We had a fairly major storm go through on Saturday night – nothing was in the forecast but around 6pm the storm started and hit virtually all our land. We ended up with between 24-75mm of rain, heavy wind, and some hail. The hail was concentrated to a few fields, with only one field that ended up with more significant damage. The wind was the more major cause of damage – with more significant lodging in our barley and oats than what we had before. Some of it is starting to stand back up, some is lodged too bad and likely will not. Thankfully it is late enough in the season that it shouldn’t have too big of an impact on yield, but will impact quality and likely require more swathing than straight combining. The areas that lodged will remain green longer and not mature as quickly as the rest of the crop.
The other big factor this week was crop pests. We had an outbreak of a number of bugs in various crops. Our oats and wheat had significant numbers of aphids. We have never had to spray for aphids in cereal crops before, but this year the numbers were significant enough that we ended up spraying. For oats the ahpids attack the main plant and leaves, and for wheat they get right into the wheat head. Typically you need between 15-20 aphids per oat plant, and we were seeing numbers in excess of 50. The early seeded oat fields were starting to show premature ripening in places, and didn’t take long and the whole field was turning brown. Aphid populations can exploded in as little as 3-5 days, so close monitoring is required. Our wheat fields also started to show signinficant numbers of aphids. At current grain prices, threshold levels of ahpids in wheat are 8-10 per wheat head. We were seeing between 30-50 per wheat head. See photos below.
Our canola is also starting to show a number of pests that are increasing in numbers. We could see a high number of diamondback moths this spring while scouting at fungicide timing, and now we can see the worm populations starting to increase as well. So far we are well below threshold with numbers of about 30-50 per square meter – threshold is between 100-150 per square meter. The bigger problem is Lygus Bugs – they are a newer pest to our area. For Lygus, you need to take a sweep net and do 10 sweeps as you walk through the field. You need between 30-40 mature Lygus per 10 sweeps, and we were seeing those levels in a few fields down south (earlier seeded). Currently we are well below that on our fields up north, but there are significant numbers of the younger nymphs. We will have to monitor these fields closely over the next few weeks.
We finally have had some heat – and this next week is also forecast to be warm/hot. We need heat! We are still about 2 weeks or more behind average for maturity. Some of our canola will need frost free days until middle to end of September to fully mature….
Our earlier seeded crops are getting closer to maturity – they are also in the area that was alot drier this year, so there is a big variance in maturity between the north and south land. We might start swathing the 6-row legacy barley by the end of the week, and the 2-row Synergy barley will not be too far behind. We would have preferred to straight cut the 2-row barley but with the lodging that we have it may not be possible. Some of the canola that is in the driest areas might be ready for preharvesting with glyphosate as well. Once it is sprayed it takes about 2 weeks for the glyphosate to kill the plant and fully dry down.