Winter wheat in the spring.

Early OMAFRA Crop Report

The OMAFRA Field Crop Report this week shows that the winter wheat crop looks excellent throughout much of the province.

There is lots of growth with excellent yield potential. However the report points out that with the lush growth there is an increase in the risk of foliar leaf diseases like powdery mildew and Septoria.

A small acreage of corn has been planted but provincially there would be less than 1% of total acreage planted. Most of the planting that occurred was to test out planting equipment or for test plots.

Planting depth should be around 5 cm as shallow planting, even into moisture, may lead to less favourable positioning of the growing point and first nodal roots. This may lead to rootless corn syndrome.

Coarse-textured soils that dry rapidly at the surface will also be more prone to poor root establishment with shallow plantings.

For soybeans, planting date is an important management tool to maximize yield potential. The highest yields of soybeans are obtained from early plantings, generally the first 10 days of May.

Soybeans are more sensitive to soil temperature than corn. However, if soil temperature and moisture conditions are suitable for planting corn, they are generally also suitable for soybeans.

A hard spring frost can kill early-planted soybeans, since the growing point of the emerged seedling is above the soil surface. However, soybean plants can withstand temperatures as low as -2.8°C for a short period of time.

And winter annual and perennial weeds are growing rapidly. Applying a pre-plant burndown to control the weeds as soon as possible will provide a clean seedbed in no-till and minimum till production systems.