www.OntarioGrainFarmer.ca Published by CROP MANAGEMENT MARCH 2023 Big wins for wheat SUCCESSFUL SEASON FOR GREAT LAKES YEN
Give crops the nitrogen they need when they need it. Envita® is the leading nitrogen-fixing biological that turns the entire plant – including leaves and roots – into a nitrogen-fixing powerhouse. From cereals and canola to pulses and corn, trust Envita to fill the nitrogen gap and ensure this essential nutrient is available in the right place at the right time – all season long. Performance evaluations are based on internal trials, field observations and/or public information. Data from multiple locations and years should be consulted whenever possible. Individual results may vary depending on local growing, soil, and weather conditions. Always read and follow label directions. The Alliance Frame, the Purpose Icon and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Envita® is a trademark of Azotic Technologies® LTD. Used under license. © 2023 Syngenta. For more information, visit Syngenta.ca/Envita, contact our Customer Interaction Centre at 1‑87‑SYNGENTA (1‑877‑964‑3682), or follow @SyngentaCanada on Twitter.
MARCH 2023 volume 14, number 5 ONTARIO GRAIN FARMERis published 9 times a year (December/January, February, March, April/May, June/July, August, September, October, and November) through Grain Farmers of Ontario. Distribution is to all Ontario barley, corn, oat, soybean, and wheat farmer-members. Associate Membership Subscription available upon request. Views and opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the policies of Grain Farmers of Ontario. Seek professional advice before undertaking any recommendations or suggestions presented in this magazine. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40065283. Return undeliverable items to Grain Farmers of Ontario, 679 Southgate Drive, Guelph, ON N1G 4S2. © Grain Farmers of Ontario all rights reserved. Publisher: Grain Farmers of Ontario, Phone: 1-800-265-0550, Website: www.gfo.ca; Managing Editor: Mary Feldskov; Production Co-ordinator: Kim Ratz; Advertising Sales: Joanne Tichborne 6 ON THE COVER Big wins for wheat Jenn Leslie SUCCESSFUL SEASON FOR GREAT LAKES YEN From the CEO’s desk ON THE ROAD AGAIN 4 Biologicals Lois Harris 10 Weed control Treena Hein 12 Business side Conversations with business experts 27 GrainTALK newsletter An update on Grain Farmers of Ontario news and events 18 Grazing cover crops Matt McIntosh 16 Crop side Agronomic information from crop specialists 28 Legacy of leadership Ontario Grain Farmer 24 Women in farm transition Rebecca Hannam 29 Good in Every Grain Updates on our campaign 34 Ontario Agricultural Hall of Fame Ontario Grain Farmer 32 182023 MARCH CLASSIC Come join us in London. Details here. BIODEGRADABLE POLY
in high demand globally, and it was great to be able to meet with international customers and promote our grains (after two years of virtual trade missions) to tell Ontario Grain Farmers’ story of quality and sustainability. Speaking of sustainability, the Government of Canada has launched the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy. Sustainability is a key factor in maintaining Canada’s national and international reputation for quality and to meet the growing demand for the products that we grow. Grain Farmers of Ontario will be submitting our vision for this strategy and farmer-members are encouraged to provide individual feedback on to Agriculture and Agri Food Canada; comments are open until March 31. Looking ahead in the month of March, we will be hitting the road once again: the destination, RBC Place in London, for March Classic on March 21. With a fantastic line-up of speakers, great entertainment, and the opportunity to network with farmers, industry representatives, and government officials from across the province, this is an event you won’t want to miss. I hope to see you there! l 4 THIS WINTER, I HAVE been travelling across the province — and internationally — talking to farmer-members, connecting with government officials and industry representatives, and promoting Ontario grains and oilseeds. It’s been refreshing to get out from behind my desk and away from Zoom calls to meet face-to-face. The January District Meetings saw staff and Board members travel to all 15 Grain Farmers of Ontario Districts. These meetings are always a good reminder of how vast and diverse the Ontario agriculture landscape is and to hear directly from farmer-members about the issues and concerns that are important in their local areas. We were pleased to see so many farmer-members come to the meetings to learn more about the work that Grain Farmers of Ontario is doing on their behalf, elect delegates, alternates, and directors, and bring forward resolutions. Grassroots engagement is important to help guide the organization, and we appreciated the feedback and input we received at the meetings. And I wish to extend a big thank you to the farmer-members who stood for election as delegates or alternates. When the District director election votes were tallied, we welcomed two new directors: Julie Maw in District 3 (Lambton) and Angela Zilke in District 7 (Oxford, Waterloo). We are looking forward to the fresh perspectives and enthusiasm that they will both bring to the role. Thank you to the retiring directors, Emery Huszka and Kevin Armstrong, for their dedication and contributions to the Board during their tenure. In February, I joined Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on the Ontario Agri-Food Trade Mission to Japan and Vietnam. Ontario-grown grains and oilseeds continue to be From the CEO’s desk Crosby Devitt, CEO, Grain Farmers of Ontario On the road again
All tucked in for the night. Not a weed in sight. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Bayer, Bayer Cross and Corvus™ are trademarks of the Bayer Group. Bayer CropScience Inc. is a member of CropLife Canada. ©2023 Bayer Group. All rights reserved. Corvus™ herbicide provides outstanding control of a broad spectrum of broadleaf and grass weeds including glyphosate-resistant weeds. Flexibility in application timing, including pre-plant incorporated, and tank mix options allows you to apply at the time you want, the way you want while precisely targeting the weeds you need to control. Ask about Corvus herbicide. Give the crop you love a good (weed free) night’s sleep. And a great start to a great harvest. S:7.125" S:8.865"
