Derek's Notes


This weeks blog is brought to you by ~ Dwight Willoughby, P.Ag, CCSC

In our area canola growers will be loading up their sprayers with fungicides to protect their canola from Sclerotina.  Every year is different for timing, I recall the early infection  last year caught some spraying late.  Recent rains and a strong canopy are setting up environmental conditions to bring disease.  There are a number of very good fungicides.  The newest one;

· Combines two leading sclerotinia active ingredients, Lance and Proline

· Convenient liquid premix 70 acres per case

· Multiple mode-of-action

· Apply 20 to 50% bloom stage

· Strong disease management in a wide range of crops, including canola, peas, and soybeans

Note: A 2nd application can be made 7 to 14 days after 1st application if disease persists, or weather conditions favor disease

Sortan™ IS on Corn

Sortan IS Field Results Looking Impressive

 New Sortan IS is another versatile tool that can be applied from pre-emergence or spike to the V3 stage, which will help growers keep their corn weed free during the critical weed-free period.


  • The critical weed free period in corn is from emergence to the V4 (6 leaf) stage.


  • Removing weeds during this period is key to minimizing yield loss due to weed competition in corn.


Our corn growers fields are approaching V3 leaf stage, so in the next coming days the window is still open to apply Sortan IS. Below are some pictures of recently sprayed weeds in corn.


Sortan control in Domain, MB



Criteria for selecting soybean varieties

This weeks blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, CCSC, P.Ag

Yield potential

  1. Maturity
  2. Pest resistance

Yield Potential

  • Most soybean varieties have genetic yield potentials well over 100 bu/A
  • The best measure of variety performance is a multi-location average and consistently high performance.
    • When a set of varieties is tested for yield over a range of environments, their rank order commonly changes, which indicates that some varieties are better adapted to a specific environment than others.
    • Sometimes it is best to select varieties with characteristics that will help them perform well in the cultural system and environment to be used rather than on yield alone.
    • For example, if the field has a history of phytophthora, then select resistant or highly tolerant varieties to address that problem.


Yield reflects a variety’s ability to grow under a set of field conditions, having noted that, maturity is nearly as important criterion in selecting a variety.  If a variety is too early or too late at a location, it will be limited in potential performance.

Generally, each 10-day delay of planting in May delays maturity 3 to 5 days in the fall. 

Maturity windows should be used to select varieties that mature at different times to allow for timely harvest in the fall.  As acres of soybeans increase it is our observation farmers are trending to blend a 60/40 split of full season to mid season maturity.

The earliest and latest varieties within a 00 group may differ by as much as two weeks in maturity.

Pioneer’s P006T46 and P005T13 fit this mid season balance of yield and timely harvest.

Maturity is noted as when 95% of the pods have turned brown.  This is not harvest maturity, but is the time when seeds are physiologically mature.  The benefit of a mid season variety vs. a full season this past year allowed harvest to start as much as 5 to 7 days sooner.

Branching versus single main stem varieties

  • Soybean varieties range in growth habits which can be benefit to farms that seed narrow to wide rows.
  • The range is from highly branching types to thin-line types which produce a single, main stem.
  • Row width and plant population may alter the growth habit of soybeans enough to somewhat change the degree of branching.
  • Branching may be beneficial under lodging conditions of if hail is a risk.

Pioneer’s Ranking

Full season varieties

Branchy Variety – P008T70R

Single Stem Variety – P008T22R2

Mid Season Varieties

Single Stem – P006T46R / P005T13R



2016 Nitrate Testing


~This weeks blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P.Ag, CCSC~

Corn Stalk Nitrate Testing

More agronomists are using the “cornstalk nitrate test” late in the season to evaluate their “N” management. This tissue testing procedure was developed at Iowa State University to help evaluate nitrogen management practices in corn as the crop matures.

The research shows that when corn has not had enough nitrogen, the nitrate value in the lower portion of the cornstalk will be low. If too much nitrogen was applied, the nitrate level in the lower stalk will test high.

This test may be of particular interest to growers who deal with manure or those wishing to evaluate their nitrogen fertility program.


