Tag Archives: Weather

Do you have a water contingency plan?

Jennifer Jarvis, OMAFRA

In 2016, many areas of the province saw very warm and dry conditions, creating challenges for horticulture and field crop producers. Many wells were still dry leading into the winter. In other years, like the start of the 2017 growing season, the province experienced periods of excessive rain, leading to saturated soils and flooding.

No one can control the weather, but we can plan for it. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) encourages you to plan for future weather – conserving water and using it efficiently can help during low water conditions, and having effective drainage systems in place can help with saturated soils and runoff. Continue reading Do you have a water contingency plan?

Nutrient Application: Timing Matters

Jennifer Jarvis, OMAFRA

There’s a right time for everything.

Every year, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) receives calls about winter spreading. Long, cold winters that come after a wet fall and/or late harvest tend to make winter spreading more common. However, spreading on frozen or snow covered ground, on saturated soil or before major rain events is not a good practice, even if storages are full. Continue reading Nutrient Application: Timing Matters

Cucurbit Downy Mildew Update – July 09, 2014

To date there have been no confirmed cases of downy mildew in the Great Lakes region.  There was an initial report of infection in Michigan last week, however it was later retracted.

Due to the current weather conditions we are at risk of developing downy mildew in the crop at this time.  A preventative fungicide program is the most effective way to manage this disease.  If a protective spray was not on the crop during the recent storms, apply a targeted downy mildew fungicide as soon as possible.  See the Cucurbit Downy Mildew Update from June 18th, 2014.

Downy mildew is a community disease.  Open communication is the best way to ensure that all growers in the region are able to properly assess the risk of infection in their own fields.  Please contact OMAFRA or your local agri-business rep if you see, or suspect you see, downy mildew on your farm.

Impact of Winter Temperatures on Asparagus, 2014

By Elaine Roddy, Vegetable Crops Specialist, OMAF-MRA and David Wolyn, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph.

There is little information available as to the effects of extreme winter cold on the asparagus crop.

However, recent research at the University of Guelph is helping to better understand the impacts of fall and spring freeze events on asparagus growth and development. From these studies, it appears that fall senescence and springtime freeze-thaw fluctuations, may be more important factors for winterkill than the actual winter temperature lows.

Continue reading Impact of Winter Temperatures on Asparagus, 2014

Which factors reduce pesticide drift?

Dr. Jason S.T. Deveau, Application Technology Specialist

By now, hopefully, everyone knows there are two different kinds of pesticide drift.

  • Vapour drift is the movement of pesticide vapours outside the area being treated.
  • Particle drift is the movement of pesticide droplets or solid particles outside the area being treated.

Vapours are created when spray droplets evaporate both at the time of application and for some time after the spray has dried on plant or soil surfaces. The potential for vapour drift is more a product of the volatility of the active ingredient, the formulation (e.g. esters) and environmental conditions (e.g. hot and dry) than the equipment used.

To reduce vapour drift: Spray in cooler, humid temperatures with low wind speeds and use products that have less likelihood of volatilizing. If the label says not to spray in hot temperatures, it’s likely that product will become a pesticide vapour. In certain conditions, vapour has the potential to travel for kilometers.

So, how far can a particle travel downwind? Continue reading Which factors reduce pesticide drift?

Humidex Based Heat Response Plan

Updated link from an ONvegetables.com post made on June 21, 2012.

With summer upon us, it may be a good idea to check out the Humidex Heat Stress Response Plan at http://www.ohcow.on.ca/uploads/Home/Humidex%20Heat%20Stress%20Response%20Plan.pdf released by the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc.

This plan helps protect workers from heat stress. The plan may not be applicable in all circumstances and/or workplaces.

The winds of spring 2013

Last week, a colleague was looking at the Environment Canada daily weather data for Ridgetown for April and May 2013.  He noticed that there were very few days where the maximum gust was less than 31 kph (the cutoff they use for publishing maximum gust values).


Days when maximum wind gust
was less than 31 kph

April 1 – May 23, 2013

6 days

April 1 – May 23, 2012

14 days

April 1 – May 23, 2011

16 days

April 1 – May 23, 2010

15 days

April 1 – May 23, 2009

7 days

The factsheet Pesticide Drift from Ground Applications states that to avoid drift, we should not be spraying when wind speeds are below 2.0 or above 9.6 kph.  Graphs of the hourly wind speeds for April and May 2013 shows that there have been very few windows of opportunity for spraying this spring. On these graphs, Continue reading The winds of spring 2013

Frost injury in corn

This is a post from Field Crop News, on field corn, but it might be of interest to sweet corn growers as well: http://fieldcropnews.com/2013/05/frost-injury-in-corn-at-the-spike-stage/.  It discusses where the growing point of corn is at various leaf stages of early growth and how to evaluate damaged seedlings after a freeze.  It includes a video, too.

The growing point of corn is still below the ground until the five to six leaf stage.