Research Roundup

FIND OUT WHAT’S NEW IN THE WORLD OF RESEARCH

Ontario corn re-plant decision calculator on the way
Johnny Roberts
Larger farms and the strong association between higher yields and early planting have contributed to decisions to plant corn earlier than ever before.  That means current re-plant recommendations need updating.

In 2010, Dr. David Hooker, at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, worked alongside Greg Stewart (OMAFRA), Scott Jay (UofG Ridgetown), and Byron Good (UofG), to plant a predetermined mix of glyphosate-tolerant and conventional seed at the Elora and Ridgetown research sites.

Glyphosate removed conventional plants after emergence to achieve variable stands. Full-season and several shorter-season hybrids were involved in the study.

Preliminary data from Elora showed plant populations for replant considerations depended on the hybrid, and varied between 14,000 and 20,000.

The researchers hope to have a web-based replant decision tool on gocorn.net by March 2012.

Funding for this project was provided in part through Grain Farmers of Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Farm Innovation Program (FIP), a part of Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of several Growing Forward programs in Ontario including FIP. •

Tackling white mould ina new way
Nicole Yada
Innovative research at the University of Guelph is tackling white mould, a disease responsible for costing Ontario soybean farmers an estimated $1 million each year in yield loss.

Until now, scientists have looked at white mould using plant breeding, molecular markers and pathological approaches, with little success. 

Now there’s a new approach — Dr. Istvan Rajcan and Ph.D. student Evelyn Valera Rojas are looking at white mould in Ontario soybeans on a molecular genetic and a physiological level.

“White mould affects more than 400 different dicot species, so we hope that what we find can be transferred to other crops, such as canola, dry bean and sunflower,” says Rajcan.

The researchers will examine the gene expression in partially resistant plants and susceptible plants infected with the disease.

In addition, they will investigate the physiological changes that occur during infection at the leaf and stem tissue level.

Together, a genetic and physiological understanding of white mould in soybeans will help plant breeders to develop a fully resistant strain.

This Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) project is funded in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program. In Ontario, this program is delivered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council.

Herbicide selector a smart choice
Natalie Osborne
An online database is available to make herbicide selection faster and easier for soybean producers. This production tool, developed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the University of Guelph, contains efficacy ratings on different weed species for each registered herbicide product used for non-GMO food grade soybeans.

OMAFRA weed management specialist Mike Cowbrough created the herbicide selector based on the success of similar programs for corn and wheat. He compiled the database using information from public and university weed trials to help producers get the most value for their money when selecting a herbicide.

“It’s almost like a consumer report magazine for herbicide selection,” says Cowbrough.  “It’s a tool you can use in the field over your Smartphone or at home on your computer.”

This technology also helps make the results of years of University of Guelph’s research projects, supported by the Grain Farmers of Ontario, more accessible to producers.

Funding for the herbicide selection tool was provided by the Grain Farmers of Ontario. •

Research Roundup is provided by members of SPARK (Students Promoting Awareness of Research Knowledge) at the University of Guelph’s Office of Research. For more information, contact a SPARK writer at 519-824-4120, ext. 52667.

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