Cover story 6 2022 MARKED THEfirst full season of the Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN). There were 98 entries in the program this year from across Ontario and five American states: Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and Wisconsin. The more entrants in the Great Lakes YEN there are, the more robust and confident the insights from the data will be, both at the individual ‘benchmarking’ level and when analyzing the complete data set. SEASONAL OVERVIEW The Fall 2021 planting conditions ranged from good to poor across the Great Lakes YEN region. Some areas faced near-record rainfall that hindered the harvest of soybeans and dry beans, and delayed winter wheat planting. In these areas, soil water levels remained at field capacity for 10 to 14 days causing poor root development and winterkill. Areas that did not experience extreme wet conditions did quite well. Aside from areas that experienced poor root development due to the excessive rains, overwintering conditions were mostly favourable across the region, and winter wheat survived the winter very well. Coming out of the winter, the crop greened up, and nitrogen and herbicide applications occurred. Crop development seemed slow, as expected, with the cooler-than-normal conditions. Some areas became dry and remained dry for the duration of spring. Despite these conditions, wheat moved through the growth stages quite rapidly once the jointing stage was reached, catching many farmers off guard. In some cases the timing of split nitrogen applications, fungicide applications, and plant growth regulators were late due to rapid crop development. Insect pressure was relatively low in 2022. There were some reports of cereal leaf beetle and aphids in fields, but the majority of populations remained below threshold, and a high number of beneficial insects (ladybug and lacewing larvae) were found in fields that kept these pest populations low. Early season disease levels also remained low, with some powdery mildew and Septoria reported. Many areas lacked adequate moisture for disease development. Dry conditions persisted into flowering, lowering infection rates for Fusarium head blight and the development of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON). Nearly all the grain samples in the YEN project had low DON levels, and test weights were generally good. At harvest time, yields were variable by region. A significant area of the Great Lakes YEN region experienced drought during June, which caused concern among farmers, but once combining began, most were pleasantly surprised with their yield. Cool nights in June allowed for an extended grain fill period that translated to higher yields. SO, WHAT DOES THE DATA TELL US? The Great Lakes YEN is not simply a competition. It is an opportunity for farmers to learn more about individual fields, their crop’s development over the season, and their agronomy practices by diving deep into their collected data over the season. Comparing the top 20 per cent of entries to the bottom 20 per cent, yields ranged in fields in the 2022 growing season from 89 bushels/acre to 139 bushels/acre, a 50-bushel difference. The average grain yield for all participants was 116 bushels/acre. Big wins for wheat SUCCESSFUL SEASON FOR GREAT LAKES YEN Jennifer Leslie continued on page 8 • The Great Lakes YEN was created in partnership with Grain Farmers of Ontario, Michigan State University, Michigan Wheat Program, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the University of Guelph. • There were 98 entrants to the Great Lakes YEN program from Ontario, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, New York, and Wisconsin. • The Great Lakes YEN is an opportunity for farmers to learn more by diving deep into their collected data over the season. • Data indicates that a 200 bushels/acre yield is possible almost anywhere — high yields are not restricted to a single part of the Great Lakes region. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW 89 193 47 59 139 198 70 61 0 50 100 150 200 250 Yield Yield Potential % Yield Potential Test Weight TOP 20 / BOTTOM 20 PER CENT (BU/AC) IN 2022 GREAT LAKES YEN. Top 20 Bottom 20
ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER 7 MARCH 2023 GREAT LAKES YEN PARTICIPANTS FROM EASTERN ONTARIO GATHERED IN JUNE TO NETWORK AND LEARN.
To estimate potential yield, it was assumed a theoretically ‘perfect’ variety grown with ‘inspired’ management on each entrant’s field and 2022 weather, including available water and solar radiation. There was only a five bushel per acre difference in the modelled potential yield between the top and bottom 20 per cent in the Great Lakes Region. This indicates that similar yield potential existed between the two groups, but one group had higher actual yield. The project aims to understand the differences and help growers achieve higher yields through data reports and feedback. Data analysis performed on the 2022 Great Lakes YEN data highlighted the importance of decisions made by farmers that may lead to higher winter wheat yields. The seeding date for the top 20 per cent of participants was 11 days earlier than the planting date for the bottom 20 per cent of participants across various regions in the Great Lakes YEN. In addition, correlation analysis identified that an earlier seeding date was statistically 8 related to an increase in yield. However, there is a caveat to this, as it is possible to plant too early and increase the risk of insect pests and disease that may impact crop viability and yield or increase the risk of winter injury. Maps of optimal seeding dates can be found on the Ontario Cereal Crops Committee and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs websites. In terms of crop physiology, the 2022 Great Lakes YEN data analysis, supported by results of more than eight years of the YEN in the United Kingdom, shows that high yields tend to be associated with high heads per m2 and high total biomass. The U.K. YEN data analysis also found that a high total biomass is more important than a high harvest index in explaining higher yields, indicating the importance of striving for better light and water capture. GETTING HIGH-YIELDING WHEAT The 2022 Great Lakes YEN data indicates that a 200 bushels/acre yield is possible almost anywhere. High yields are not restricted to a single part of the Great Lakes region. Attention to detail is important. Aspects of this that appear to have a significant impact on yield include: • Planting date– planting on the earlier side of the optimum planting date range is ideal • Fall fertility– applying manure and/or phosphate in the fall can help boost crop performance • Nitrogen– timely applications to help plant development, including split applications Other factors impacting high yield include: • Weather – ideal conditions are a dry and bright fall, mild winter, and a bright spring with cool summers • Nutrition– most crops suffer some type of deficiency throughout the season AND THE WINNERS ARE The Great Lakes YEN is made possible by all Ontario and United States participants. GRAIN YIELD (BU/AC) VS BIOMASS (LBS/AC). continued from page 6 2022 y = 0.0057x + 37.265 R² = 0.603 2021 y = 0.0045x + 53.319 R² = 0.57582021 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 5000 7000 9000 11000 13000 15000 17000 19000 21000 23000 25000 2022 2021 Linear (2022) Linear (2021) 269 280 262 264 266 268 270 272 274 276 278 280 282 Top 20 Bottom 20 AVERAGE SEEDING RATE.
