Yesterday’s blog came from sunny-in the morning, rainy-in the afternoon Almonte Ontario. Back home today.
“Four the weekLygus schmygus. Sweep net counts approaching thresholds have been reported in many areas across the Prairies, but high counts may not require a spray if canola is growing vigorously and has good moisture conditions. Low bertha. Trap counts for bertha armyworm adults are fairly low across the Prairies, except for a few hotspots in central Alberta. This suggests a minimal threat of heavy worm damage overall, but don’t let your guard down completely. Diamond backtrack. Beneficials seem to be doing a good job on diamondback moth larvae. Unless you see significant pod feeding and counts exceed 20-30 per square foot at a few random sites in the field, spraying will not likely provide an economic return. Why the miSing podS? Six leading factors can cause blanks up the stem. Sulphur deficiency is one of them, and could be a leading contender this year.”
The cooler, moister summer is favouring fungi, not bugs.
“Intrepid Potash revealed a return to rising sales values for its potash, and forecast price increases would stick despite the tumble in grain markets, as the group unveiled a bigger-than-expected return to the black.The US-based group unveiled earnings of $5.56m for the April-to-June period a figure which, while down 51% year on year, represented the first profits in three quarters. The return to the black reflected in part efforts to cut costs, as Intrepid and other potash groups struggled against a market thrown into turmoil after Russia’s Uralkali a year ago broke up the Belarusian Potash Company cartel, which controlled more than 40% of world trade. The cartel’s demise prompted a slump on potash prices, as buyers stood back, awaiting to see how far prices would fall. However, Intrepid also noted a return to growth in prices it achieved for its potash, up 4% quarter on quarter to $363 per tonne, as demand swelled, although values remained well below the $443 a tonne it achieved in the same period of 2013.”
There aren’t many growers putting out potash at the moment. We shall see, a press release does not a market make.
“Month-ends are often associated with retreats in grain markets, as funds withdraw cash to pay clients, bonuses etc.And investors need little encouragement in the current environment to put another dent in prices, with the weather forecasts continuing to look benign for next week, after a current dry spell. “Weather is non-threatening as forecasts add some western Corn Belt moisture 8-to-10 days out,” CHS Hedging said. For corn, “temperatures are expected to remain moderate as the last 25% of the crop begins to pollinate”. Benson Quinn Commodities said: “With rains in outlook next week for north western Midwest, the direction the weather is taking us is lower.””
More cheery excuses from the marketeers.
“Winter wheat harvest 2014 will start shortly in Manitoba. Field surveys being conducted by MAFRD staff are indicating higher than normal levels of fusarium head blight (FHB) in many winter wheat fields.Unfortunately at this late stage of the growing season where harvest is right around the corner, there are no easy answers in managing FHB that is present. However, before harvest (and before a preharvest treatment is applied if one is planned), farmers and agronomists should head out to the fields for some final scouting to determine what, if any, harvest and storage strategies can be used to minimize the impact of fusarium damaged kernels. Careful harvesting, drying and storage strategies are the farmer’s best way to try and maximize grain quality and marketability. The key at harvest is to try and prevent infected kernels from going into storage. Here are a few suggestions:
- Thoroughly scout each field noting if there are any differences in infection levels between fields or if there are patterns within fields that are more affected by FHB, such as low areas or fungicide application misses.
- Use higher fan speeds to try and blow infected kernels out the back. Research at Ridgetown found there was a tenfold decrease in Fusarium-damaged kernels in the grain sample when fan speeds were operated to deliver maximum air blast. However, the downside to this strategy is higher fan speeds can result in healthy kernels going out the back as well. And infected kernels blown out the back can provide a source of inoculum in future years.
- Reduce combine travel speed as the slower speed allows for increased separation of the grain by allowing the increased air blast time to separate the good kernels from the infected kernels.
- After harvest, gravity table grain separation may be effective in removing light-weight, damaged kernels. The increased marketability of the cleaned grain may pay for the cost of the clean-out process.”