Published on Tue, 04/14/2015 by BASF Canada

Increase expected for Canadian wheat acres in 2015

According to Statistics Canada, 2014 national wheat production (excluding durum) decreased by 22.26 percent when compared to 2013. Harvested area decreased by 10.28 percent and average yield decreased by 13.35 percent. The results of 2014 came from a combination of aspects such as the late harvest and excessive moisture affecting the amount of acres seeded in eastern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. 

The Canadian Outlook for Principal Field Crops released earlier this year from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada forecasts that wheat production will slightly increase to 24.24 million tonnes in the 2015-16 season. The small increase of wheat forecasted from 2014 to 2015 will come from a four percent increase in spring wheat.

As wheat acres are expected to slightly increase this season, it is important that growers who are seeding wheat and other cereals consider incorporating a number of best practices on their farm in order to have a successful season and maximize their returns.

At a recent Knowledge Harvest event in Brandon, MB, BASF, alongside industry experts, presented on a number of solutions available to help delegates grow a successful cereal crop.

“In order to maximize yield potential in cereals, it is important to look at incorporating the best management practices all season long,” said Danielle Eastman, Brand Manager for West Herbicides and Clearfield at BASF. “We now offer a full cereal portfolio to help growers maximize their returns starting with pre-seed products all the way through to post-harvest.”

In the spring it’s important to start with the cleanest fields possible and control weeds early in the season when they are smaller and easier to manage. According to Eastman, one of the main benefits of applying a pre-seed glyphosate tank-mix partner like Heat LQ in cereals is to help manage Group 2- and glyphosate-resistant weeds.

Once the seed has germinated, seed- and soil-borne diseases like Fusarium become a concern. In the past, Fusarium was commonly found in Ontario and Manitoba, but research has shown it has begun to spread throughout Saskatchewan and into areas of Alberta.

According to BASF Technical Marketing Specialist Russell Trischuk, the foundation of a good seed treatment is disease control. “Using a fungicide seed treatment like Insure Cereal will provide excellent disease control, including the highest level of Fusarium management in the market, as well as excellent germination and emergence even in adverse soil conditions.”

Once the crop has emerged, tough and resistant weeds like volunteer barley and Group 1-resistant wild oats can become the next complication. “Using herbicides like Altitude FX and Altitude FX2, which are used as part of the Clearfield Production System for wheat, not only provide superior control of a wide spectrum of grass and broadleaf weeds, but also help manage Group 1 resistance,” said Eastman.

For growers concerned with leaf diseases, according to research from BASF, spraying a fungicide at the flag leaf is the most important application timing to maximize efficacy on key leaf diseases. In areas where Fusarium Head Blight is concerned, growers should follow up this application with preventative fungicide at 20 percent flower. These applications have shown up to a 10 bu/ac yield increase in treated vs. untreated as well as improvement in grain quality due to the decrease in FDK and DON with a Fusarium Head Blight product.

“An application of Twinline fungicide (Group 3 and Group 11) at the flag leaf provides excellent disease control and AgCelence plant health benefits building a stronger, healthier plant. When you follow that up with an application of Caramba fungicide (Group 3) at heading, this provides the greatest yield increase and improves overall grain quality by reducing Fusarium Damaged Kernels,” said Glen Forster, Technical Marketing Specialist, Fungicides at BASF.

Eastman adds that with the increase of cereal (wheat) acres projected for this year, it will be important for growers to consider the full cereal portfolio from BASF and work with their sales team for support.

To see footage from Knowledge Harvest, visit the BASF AgSolutions YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/TiHkIiFh6KY

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