Everyone involved in the program needs to be congratulated on its success and an amazing first season. The 2022 Great Lakes YEN winners for highest per cent of yield potential are: 1. Jeffery Krohn (Elkton, Michigan) with 87.97 per cent of yield potential 2.Andy Timmermans (Stratford, Ontario) with 79.07 per cent of potential yield 3.Aaron Stuckey (Archbold, Ohio) with 79.03 per cent of potential yield The winners of the highest yield competition are: 1. Jeffrey Krohn (Elkton, Michigan) with 165.92 bushels/acre 2.Andy Timmermans (Stratford, Ontario) with 150.19 bushels/acre 3.Kelsey Hill (Arnprior, Ontario) with 144.13 bushels/acre Established as a pilot in 2021, the Great Lakes YEN was created in partnership with Grain Farmers of Ontario, Michigan State University, Michigan Wheat Program, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the University of Guelph to improve crop returns through greater understanding of crop performance and increased collaboration between industry and farmers. For more information, visit www.GreatLakesYEN.com or follow on Twitter @GreatLakesYEN. Jenn Leslie is the agronomy project assistant at Grain Farmers of Ontario. l ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER 9 MARCH 2023 YEN data analysis also found that a high total biomass is more important than a high harvest index in explaining higher yields. Get the go-to resistance management tool for soybeans. Resistance should be on your mind. Not in your fields. Engenia® herbicide is specifically designed for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® and XtendFlex® soybeans. Its advanced dicamba formulation provides enhanced broadleaf weed control and effective management of Group 2-, triazine- and glyphosate-resistant biotypes. Plus when you purchase Engenia along with at least two of the following: Kixor® herbicides (Eragon® LQ, Integrity®, Optill®), Liberty 200® SN and/or Zidua® SC herbicides, you’ll earn an extra 2% rebate as part of the Soybean Herbicide Bonus in the 2023 BASF Ag Rewards Program. Learn more about Engenia at agsolutions.ca/htsoybeans or contact AgSolutions® Customer Care at 1-877-371-BASF (2273). Visit agsolutions.ca/rewards/east for more info on BASF Ag Rewards. Always read and follow label directions. AgSolutions, ENGENIA, ERAGON, INTEGRITY, KIXOR, LIBERTY, OPTILL and ZIDUA are registered trademarks of BASF; all used under license by BASF Canada Inc. © 2023 BASF Canada Inc. Bayer is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Bayer products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Bayer’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. These products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from these products can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for these products. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. NOT ALL formulations of dicamba, glyphosate or glufosinate are approved for in-crop use with products with XtendFlex® Technology. ONLY USE FORMULATIONS THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY LABELED AND APPROVED FOR SUCH USES. Contact the Pest Management Regulatory Agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans or products with XtendFlex® Technology. Products with XtendFlex® Technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Glufosinate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glufosinate. Contact your Bayer retailer, refer to the Bayer Technology Use Guide, or call the technical support line at 1-888-283-6847 for recommended Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System weed control programs. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready® and XtendFlex® are registered trademarks of Bayer Group. Used under license. Bayer CropScience Inc. is a member of CropLife Canada. ©2023 Bayer Group. All rights reserved.
10 AS THE NEEDto reduce carbon footprints grows, interest and investments in developing biological pesticides and fertilizers have exploded in recent years, but their effectiveness remains questionable. “Large sums of money are being invested in biologicals … so it’s a great time to be curious and cautious,” says Dale Cowan in an on-demand presentation at the 2023 Ontario Agricultural Conference. “There are estimates that between $3.2 billion and $6.7 billion will be invested by 2027.” Cowan is an agronomy strategy manager and senior agronomist at AGRIS Co-operative. BIG OPPORTUNITY “The science and technology is changing rapidly, and there’s a lot of investment going into this space to better understand how these products work, how to make them better, and how to work with them to get a better success rate,” says Nathan Klages, biological business manager for Syngenta, in a presentation on Crop Day at the GreyBruce Farmers Week in January. Klages outlined three basic categories of biologicals: biocontrols that address a specific issue involving insects, disease, and weeds; biostimulants that help crops better manage weather stresses like too much heat or cold; and biofertility like inoculants that use microbes to promote plant health and endophytes that live within crop plants and can fix nitrogen. Klages explained that biocontrols are generally used more in fruit and vegetable Biologicals THE PROMISES AND PERILS Lois Harris crops. They are also getting some traction in row crops to avoid export market issues around residues from synthetics and fill in crop protection gaps. “About 570 products are under review at the PMRA (Pest Management Review Agency) right now, and the reality is that some of those products won’t be available in five or 10 years, so we have to start thinking about what different kinds of products — synthetic and biological — will be needed down the road,” he says. Cowan and Klages noted that 70 per cent of yield reduction in field crops is due to abiotic, or weather-related, stress, which biostimulants are designed to address. Klages said that the biostimulant market is crowded, with more than 1,000 registered Agronomy
products aimed at improving crop quality and helping roots take up more of the nutrients available in the soil. Growers, too, are enthusiastic. Klages showed the results of a study by Stratus Ag Research that showed that 29 per cent of growers said they planned to reduce their nitrogen fertilizer use in 2022, and 75 per cent said they were interested in trying a nitrogen-fixing biological on their farm. WARNING SIGNS “It’s important to be careful about product claims — and to ask what it’s supposed to do for the crop,” Klages says. In summing up his presentation at the Ontario Agricultural Conference, Dr. Connor Sible of the University of Illinois said that while biologicals can be very beneficial for increasing crop yields, their effectiveness depends on the type of product, and he also warned producers to ask questions. “You really have to ask the dealer, ‘what is it?’, ‘how does it work?’ and ‘is it something I really need, or can I save on those inputs and focus on something else?’” he said. Cowan said that because his company is affiliated with Growmark, they have access to a program called Agvalidity that rigorously tests novel agricultural products for efficacy. A full 86 per cent of the products brought in for potential testing were rejected, and of the 302 