Archive for the ‘seed treatment’ Category

The Two F’s: Frost and Flea Beetles

May 28, 2009

By Garth Donald, CCA,Western Canadian Manager of Agronomy, Dynagra

I can honestly say that it has been a while since I have been on my hands and knees trying to see if there is any life left in a canola plant but this last week it has occurred more than I would like it to. When the temperature drops overnight my phone is ringing like crazy trying to figure out if there is damage to the canola seedlings. The best thing to do is to leave the field for two to three days so that you can make a sound judgement call. What is a sound judgement call? Well working with the Canola Council for over thirteen years the numbers of plant we are looking for is four per square foot.

I know most growers say that there are not enough plants but we do have to look at a few factors:

1. Most growers are growing a hybrid variety
2. Our seed to soil placement has been greatly enhanced with today’s airdrills
3. We have chemical options with the herbicide tolerant varieties that will control our weed issues.

These are some things we need to strongly look at when making a judgement decision. Price of the commodity is the last thing we should make our decision on because in a strong market those could be some of the worst decisions ever made and it could be a wreck from the word go

With the issues of frost also comes the issue of flea beetles. Remember everyone, the flea beetles have to chew on the plant to die. With that said you will see some skinning of the leaves which is normal. However, with products like Helix and Prosper there is only fourteen days of control with those products. The control guarantee starts from the time it is in the ground not from emergence. In times of cooler temperatures there is canola that may have have emerged after 21 days. With flea beetles, your head lands are the best place to start looking for damage since they do feed on host plants like stinkweed or wild mustard that are usually growing on the edges of the fields. If you start seeing what is called “shotgun blasting” on your leaves you may need to look at spraying. There are lots of options that can be tank mixed in with your chemical when you are making your first pass which can help on your application cost but if they are bad enough then you might have to spray for them alone.

If you are not sure if you have a problem, call your local seed rep, retail or consultant to get you the information you need to make a sound decision.

Those are my thoughts,

Do You Know What Is In Your Ground?

May 15, 2009

Will spring ever come? That was definitely the question I had to ask everyone today. With the cool weather I figured it was a good day to get my agronomy staff get ready for the scouting season so we went checking some fields for weeds and we found a little bit more that what we bargained for. As far as the weeds go, they have been very slow due to the cold temperatures but underneath the ground was a different story. In the one field we found some pale western cut worms which we don’t normally see but can do a lot of damage to the crop. But the main pest we found today was wire worms. Now a lot of growers tell me that they can never find wire worms but there is a trick when looking for them. They are usually located very close to the soil surface so you don’t want to be digging, more like flicking the dirt away. They will move up and down through the soil but this time of the year I tend to find them at the soil surface. Now the adults are a creamy yellow to orange in color an around a inch long. These are the easy ones to find but the very young wire worms are the tough ones to see. They are a clear to white in color and move very quickly in the soil. Today we found 3 adults and 2 infants in a 6 inch by 6 inch square. There is no real firm threshold for wire worms but the number that is in the industry seems to be 1 worm per bait ball (most bait balls are made from oatmeal which the wire worms seem to like to eat).

So what does this all mean? Well we would normally just say that we had seed rot or disease that caused us to have a lower plant population than normal. But without taking a look we could have wire worm damage and not even realize it. Now for all of you with seed in the ground there is no option for controlling wire worms unless you used Cruiser Maxx Cereals for cereals. Cruiser Maxx Cereals is the only seed treatment registered in cereals for control of wire worms as of today. Bayer Crop Science is working on having their product Raxil W/W registered but it looks like it will not be available until next year. You are probably saying to yourself “this is great information but a little to late to help me.” With scouting for underground pest and understanding the levels we can make a sound decision for the next year. In agriculture we are famous in just saying”Well if I found them in one field they will be in all of my fields so we might as well just treat everything!” This statement can be true but with proper scouting we can identify the fields that have a problem and treat them instead of the whole farm.

Those are my thoughts,
Garth Donald C.C.A