Corn Stalk Nitrate Test Interpretations / Ranges and indexes used to interpret shown below

Low: (Less than 250 ppm) Likely that nitrogen was deficient and limited yield

Marginal: (250 – 700 ppm) Possible that nitrogen deficiency limited yield

Optimal: (700 – 2000 ppm) Yield was not limited by nitrogen

Excess: (> 2000 ppm) Nitrogen supply was excessive


2016 Samples Results

Corn stalks were collected midway through harvest in a random pattern and shipped to Agvise North Dakota.  Results were interesting, a couple fields were manure, others conventional programs and a couple top dressed.  Plans are to continue this service for interested customers

Minimizing Flea Beetle Damage

~ This weeks blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P.Ag, CCSC


All Pioneer canola seed come treated with Helix Vibrance.  Seed treatments last 3 to 4 weeks under good growing conditions, however planting canola early and into cooler soils slows germination and plant growth.   In these conditions any seed treatment provides less than optimal protection.  As well lower than recommended seeding rates could increase the risk of damage from flea beetles.   This past spring we notice dry soils slowed emergence.  In areas of high flea beetle populations declining plant stand numbers.   Adding Lumiderm can improve control of flea beetles as well as control cut worm species.

Seed treatments can be maximized when in sync with cropping practices.

Here are some tips and suggestions:

  • Control cruciferous weeds (host for flea beetles)
  • Shallow seeding
  • Optimal canola emergence, 10C which promotes fast germ and plant growth
  • Target 6 to 10 plants per square foot seeding rate (based on 1000 gram weight)
  • Tall stubble interferes with flea beetle movement
  • Flea beetles tend to move in from neighbouring border fields that were canola the previous year.
  • Under hot windy weather flea beetles move great distances, so scout the entire field
  • At 25% damage apply a foliar insecticide (if low plant numbers the threshold should be reduced accordingly).   Attached feeding chart (croptalk, MAFRD)


Straight Combining Canola

~ This week’s blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P.Ag,  CCSC

An interesting discussion of straight combing canola was published in the Canola Digest Science magazine.  The article sighted a four year study sponsored by SaskCanola.  Research noted differences in resistance to pod drop and pod shatter between 15 canola hybrids across varying growing seasons.   The study noted environmental conditions,  generally had a larger impact on yield reductions than varieties as well timeliness matters more than variety.

Grower Testimonial

~ Adam Legault  (Elie, MB)

“Pioneer 46H75 was a pleasure to straight cut this year.  It also slightly outperformed competing varieties on our farm.  With superior weed control options and a basis premium, I see good reason to include it in our 2017 crop plan.”

Wrapping up Harvest 2016


~ This week’s blog is brought to you by Erin Erb

It’s a beautiful sunny Monday morning.   There are signs of the weather we had this past weekend on the ground in the form of puddles and mud, allowing Derek a chance to work in the office for the morning rather than in the field harvesting beans.  And as I sit here in the office next to him (who is currently on his phone for a conference call) I hear him tell colleagues that we had a little over an inch of rain and that our farm still has around 900 acres left to go before we can call an end to Harvest 2016 on our farm.    Wait, did Derek just say we are nearly done?  Or am I just convincing myself that is what he is telling the boys?   In the meantime, every 10 minutes or so, our little heater here in the office turns on, reminding me that it isn’t as warm as it was weeks ago.  Within a month or two, the heater may be pumping out warm air more frequently in our tiny 10 x 10 office, and I will be wearing a jacket to work rather than a light sweater.

I know that there are some of you out there that are still working on getting your beans off,  and perhaps getting your equipment ready for corn harvest, there are others in our area that have officially put Harvest 2016 to bed.    But the truth is, it’s never really over… right?

Years ago, I just assumed that once harvest was done, that was when my Grandfather would put his feet up and rest.   I admit, I was very wrong in that assumption.   I quickly learned that when the combines leave the field at the end of the season, all that truly happens is more work.  Drying, ditching, field work prepping for the next season, marketing, courses, grower meetings, learning about new products and technologies and deciding what might work for your next years crop, paying bills, getting bookwork in order for the accountant, working your second job, hauling grain, building new sheds, putting up new bins, tuning up equipment, deciding which pieces of equipment stays or goes, pricing out seed and fertilizer,  and for some working on their succession plans.  I’m sure I have missed many other tasks that are associated with farming, it feels at times the list never ends.  I’ve only been part of this life for 16 years.  I’m no expert, I’m just an observer of all the hard work you all put in to your operations and to say I’m impressed by you all is really a huge understatement.

With the large to-do list noted above, I do hope that you can carve out  some time to put your feet up for a moment, and enjoy the fruits of your hard work this past growing season.  Spend time with your families, that either worked side by side with you, or missed having you around during the late summer and during the fall.

