray our cereals most years – outside of an outright drought year like 2021 – as fusarium has been a troublesome disease and our varieties are quite susceptible. It doesn’t take much fusarium in your wheat or barley sample to cause your grain to be downgraded and discounts can be severe. Some of the newer fungicides are better than what we had available even a few years ago. Older products were protection by coverage only – and it is hard to get even coverage on the head as it is a vertical target – and difficult to hit the front and back side as you spray. The newer products also have some systemic action, which means it moves through the plant as well. We also have the advantage of better technology through spray tips – which project the spray in a forward and back angle — with the sprayer boom height also having a higher ability to control.

This next week looks to be hot – and dry. Looking into the longer range forecast the daily highs are the upper 20’s to lower 30’s. We do need the heat, but anything above 28C is usually too much stress for the plant and can start to lose yield. Thankfully the overnight lows are still dropping into the upper teens, which allows the plant to recover. After such a wet 4-5 weeks – it is hard to imagine that we will now be looking for more rain, but if the forecast for the next week or two verify, we could start to develop some moisture stress. The plants have had ample moisture and have not had to root down to lower levels, hopefully they still are able to root down with this drier period to access the moisture in the subsoil.

In this part of the world it seems we are always 3 days away from a flood, and 2 weeks away from a drought!!


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