products that were tested, only 12 have been approved. DOWNSIDES AND ALTERNATIVES At the same conference, Dr. Pedro Autunes from Algoma University warned growers that while one type of biological — arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi — is beneficial to plants, the inoculants that are currently commercially available do not work most of the time. His advice was to “use management practicesthat promote indigenous mycorrhizal communities,” adding that more research is needed and that the industry is “decades away from” developing inoculants that do work. In fact, in a paper he co-authored with other Canadian and Australian researchers, the findings around fungal inoculants were even more disturbing, given that no one knows the unintended consequences of the products. The paper entitled “Fungal inoculants in the field: Is the reward greater than the risk?” said that if the consequences include the fact that they’re invasive, “they may pose a threat to soil and plant biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.” Similarly, Dr. Kari Dunfield, a professor in the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Studies and the Canada Research Chair in the Environmental Microbiology of Agro-ecosystems, has been researching ways producers can reduce the use of chemical inputs and encourage the existing microbiome. In a paper she and her team published, they showed that soil science, plant biology and microbiology have to be examined together because of the complexity of the environment. It is called “It takes three to tango — the importance of microbes, host plant, and soil management to elucidate manipulation strategies for the plant microbiome,” and it was published in the Canadian Journal of Microbiology in May 2020. It pointed out that inconsistencies in the effectiveness of commercially available biologicals stems from focusing on a single strain of the micro-organism, which is isolated and tested in a laboratory or greenhouse but often fails when put into field conditions. It also said that while work is being done in plant breeding to develop varieties that encourage healthier microbiomes and greater resistance to weather, pests, and diseases, it’s a long and laborious process. In the shorter term, Dunfield’s research is focusing on using genomics to discover how management practices like introducing more crop diversity and reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides positively affect the microbiome. l ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER 11 MARCH 2023 The science and technology is changing rapidly, and there’s a lot of investment going into this space to better understand how these products work, how to make them better, and how to work with them to get a better success rate.
12 WEED CONTROL IScritical for high yields every year, and for the 2023 growing season, here is the latest advice on several problem species from Mike Cowbrough, weed specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. He recently presented on this topic at the Ontario Agricultural Conference in early January held at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. Cowbrough focussed on three problem weeds, but before he talked about how best to manage them, he noted that farmers might want to be aware that there may be potential markets for two of them in the years to come. Perennial sow thistle is already a popular medicinal plant in places like Indonesia. It contains cytotoxic steroids that can be used to treat certain cancers. It may also improve exercise performance and alleviate fatigue, and it could be used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure. Field horsetail is being examined as a treatment for arthritis, baldness, and cancer. SOW THISTLE Because sow thistle propagates through seed production and rhizome surface spread, it is critical to address both. Unfortunately, this takes considerable effort. The ability of this weed to quickly enlarge its root mass is impressive. Weed control TIPS FOR THE 2023 GROWING SEASON Treena Hein PERENNIAL SOW THISTLE. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE COWBROUGH. Reducing shoot growth is best done in the spring through herbicide use, flaming or cutting, and the key is repetition — stopping re-growth is absolutely critical. In the spring, as with any perennial plant or tree, energy (carbohydrates) is moving from the roots of the sow thistle upward to support shoot growth, and Cowbrough notes that the more shoot growth is stopped, the more the roots will be drained of energy and become smaller — and the likelier it is that the plant will eventually die off. However, there is a trick that Cowbrough shares in terms of the timing of herbicide application. Agronomy
"Shoot growth will continue until what's called the basal rosette (five leaf) reaches the 'compensation point,'" he says. "This is when the carbohydrate reserves change course and go from shoots to roots… If herbicides are applied at this stage, it means you're less likely to get re-growth, and if the herbicides are systemic, they will move down into the roots." Herbicides should be applied in corn at the V1 to V6 stage, and in soybeans, from the first to third trifoliate. HERBICIDE STUDY Cowbrough has conducted an experiment of sow thistle control with the weeds planted in pots. He chose a few systemic herbicides deemed most effective based on the scientific literature and anecdotal reports from around the province. He measured shoot growth and found a range of responses. "I quantified the root mass as well because I was interested to see if herbicides, especially the systemic ones, had any impact on reducing ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER 13 MARCH 2023 continued on page 14 Reducing [sow thistle] shoot growth is best done in the spring through herbicide use, flaming or cutting, and the key is repetition – stopping re-growth is absolutely critical. root growth as well as shoot growth," he says. "As expected with sow thistle, it was pretty amazing in terms of the level of root mass. One two-inch root fragment produced 46 grams within eight weeks, three times the amount of biomass than what's produced in the shoot, so that's almost a three-toone ratio." When recycling ag containers, every one counts Great job recycling empty pesticide and fertilizer containers (jugs, drums and totes). Every one you recycle counts toward a more sustainable environment in your agricultural community. Thank you. Ask your ag retailer for an ag collection bag, fill it with rinsed, empty jugs and return to a collection site. REMEMBER! You can also return empty seed, pesticide and inoculant bags for environmentally safe management. Details at cleanfarms.ca Find a collection location near you at cleanfarms.ca firstname.lastname@example.org @cleanfarms
