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.

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


During the winter months, crop consultants such as certified crop advisor Mervyn Erb spend much of their time sharing the latest crop management insights with growers in preparation for the coming season.

“It’s great when growers come to a presentation, listen to your advice and act on it,” says Erb. But even the best advice can fall flat if growers are not careful and stray from best practices.

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


In spring, when growers see nice, even emergence across a soybean field, there’s an immediate sense of relief. But when random streaks of discoloured plants appear throughout the field, that feeling of satisfaction turns to dread as thoughts of vanishing yield overpower spring optimism.

That’s what Pioneer Hi-Bred agronomist Scott Fife encountered when he received a mid-June call from a grower seeking his advice.

CROP SCENE INVESTIGATION – 22: What’s the culprit in Bill’s sprayer tank?


Herbicides are great tools for growers to use in defending crops against yield-robbing weeds. But when crop injury occurs after spraying, the herbicide and seed technology is often at the top of the suspect list.

In some cases, however, the evidence just doesn’t add up and that’s when Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs’ Weed Management Lead, Mike Cowbrough, gets a call.

CROP SCENE INVESTIGATION – 20: What teamed up to damage Matthew’s corn? – Solved


There were definitely a few issues with this corn field. You’re right if you guessed that nitrogen deficiency, soil compaction and/or slug feeding contributed to Matthew’s problem.

It made sense that the outside 12 rows looked better than the rest of the field when I learned that Matthew had opened up the outer part of the field last fall for early corn silage harvest. This meant very little trash was left on the soil surface in this area.


© AgMedia Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Subscribe to RSS - Crops