Field activity continues in full gear as soils become fit for fieldwork. Many areas received some rainfall over the weekend, with areas of Kent and Essex catching heavier bands of rain that left over 100 mm in a few locations. As it happens every year a few areas of the province have nearly completed planting, while areas with heavier soils wait for decent planting conditions to occur. Fields that were planted to cover crops last fall - both fall and spring terminated - have required more tillage than fields without cover. A mat of residue kept soils wet and cold and delayed planting in those fields.
In government, academia, industry – and indeed in the field itself – problems that have long been hidden or dismissed are starting to see the light of day. These efforts follow a University of Guelph study in 2015-2016 of more than 1,000 participants that revealed nearly 60 per cent met the classification for anxiety, 45 per cent for high stress and 35 per cent for depression.
The weather in the past week has being great for planting. Crop heat unit accumulation from the 1st of May are about 200 as of the 15th of May as compared to the normal of 150 (Ottawa airport). Some areas had a light frosts this past Friday and Saturday. Where the fields were left uneven last fall, the soils are working up lumpy requiring more secondary tillage. Smoother fields were fine with a shallow, light working.
There have been many reports of cereal leaf beetle adult activity over the last few weeks. Adults do some feeding but also lay eggs that give rise to the real issue – cereal leaf beetle larvae. Eggs will be hatching within the next week or so. With daily growing degree days accumulating more quickly than usual, the populations and feeding activity could catch us off guard. A few locations tend to experience a higher frequency of infestations including fields near Dresden, Bolton, Stayner, Seaforth, and Clinton but reports from other locations with significant adult activity have come in this year. Stay vigilant and monitor fields over the next three weeks in particular.