Glyphosate, 540 grams/litre applied at a rate of 1.34 litre/acre, resulted in those potted sow thistles producing close to zero shoots and root growth. Similar results occurred with Enlist 1 (720 millilitres/acre) at the highest label rate. Among others tested, Engenia (dicamba) at a rate of 0.4 litre/acre produced good root and shoot control but not as good as glyphosate or Enlist 1. OTHER CONTROL METHODS Because sow thistle has dormant roots in the fall, fall-seeded cover crops will have little impact, but those present in the spring can help reduce sow thistle shoot biomass. 14 Moldboard plow tillage is the best nonchemical treatment, says Cowbrough, and best done in the spring. Deeper plowing of 25 centimetres is preferable, using a disc harrow. "This is what it takes for meaningful sow thistle control," he explains. To those farmers reluctant to do that, he suggests that "if you are really struggling with sow thistle control, you have dense populations, try it on a small scale and then scale it up if it's working." A Weed Zapper can be used to flame the plants in the spring, which at the very least stops seed production, but there has not been much study into how this method impacts root growth. BLUEGRASS Cowbrough and his colleagues identified five species of bluegrass in 2021 and 2022 in the counties of Bruce, Essex, Haldimand, Middlesex, Waterloo, and Wellington. Fifty per cent of samples were annual bluegrass, with the remainder being perennial species: roughstalk bluegrass, fowl meadow grass, Canada bluegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. "At this point, I'm not sure how important it is to be able to differentiate between the BLUEGRASS. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE COWBROUGH. continued from page 13
species, but some of the perennial types have stolons that allow them to creep along the surface and plant nodal roots," says Cowbrough. "It's a pretty amazing species in terms of its ability to spread, and spread in pretty tough environments." In terms of control methods to complement herbicide use, unfortunately, cover crops can actually increase the survival of bluegrass seed over the winter. Deep tilling with a moldboard plow will be most effective, much better than vertical tillage. In 2021, Cowbrough did a study with Dr. Francois Tardiff and Dr. Peter Smith looking at herbicide control of bluegrass in winter wheat with early April applications. Three herbicides were found to be effective: Group 2 products Simplicity GoDri and Varro (both with non-ionic surfactants) and Group 1 product Axial. Apply these products when the bluegrass is less than 10 centimetres tall. Cowbrough adds that broadleaf tank mix partners work well if you want to control more groups of weeds. Their study found that various tank mixes did not reduce control of bluegrass, nor did they reduce winter wheat yield. There are various preand post-emergent options that work in corn and soybeans. FIELD HORSETAIL CONTROL IN E3 SOYBEANS Horsetail is not a competitive weed in dense crop stands and its tuber production increases in low-nitrogen soils. In a 2022 study, Cowbrough, Tardiff, and Smith found that Enlist Duo or Liberty + Enlist + AMS are two options that can be used in E3 soybeans for season-long top growth control, pre- and post-emergence. However, these results need to be replicated. Cowbrough also wants to evaluate other control methods like tillage and soil fertility. FOR MORE Cowbrough's full presentation and more than 50 other on-demand sessions are available to view until March 31, 2023 at www.ontarioagconference.ca. Grain Farmers of Ontario was a Diamond Sponsor of the 2023 Ontario Agricultural Conference. l ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER 15 MARCH 2023 Unfortunately, cover crops can actually increase the survival of bluegrass seed over the winter. FIELD HORSETAIL. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE COWBROUGH.
16 MORE FARMERS ARErealizing the benefits of cover crops in grain rotations. They are also valuable for livestock, though. Partnerships with livestock farmers can bring economic and environmental benefits to both production systems. In a seminar hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Beef Farmers of Ontario in November 2022, sheep farmers Lyndsey Smith and Chris Moore of Shady Creek Lamb Co. shared their experiences, lessons, and how cover crop grazing has benefited both their business and the grain farmers with whom they partner. Mark Brock, Huron County grain grower and former Grain Farmers of Ontario chair, also shared how farmers can develop better partnerships through a better understanding of psychology — and specifically, apprehension of risk. BETTER WEIGHT GAIN AND RESIDUE MANAGEMENT Cover crop grazing was a natural fit for Lyndsey Smith and Chris Moore's Ottawaarea sheep business. The pair already graze sheep in pasture under solar panels from May to October, but the ability to graze cover crops later in the year helped extend the grazing season well into winter. "One of the things with [ewe lambs] on cover crops is we're really trying to push them to grow as fast, as big as we can," says Moore. "Because we know if they can make it to 80 pounds, they're that much more likely to breed and lamb as yearlings, and that's a big profit driver in the sheep business." However, a limited land base made it necessary to partner with neighbouring farms. Smith and Moore partnered with neighbours who, before entering into a cover-crop grazing agreement, had goals that fit well with what Smith and Moore were trying to achieve—garnering the fertility and organic matter afforded by manure, for example, or managing an amount of biomass which could cause problems at planting. Smith and Moore secured several cover crop grazing sites in 2021 and 2022. In the first year, the sheep grazed off the cover crops the farmer had already planted; in 2022, they paid for the cover crop seed — oats and peas proved to be their flock's most preferred forage blend. They also covered the cost and effort of planting, as well as all aspects of herd management. Aside from fertility returns afforded by manure, Smith and Moore say their partnering landowners found additional benefits. One landowner, for example, found cover crop grazing to be Grazing cover crops PARTNERSHIPS BRING MANURE, BIOMASS MANAGEMENT Matt McIntosh SHADY CREEK LAMB CO. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS MOORE. so effective at residue management that he was comfortable changing the cropping strategy the following spring. "We can both work together, and both win… it's working well, and we're pretty excited about it," says Smith. The pair reiterated that the mutually-beneficial system was only possible because they communicated the idea to trusted neighbours. They encourage others to do the same, actually put agreements to paper, and understand it is a learning process. "Cover crops are just such fantastic feed … the one thing I look for are people that are really good farmers, that are really busy, whether that's just they have a really big busy farm, or they're busy off-farm, and they want to have the value of manure, the benefits of cover crops — and they don't want the commitment of livestock," says Moore. "You can't be a perfect person and manage livestock, crops, machines, and marketing, so you might as well partner up." FARMER PSYCHOLOGY — HOW IT AFFECTS COLLABORATION Agreements in which both parties benefit might make good business sense — but that doesn't mean the person being approached will be willing to participate. Indeed, apprehension and the overly strong fear of loss are very common among farmers, which can be a major barrier to what would otherwise be very successful partnerships. It is the lesson Mark Brock learned while pursuing his Nuffield Scholarship thesis — "Farmer to Farmer Collaborations." His experiences meeting with farmers and discussing their partnerships with one another revealed many successful examples, as well as what common psychological barriers often need to be overcome before such partnerships can work. Agronomy
