Stripe rust in the grasses of a grass and alfalfa mix hay field located near South Mountain. Banks Photo

By Kelsey Banks, Agronomist
AgriNews Contributor

It is hard to believe that the 2021 growing season is coming to an end. We have experienced the good and the bad, mentally, emotionally and in the field, but hopefully all crops are harvested with good yield, good quality, and no breakdowns! Here is your crop update as of August 20, 2021 in eastern Ontario:

This year’s crop is coming along nicely, considering the rough environmental conditions it endured with weather. However, corn loves the heat and humidity so maturation continues. There have been some signs of Corn Earworm in some fields, but not enough to hit threshold. The cobs are coming through nicely and yield estimations are starting to be made throughout eastern Ontario.

When we had that frost in early June, some patches or fields of soybeans had to be replanted. The replanted soybeans do look good, but if they were planted in patches of a field, you should ask your agronomist if it may be worth desiccating the whole field for easier harvest as the optimal harvest timings may not be the same with the surrounding soybeans. There are signs of white mould in some fields in patches.

Winter wheat and oats harvest have been completed in most of Eastern Ontario. Spring wheat harvest is beginning or will be soon. Overall, harvested yield and quality has been average to good.

Most of the hay has now been cut for this year and we will soon be entering, possibly into, the critical fall harvest period for alfalfa. From OMAFRA’s forage crops online, “The Critical Fall Harvest Period for alfalfa is the 6-week rest period (450 Growing Degree Days, base 5°C) preceding the average date of the first killing frost, when alfalfa stops growing. Not cutting during this period allows alfalfa plants to re-grow and build up sufficient root reserves to survive the winter and grow more aggressively in the spring.” Some mixed grass and alfalfa fields have had severe stripe rust after the last cut in the grasses.

For more information, please contact your agronomist.