by Scott Banks 
OMAFRA, Cropping Systems Specialist
KEMPTVILLE — The improved weather in the third week of July has made a big difference in the crops in the area. The dryer conditions and heat have really improved the colour and growth of most crops. Several growers have been able to cut and make dry hay for the first time in several weeks. In several situations, the first cut was delayed due to the excessive rainfall resulting in saturated soils and unfavourable dry haymaking conditions.

There are still some areas with Potato Leaf Hoppers (PLH) pressure in alfalfa and edible bean fields. PLH feeding is where the insect sucks the juice from the plant leaves and that leaves a blockage in the leaf. This leaves the appearance of a bronze colour across the field and results in stunting plant growth and quality. If above threshold levels, PLHs can significantly reduce yield and quality.

Many winter wheat stands look good and will be ready to harvest in the next three to four weeks. Remember wheat quality decreases as harvest is delayed. Depending on harvest weather conditions, it may be better to harvest the wheat at a slightly higher moisture and put in the bins to dry down to 14.5 per cent moisture rather than leave it in the field to dry-down where it is exposed to more weathering.

Growers concerned about white mold pressure in soybeans should consider applying fungicide with white mold suppression on the label. To get satisfactory results, two applications are required; one at first flower (R1) followed by a second application at full flower (R2) about 10 to 14 days later.