Overconfidence and the idea that you know better, sticking with the status quo because it is more comfortable and easy to do so, not being exposed to working examples of what is being proposed — these and other cognitive biases can all prevent otherwise beneficial partnerships from coming to fruition. "We have this individualistic approach … that's kind of inherent in our DNA a little bit, and it adds a challenge looking at how we do collaborations," says Brock. His experience suggests farmers in Canada and the United States are particularly susceptible to overly individualistic thinking. Brock says successful partnerships account for both the economic and the psychological. The agreement has to make the prospect of gain outweigh the fear of loss. A recipe for positive collaboration, in his experience, contains formal agreements — even simple ones — rooted in common goals and legwork to find the right people. "I think it helps understanding the challenges you have when you want to maybe collaborate with a farmer that you, kind of, have to be a bit selective … around trying to find people that you can talk about these 'buts,'" says Brock, later reiterating the role documentation can play in developing comfortable partnerships. "It might be a single piece of paper that lists the land owner's goals or the grain farmer's goals, and your goals as a livestock raiser so that you both can look and identify it — and measure your success against that." l ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER 17 MARCH 2023 A recipe for positive collaboration … contains formal agreements — even simple ones — rooted in common goals and legwork to find the right people. How do you outsmart pest resistance on your farm? We’re asking Canadian growers to tell us about their resistance management strategies for weeds, diseases and insects. Share your resistance management success story to WIN! You could WIN an iPad Air 256 GB* Enter today at pestmanagementchallenge.ca The Pest Management Challenge contest runs November 29, 2022 – March 31, 2023**. *3 iPad Air 256 GB tablets available to be won, ARV of $1,000, odds of winning subject to the total number of eligible entries, mathematical skill testing question required to win an iPad. **Contest closes March 31, 2023 at 11:59 pm EDT. @protectyourland Thank you to our sponsors: The Pest Management Challenge contest is hosted by: manageresistancenow.ca ManageResistanceNow
Cultivating New Tomorrows Join us March 21, 2023 in London, Ontario for the 2023 March Classic! Registration is now open, visit www.gfo.ca/marchclassic to register today. When you grow the food that feeds the world, you know the value of tryingnew ideas and embracing new opportunities. Grain farmers are always looking to tomorrow to see how the world is changing and what it will mean for their farms, their families and their communities. What new technology will be available and how will it help grow the best, most abundant amount of food for the world? What new regulations are potentially coming? How will we work with government to ensure food security and to ensure farmers ability to keep their family farms running for generations to come? How will we help new farmers enter into the fields? What upcoming food trends represent new opportunities for grains and how do we work with consumers to give them what they need and want? Every season, grain farmers are cultivating these new tomorrows. Conference details: Preregister for the 2023 March Classic by February 28 to be entered into our early bird draw! Registration can be found online at our website or by calling 1 800 265 0550 X308. Rooms are available at the DoubleTree by Hilton. Book online at www.gfo.ca/marchclassic or farmer members can call 519 436 1661 and use code GFO or ask to book under the Grain Farmers of Ontario call-in block. Book before February 28 to get our discounted room rate. For more information about this year’s March Classic please contact Grain Farmers of Ontario at 1 800-265-0550 X308 or email email@example.com. 7 a.m. Complimentary breakfast for March Classic attendees, sponsored by John Deere Canada 8 a.m. Registration and Exhibit Hall opens 9 a.m. Opening Remarks Grain Farmers of Ontario 9:30 a.m. U.S. Farm Report hosted by Tyne Morgan Join us for live taping of the U.S. Farm Report, with host Tyne Morgan, as they explore the latest in marketing trends 10:30 a.m. Break, sponsored by Syngenta 11 a.m. Timothy Caulfield, Professor of Health Law and Science Policy and Bestselling Author of Relax: A Guide to Everyday Health Decisions with More Facts and Less Worry. Noon Lunch, sponsored by Syngenta 1:30 p.m. Sarah Kaplan, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and author of The 360° Corporation. 2:30 p.m. Break, sponsored by Syngenta 3 p.m. Dr. Samantha Yammine, aka ScienceSam, Neuroscientist, Science Communicator, and Digital Media Producer. 4 p.m. Reception in Exhibit Hall sponsored by Bayer CropScience 6 p.m. Banquet*($65, tickets required), sponsored by SeCan Featuring Canadian Illusionist and Entertainer Aaron Paterson 9 p.m. End of Conference * Banquet tickets can be purchased on-site at registration. Cash, cheque, or credit card accepted. 2023 March Classic March 21, 2023 RBC Place, London, Ontario Cultivating New Tomorrows 18 An update on Grain Farmers of Ontario news and events
Note: Sponsors and Exhibitors are accurate as of publication. Check official show program at the March Classic for a final version. Exhibitors 19 ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER MARCH 2023 Platinum Gold Silver Sponsors A&L Canada Laboratories Ag Business & Crop Inc. Agricorp Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Agro-100 Alpine Andermatt Canada Inc. BASF Agricultural Solutions Canada Bayer CropScience Belchim Crop Protection Canada Broadgrain C&M Seeds Canadian Foodgrains Bank Canadian Grain Commission CanGrow Crop Solutions Cargill Sarnia Carlsun Energy-POWER-TO-AG Project CASA/WSPS CASE IH Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario Corteva/Brevant Discovery Farm/Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show Farm Credit Canada Farmer Wellness Initiative FBC FMC FS Co-operatives G3 Canada Limited Gowan Canada Grain Farmers of Ontario Hensall Co-op Horst Systems IGPC Ethanol Inc. Ingredion Canada John Deere Canada Koch Agronomic Services Libro Credit Union London Agriculture Commodities Maizex Seeds Montag Manufacturing Nutri -Pel OFA Ontario Corn Fed Beef Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ontario Plowman’s Association Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association Pioneer Hi-Bred Pride Seeds Prograin RBC Roberts Farm Equipment Sales Inc. Scotiabank SeCan Sevita International SGS Canada TD Canada Trust Agriculture Services The Andersons The Commonwell Timac Agro Canada UAP Canada Verico, the Mortgage Station Walinga Wonderfull Inc.
