Agronomy Update – July 7th

Hi everyone,

A nice steady rain yesterday to keep the crops progressing well for the whole Island.  The combination of mild daytime temperatures, cooler night temperatures, sunshine and adequate moisture has made for rapid progression across the province.

Some rainfall totals from (UPEI weather stations)

Station Last 48h (mm) Last 14 days (mm)
Tignish 22.2 31.8
O’Leary 26.4 38.4
Fox Island 21.6 35.4
Belmont Lot 16 24.6 48.0
Malpeque 13.2 42.6
Newton 37.8 66.0
Augustine Cove 47.8 90.8
New Glasgow 26.4 35.4
Morell 15.6 32.4
Vernon River 37.2 66.6
Heatherdale 31.8 61.8
East Baltic 43.2 86.4


It appears that the eastern half of the Island has had a bit more rain than the west, and higher totals on the south shore than the north shore.  The forecast for the next 5-7 days looks to be mostly sunny with temps in the low 20s…great weather for growing crops.


Crop Update Notes:

The first Crop Update Meeting of the season was held this morning in Emerald.  Lorraine MacKinnon will have a full pest update out with more details, but those in attendance generally described good growing conditions with rapid growth and not too many big issues.  A few things that were mentioned:

  • Reports of European corn borer egg masses in the O’Leary area, with some growers already spraying for ECB. Higher GDD this year may explain early emergence of ECB.
  • A few reports of Colorado potato beetle adults but not widespread occurrence.
  • Few reports of serious emergence issues, mostly related to specific varieties or known seed issues. Very few reports of blackleg/soft-rot issues.
  • Not many reports of volunteers
  • Reports of large aphid numbers on grain crops in Southeast Kings. Aphid #s in traps are higher than this time last year.  Seed producers encouraged to stay on top of oil/aphicide applications.


Spore Trap Results:

July 4th was our first Spornado spore trap collection date.  This year, we have sites at 10 sites across the province.  All traps were negative for late blight this week.  All of the Airspore sites were also negative for late blight as well.  Additional spore test results are listed below:

Airspore Results for Alternaria/Bortrytis (July 4/5).  Supplied by Airspore.

Location Early Blight
(A. solani)
Brown Spot
(A. alternata)
Bortrytis cinerea
West Prince (ave of 7 sites) 20 30 0
East Prince (ave of 8 sites) 4 8 3
Queens (ave of 6 sites) 5 10 4
Morell/St Peters (1 site) NA NA NA
Eastern Kings (5 sites) 0 3 14


The West Prince results are skewed a bit by one site with spore numbers > 100 for both Alternaria species.  The rest of the sites were in line with numbers in the rest of the province.

While early blight and brown spot spore numbers are still relatively low, the crop is ahead of schedule in much of the province, so growers should keep an eye on crop progress to make decisions on when to apply fungicides for those two diseases.  The ideal timing for the first early blight spray is before row closure to ensure maximum coverage on the lower leaves, which is where the disease incubates and spreads from.


Living Lab BBQs:

Thank you to those that attended the two Living Lab BBQs this week.  Both meetings were very well attended and gave a great opportunity to update producers on the work being done, as well as getting feedback on future trial work.  It is very encouraging to researchers and agronomists when we are able to get face time with producers to chat about these projects.  Stay tuned for more details soon about dates for AIM tours in August.



I’m back posting new episodes of SpudChat…this week’s episode is sort of an audio version of this email, updating on the Crop Update meeting.  Last week, I talked about the new OFCAF funding program, and the week before, I had the Grower Check-In with three Island growers.  Available wherever you download your podcasts!

Have a great rest of the week