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?→
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→
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.
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.
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.
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).