20 An update on Grain Farmers of Ontario news and events 2023 ELECTED DELEGATES DISTRICT 1 (Essex) Armstrong, Clayton, Belle River Chauvin, Maurice, Point aux-Roches Mailloux, Josh, Amherstburg Makey, Kurt , Belle River McLean, Charles, Maidstone Mullen, Grace, Comber Renaud, Marcel, Woodslee DISTRICT 2 (Kent) Brien, Stan, Ridgetown Chapple, Matt, Chatham Charbonneau, Emily, Blenheim Cunningham, Jay, Thamesville Dawson, Ken, Wheatley Denys, Stephen, Chatham Handsor, Ryan, Wallaceburg Huston, Mark, Thamesville Johnstone, Bruce, Chatham McFadden, Brent, Dresden Renwick, Chris, Wheatley Robertson, Tyler, Kent Bridge Ross, Bill, Pain Court Vanek, Joseph, Chatham Vannieuwenhuyze, Mike, Thamesville DISTRICT 3 (Lambton) Butler, Sarah, Croton Eves, Brian, Wallaceburg Hall, Ryan, Petrolia Huszka, Emery, Florence Langstaff, Brad, Wilkesport Lassaline, Jeff, Alvinston Lennan, Matt, Petrolia McRae, Jonathan, Alvinston Podolinsky, Brad, Alvinston Wilson, Tom, Corunna DISTRICT 4 (Middlesex) Aerts, Evan, Ailsa Craig Dietrich, Eric, Granton Dietrich, Paul, Lucan 2023 ELECTED DIRECTORS Throughout January, elections were held in each district and all farmer-members were invited to vote for their representatives. Each district voted in their delegates and from the delegates, a director was elected. These lists are accurate at time of printing, please visit www.gfo.ca for the most current listings. District Name Contact 1 Brendan Byrne Essex 519 991-4027 GFObrendan@gmail.com 2 Gus Ternoey Tilbury 519 682-0091 firstname.lastname@example.org 3 Julie Maw Courtright 519 384-2281 email@example.com 4 Steve Twynstra Ailsa Craig 519 878-4205 firstname.lastname@example.org 5 Scott Persall Waterford 519 410-1781 email@example.com 6 Jeff Barlow Hannon 905 520-7486 firstname.lastname@example.org 7 Angela Zilke Embro 519 671-5042 email@example.com 8 Keith Black Belgrave 519 531-0063 firstname.lastname@example.org 9 Josh Boersen Sebringville 519 274-4076 email@example.com 10 Steve Lake Elora 519 993-7568 firstname.lastname@example.org 11 Leo Blydorp Amaranth 519 939-1113 email@example.com 12 Jeff Harrison Quinte West 613 847-1232 firstname.lastname@example.org 13 Lloyd Crowe Picton 613 813-0842 email@example.com 14 Scott Fife Finch 613 330-1142 firstname.lastname@example.org 15 Chuck Amyot New Liskeard 613 299-8903 email@example.com
21 ONTARIO GRAIN FARMER MARCH 2023 Foster, Rob, Ilderton Kaumanns, Hilmar, Lucan McClary, Luke, Ilderton Nixon, Kevin, Ilderton Robson, Adam, Ilderton Vanhie, Matt, Ailsa Craig DISTRICT 5 (Elgin, Norfolk) Court, Bruce, Courtland deRyk, Taylor, Dorchester Gignac, Brock, Langton Pasztor, Michael, Langton Paton, Richard, Iona Station Taylor, Allen, St. Thomas Vermeersch, Ann, Tillsonburg DISTRICT 6 (Haldimand, Brant, Hamilton, Niagara) Beischlag, Matt, Jarvis Gowan, Susan, Jarvis McLellan, Jay, Brantford Nimijohn, Brad, Millgrove Turnbull, Ian, Canfield Vanderspek, Kevin, Cayuga Veldhuizen, Gerry, Lowbanks DISTRICT 7 (Waterloo, Oxford) Armstrong, Kevin, Woodstock Hunsberger, Jeff, Baden Kimber, Julia, Elmira Langford, Matt, Thamesford Pynenburg, Gerard, Princeton Vanderspek, Derek, Tavistock Zilke, Mark, Embro DISTRICT 8 (Huron) Benoit, Lauren, London Colclough, Mike, Clinton Garniss, Adam, Wingham Hayden, Dan, Dungannon Hill, Paul, Varna Klomps, Jeff, Bayfield Miller, Rebecca, Wingham Simpson, Hannah, Goderich Underwood, Matt, Wingham Vincent, Margaret, Belgrave DISTRICT 9 (Perth) Barker, Brian, St. Marys Dow, Phil, Staffa Drummond, Matt, Shakespeare Martin, Kyle, Gowanstown McDonnell, Maggie, Gadshill McLagan, Kaye, Mitchell Vogels, Sharon, Dublin DISTRICT 10 (Grey, Bruce, Wellington) Chiappetta, Daniel, Guelph Claussen, Ben, Moorefield Dickison, Ian, Mildmay Furlong, Ian, Proton Station Helmuth, Shawn, Moorefield Jacobs, Matt, Ayton Legge, Aaron, Chesley Lowry, Rob, Kincardine Luymes, Rob, Palmerston Schill, Kurtis, Palmerston Schill, Pete , Palmerston Seifried, Ed, Harriston Trinier, Darcy, Palmerston Van Ankum, Henry, Alma von Westerholt, Max, Palmerston Walter, Don, Mildmay Young, Tammy, Cargill DISTRICT 11 (Dufferin, Simcoe, Halton, Peel, York) Curtis, Aaron, East Garafraxa Dobson, Tom, King City Elliott, Colin, Phelpston Kell, Steve, Churchill Langman, Ross, Elmvale Maurice, Paul, Tiny Ritchie, David, Midland Tilt, Charlie, Moffat ON Wright, Rob, Midhurst DISTRICT 12 (Durham, Northumberland, Kawartha, Peterborough, Hastings) Carberry, Kristen, Campbellford De Jong, Reuben, Roseneath Greydanus, Travis, Grafton Hickson, Joe, Lindsay Mountjoy, Dale, Uxbridge Parish, Shawn, Uxbridge Stapleton, Marvin, Newcastle DISTRICT 13 (Prince Edward, Lennox, Addington, Frontenac, Dawson, Andrew, Lanark Doelman, Jennifer, Douglas Foster, Delores, North Gower Maclean, Mike, Kingston McGregor, Ian, Braeside Pyke, Jason, Wolfe Island Renaud, Eleanor, Jasper DISTRICT 14 (Prescott, Russell, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry) Corput, Andy, Chesterville Dignard, Michel, Embrun Fraser, Mark, Maxville Haerle, Markus, St. Isidore Kruszel, Alan, Newington Roosendaal, Jan, Winchester Vanden Bosch, Brent, Chesterville Vogel, Jakob, Monkland Winters, Kevin, Finch DISTRICT 15 (Northern Ontario) Bowman, Matt, Thornloe Brielmann, Timo, Pinewood Cloutier, Simon, Earlton Phillips, Terry, New Liskeard Runnalls, Loren, New Liskeard Seed, Jason, Earlton Seed, Tanja, New Liskeard Note: Delegate list is accurate as of publication. Check www.gfo.ca/About/Districts/ for updates.
