CROP SCENE INVESTIGATION – 27: What happened to Larry’s wheat? – Solved


The poor-performing wheat in Larry’s field suffered from nutrient deficiency after he mistakenly adjusted the fertilizer rate rather than the seeding rate.

Agronomist Paul Sullivan explains that Larry had intended to increase the seeding rate on his drill as he finished up planting, but in his haste he somehow managed to change the fertilizer setting, reducing the flow of in-furrow starter fertilizer.

The curious case of Quinn’s corn

Why did the emergence get progressively worse as he moved 
from the first field planted to the later ones?


In spring 2009, many growers struggled to get their corn planted in rainy, wet conditions. In early June, after the crop was finally planted, Dekalb field agronomist Sean Cochrane got a call from Quinn, a Hastings County grower, asking if Cochrane could help him make sense of the erratic emergence that he had observed in his fields.

CROP SCENE INVESTIGATION – 27: What happened to Larry’s wheat?


Agronomist and certified crop advisor Paul Sullivan spends a lot of time walking fields. In late June, you can find him out in wheat fields trying to determine the best application timing for fungicides. He knows what he’s looking for – a field that has even heading with 75 per cent of the heads on the main stem fully emerged.

Crops: Urban compost shows promising results for crop yields

The material from the Orgaworld plant in London has twice the organic material of mushroom compost, but the downside is that the salt content is high


Some London area farmers are turning to composted kitchen and yard waste to replace organic matter in their fields.

Dorchester area farmer John Killins and his partner Travis Woolings distribute composted material produced at the London-based Orgaworld plant and they also use it on their fields.

Crops: It pays to use soybean seed treatments for early-season aphid protection

Using an insecticide seed treatment like CruiserMaxx Beans can bring a payback of more than one to 1.5 bushels an acre. In stressful years, it could be a lifesaver


After more than 105 trials in the last five years, we’re convinced that using an insecticide seed treatment, like CruiserMaxx Beans, in soybeans pays off. And, in a particularly tough weather year with heavy aphid pressure, seed treatments could turn into an early-season lifesaver.

CROP SCENE INVESTIGATION Solved – 24: Why has Stan’s wheat stalled?


Stan’s wheat field failed to meet his expectations because he didn't clean out the sprayer tank after applying his weed control.

While the tank only contained 90 to 115 litres (20 to 25 gallons) of the Pardner/MCPA 500/Tilt herbicide and fungicide application, this leftover spray packed enough wallop to injure Stan’s wheat and reduce yields by 50 to 75 per cent.

CROP SCENE INVESTIGATION – 25: The case of the 20-foot header


For Keith Reid, soil fertility specialist for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, a soil fertility test is as powerful a diagnostic tool as an X-ray. But a fertility test often only confirms a diagnosis that Reid has reached after contemplating every field fact – from damage patterns to field history and even the width of a combine header.

This was the case when Reid arrived at a Bruce County soybean field in mid-July after a grower named Allan called seeking some advice.

CROP SCENE INVESTIGATION 23 SOLVED: Why did Arthur’s soybeans get ‘the streaks?’


The streaks in Arthur’s soybean field were caused by the high levels of straw in the manure that he applied randomly on the field before planting soybeans.

Generally, manure makes a positive contribution to a soybean crop. But the excessive levels of straw in Arthur's manure, and the heavy rate of application, caused a high carbon (C) to nitrogen (N) ratio, which actually starved the soybean plants of N.


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