Agronomy Update – Oct 21

Good morning,

Another wet morning on the Island.  Digging has slowed down a bit in recent days with some wet weather.  Thankfully the forecast for the rest of this week still looks favourable to getting some more days of digging in.  Next week looks to be wet, so I trust most farms will be trying to finish up this week if they aren’t finished already.  We estimate that harvest is about 85% done (possibly more) at the start of today.

Morgan and I were able to finish our last field of potato samples on Monday morning.  Nice to have that done!  Now to get soil sampling done before freeze up.  A big thank you to the many growers that we work with on field trials.  Also a big thanks to the partners who we work with on field work to get this data collected, including Cavendish Farms, Genesis Crop Systems, PEI Dept. of Ag, AAFC, East Prince Agri-Environment Assoc., Kensington North Watershed, and Souris Wildlife.


Cover Crop Update:

It looks like it’s going to start cooling down starting next week (high temps under 10 C and freezing at night) so we’re likely past the cut-off for planting fall rye/winter wheat as cover crops.  Kudos to growers who have been doing more cover cropping this year…I see a lot of harvested fields greening up around the province. As well, the amount of acres that were covered after tillage this summer/fall also appears to have increased.  Preliminary data from some of our cover crop research that we’ve just harvested appears to show a yield bump in potatoes following a cover crop planted in August/early September compared with no cover crop.  We’ll have more to share on this through the winter.

A few things to share with you today that don’t necessarily relate to your immediate efforts to get your crop out of the ground but that are important to pass along nonetheless:


New Wireworm Chemistry Announced:

BASF has announced that they have received registration from PMRA for a new chemical called broflanilide for control of wireworms.  It has been tested for several years by AAFC researchers (including here on PEI) and it has shown the same or better levels of control as compared to Thimet.

BASF is releasing it as two different products:

  • Cimegra for in-furrow control of wireworm on potatoes and corn
  • Teraxxa F4 for seed treatment of cereals

These products will be available starting in the 2021 growing season.  Talk to your suppliers regarding rates, application, and pricing.

Finally, there is a new wireworm chemistry available that has proven to be effective on the species of wireworm here in PEI and that should also be easier to apply.  Unlike some of the neonic products and Capture, it actually kills the wireworms (rather than stunning/intoxicating them).  Research to verify its effectiveness has been part of the national potato research cluster, which has been funded in part by the Board.


Managing Herbicide Resistant Lambquarters:

Dr. Andrew McKenzie-Gopsill has prepared a new factsheet (PDF) summarizing some research that has been done with AAFC on herbicide resistance in common lambsquarters.  They were able to show that 46% of tested populations of common lambquarters showed resistance to metribuzin (Sencor).  No resistance to linuron (Lorox) was observed.

Of the products that are registered for use on potatoes, the best level of weed control and improved marketable yield was seen with metribuzin + sulfentrazone (Sencor STZ), followed by a mix of S-metolachlor + metribuzin (Boundary LQD or Sencor/Dual II Magnum).  Sencor or Lorox on their own were less effective than when these products were tank mixed.  Check out the factsheet for more information.


Biosecurity Videos:

All growers should be paying particular attention to biosecurity on their farms.  Whether it’s cleaning of equipment, cleaning storages, or just cleaning tools/boots from field to field, maintaining excellent biosecurity practices is essential to control the spread of pests and diseases.

A few years ago, the Board helped produce a series of videos on biosecurity.  You can find the links here:

Complete 4 video playlist (YouTube)

Plant Biosecurity

Disinfection for BRR and other bacterial diseases

C&D of Equipment

C&D Records and Funding Available

I hope that everyone has a safe and successful end of harvest.  As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.