22 An update on Grain Farmers of Ontario news and events FROM THE CHAIR A Q&A with Brendan Byrne, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. In the March 2022 Ontario Grain Farmer, you spoke about the organization's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training. How are the DEI programs going? DEI is something we are working on weaving into everything we do. This year we welcome our first female directors — Julie Maw from District 3 and Angela Zilke from District 7, and I look forward to hearing from more diverse voices at our board table. We hosted a very successful Women's Grain Symposium in November. We have worked on updating the imagery we use in our promotions to be more diverse, and our hybrid working model is not only more inclusive but is helping us attract amazing new talent. Fundamentally, there is a need for the organization, as leaders, to embrace empathy and think of others, to seek out new voices and experiences to join us and make us stronger, and to ensure everyone has the equal tools and opportunities to succeed. I look forward to this year and how we will build on our successes and learn and grow. • Do you have a question for our chair? Email GrainTALK@gfo.ca. YOUR GRAIN FARMERS OF ONTARIO TEAM Here is our next installment of profiles of your Grain Farmers of Ontario Board of Directors and staff to help introduce you to the team. JULIE MAW, DIRECTOR, DISTRICT 3 (LAMBTON) Julie Maw was elected as director for District 3 (Lambton) in January 2023. She has previously served as a delegate for five years, district treasurer, and on the Grain Farmers of Ontario Research and Innovation committee. Maw looks forward to being a voice for farmers to bring their issues locally and provincially to the table and promoting agriculture to educate consumers about where their food comes from. Sustainability for future farmers is important to Maw, and she looks forward to collaborating with various organizational partnerships to succeed in common goals. Maw’s educational background is in sports management, where she enjoyed working in the OHL and entertainment sectors. After returning home to Lambton, she continued her business career with a financial institution as a business and agriculture lender. Now farming soybeans, corn, and wheat in south Lambton with family, her husband Kyle and their three children, Logan, Emery and Hudson; Maw also owns and operates a Maizex Seeds dealership and provides custom farming work for several local farmers. She thrives on an active lifestyle, taking her sons to minor hockey, lacrosse, and baseball throughout the year. Maw is a 4-H leader in Lambton and enjoys running clubs for children to learn and experience new opportunities. In the fall, she can be found volunteering at the Brigden Fair. She can be found on Twitter @mooremawfarms. ANGELA ZILKE, DIRECTOR, DISTRICT 7 (OXFORD, WATERLOO) Angela Zilke was elected to the position of director of District 7 (Oxford, Waterloo) at their District Meeting in January 2023. She has been involved with the district for 11 years as the administrative assistant and as an alternate delegate in 2022. As a passionate advocate for farmers in her district, as director, Zilke wants to focus on improving communication between farmers and consumers to fight misinformation about agricultural practices. Zilke, who was raised on an Embro, Ontario dairy farm, farms with her husband, Mark, where they grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and edible beans on their 400-acre farm in the Embro/Hickson, Ontario area. In partnership with Mark's brothers, the Zilkes manage a total of 4,000 acres of crops. Before her marriage in 1995 and returning to the farm full-time in 1996 to raise her family, Zilke worked in accounting and administration. Angela and Mark are parents to four children: Kate, Matt, Hannah, and Danielle, and grandparents to Oliver, born in 2022. Zilke spends much of her free time refurbishing the farm's farmhouses and barns, including the family's 100-year-old "labour of love" house in the village. SIGN UP TODAY FOR GRAINTALK E-NEWS Get the latest farm news and important Grain Farmers of Ontario updates delivered to your inbox each week! Go online to www.gfo.ca and click on the button to subscribe. •