Ontario Diagnostic Day 3: Managing corn rootworm, white mould, and tracking tar spot

University of Guelph associate professor David Hooker and OMAFRA pathologist Albert Tenuta talk white mould on Ontario Diagnostic Days.

Corn and soybean insects and disease are the focus of Day 3 of Ontario Diagnostic Days.

The annual Ontario field crop diagnostic days held at Ridgetown, Elora, and Winchester are again virtual in 2021.

On this episode, host Shaun Haney is joined by OMAFRA field crops entomologist Tracey Baute to discuss growing concern about corn rootworm resistance to Bt proteins and hybrids in Ontario. Rootworm resistance, which was detected in the province in 2020, is a serious threat and growers could face a similar situation as the U.S. where they’re dealing with complete resistance to Bt methods of rootworm control.

What are you looking for? “Goosenecking” of corn plants, root feeding, and distinguishing between northern and western corn rootworm in the beetle stage so researchers can track the population movement.

Baute says Ontario growers need to adopt sustainable management tactics, including crop rotation, so they can continue to rely on Bt hybrids to control the pest.

University of Guelph research scientist Jocelyn Smith joins the program to help growers understand corn rootworm’s life cycle and how to rate corn roots for rootworm injury. She also discusses how growers can work with researchers to identify and assess resistance to Bt hybrids in their fields.

Corn leaf diseases are also on the menu. OMAFRA field crops pathologist Albert Tenuta updates Ontario growers on the expansion and impact of tar spot in the province. The disease has moved through the U.S. Midwest, into Michigan and Wisconsin, before taking root in Ontario in 2020. On this episode, Tenuta returns to the location where tar spot was first discovered in the province to see how the disease is tracking in 2021 and discusses options growers have to mitigate the impact of the yield robber.

Soybeans and white mould are also up for discussion as Tenuta and University of Guelph associate professor David Hooker check out soybean plots at Ridgetown campus and share how growers can manage crop canopy to better defend against the disease. (More about the series after the video.)

The organizing committees of these three highly successful in-field education and learning events are again partnering with crop researchers and extension, along with support from RealAgriculture and a host of sponsors to bring you a series of eight Ontario Diagnostic Days episodes.

We would like to thank the following sponsoring organizations: The Grain Farmers of Ontario, AGRIS Co-operative, BASF, Bayer/DeKalb, Corteva/Pioneer, Great Lakes Grain, Maizex Seeds, The Mosaic Company, PRIDE Seeds, RealAgriculture, and Syngenta.

The virtual video series gives the OMAFRA field crop team, research colleagues from the University of Guelph, and industry agronomists an opportunity to deliver diagnostic insights in a new way, sharing what attendees have come to expect from Diagnostic Days at Ridgetown, Elora, and Winchester. As part of the offering, continuing education credits (CEU) will also be available.

The series kicked off with this one-hour episode on Tuesday, July 20. A new episode is published every two weeks, on Tuesdays at 9 am Eastern, through to November 2, 2021. Each episode will highlight a general field crop agronomic theme and will be available here on RealAgriculture for viewing, as well as the OMAFRA Field Crop News website. All episodes will also be available in our main podcast feed.

Historically, these in-person diagnostic days have provided some of the best opportunities for certified crop advisors (CCAs) to acquire a broad range of CEUs.

Certified crop advisors will be able to collect eight CEUs by registering for the event here. Registration is required for processing CEU credit requests and can be done up to December 1, 2021. Directions for applying for CEUs will be provided during each episode.

The videos are free and registration is not required for Grain Farmers of Ontario members, media, and those not seeking CEU credits.

Registration Fees  — Only required if applying for CEU Credits

·      $100 (plus HST) for eight CEU credits. A receipt/confirmation email will be provided.

Click here for previous Ontario Diagnostic Days episodes.

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