I will never forget the tweet Derek sent out last year, followed up by a voice mail message to our daughters on how much he missed them and how thankful he was that they supported him.



We here at Derek Erb Seeds hope that each and every one of you have a safe and successful harvest this year, and we hope you know how much your hard work on your farm is appreciated by so many!

~ Erin

DuPont™ Express® herbicides


DuPont™ Express® herbicides

Herbicide Resistance: 

Herbicide resistant weeds are becoming a significant issue across Western Canada. Bringing a new herbicide active to market is very costly and time consuming, CropLife International estimates it takes over 11 years and $268M on average. For these reasons, we cannot rely on new herbicides to come to our rescue and must be proactive in helping to preserve the herbicide tools we already have in place. Recent research indicates that combining multiple modes of action in the same tank mix is more effective in delaying resistance than rotating herbicides. Adding a product like Express® to your glyphosate in a post-harvest or pre-seed burndown is the easiest way to incorporate an additional mode of action to reduce the pressure on glyphosate alone, as well to provide better control of hard to kill weeds.

Controlling weeds in the fall:

There are a number of good reasons to target weed control in the fall.  Fall temperatures trigger the movement of nutrients to the roots of perennials and biennials to build up reserves for the following season. A systemic herbicide, like Express®, takes advantage of this movement into the root system, allowing for better control. Furthermore, winter annuals can be targeted in the fall while they’re still small, rather than waiting until spring when they’re larger and can out compete your crop. Finally, fall is a good time to control the weeds you can’t effectively manage with in crop herbicides for pulses (like peas, lentils) and canola.

Application Tips: 

Apply to actively growing weeds 

  • Weeds damaged at harvest need time to accumulate new leaf tissue. This is essential for herbicide uptake and efficacy

Spraying after a frost

  • Frost damaged weeds are not healthy and will not take up herbicide
  • Delay spraying if leaf tissues are blackened, browned or dark green, these are signs of cold temperature damage. Leaves should be vibrant green, shiny and pliable. Look for new growth

Timing & weather conditions 

  • Generally, recommend application by October 1st
  • Spray in late morning or afternoon, when temperatures are warmer and heavy dew is off the plant
  • Ideally, apply when temperatures are above 10oC and rising on days with predicted highs above 15oC or more
  • Bright sunny conditions are ideal for moving herbicides to the roots where they will have the most impact next year

DuPont ™ Express® brand herbicides: 

All Express® herbicides are powered by Solumax® soluble granules that dissolve, not just disperse, for efficient plant absorption resulting in consistent weed control and easy sprayer cleanout.

Express® works systemically within the plant right down to the roots, so weeds will not grow back. Express® is available in convenient, compact packaging, or customized for a grower’s specific field or spray tank size as PrecisionPac® non-crop herbicide blends.

DuPont™ Express® SG – For maximum cropping & timing flexibility 

Express® SG offers excellent value tank mixed with 0.5 REL glyphosate rather than bumping up the rate of glyphosate alone. Combining 2 herbicide modes of action versus 1, results in proactive resistance management. Express® SG will control weeds not controlled by glyphosate alone, and provides improved control of the toughest weeds such as volunteer canola (excluding ClearField® varieties), dandelion, and wild buckwheat (see label for complete list). Express® SG offers maximum application & cropping flexibility.

  • Pre-seed: 
    • Seed cereals, field peas, dry beans, faba beans, lupin, soybeans, alfalfa, canary seed, red clover or alsike clover, smooth or meadow bromegrass, timothy & creeping red rescue 24 hours after application
  • Chem-fallow 
  • Post-Harvest:  
    • Seed winter wheat 24 hours after fall burn off
    • Seed any cereal crop, canola, canary seed, alfalfa, field peas, lentils, dry beans, fababeans, lupin, soybean, flax, alfalfa, red clover or alsike clover, smooth bromegrass, meadow bromegrass, timothy and creeping red fescue the following spring

DuPont™ Express® PRO – Professional strength burn-off with extended control

Express® PRO delivers all of the benefits as Express® SG but also provides extended control (up to 15 days+) of key tough weeds such as: wild buckwheat, volunteer canola (excluding ClearField® varieties), and cleavers (see label for complete list). Express® PRO is a great option to use ahead of winter wheat in the fall to ensure a clean start next spring. Limit the use of Express® PRO to one application per season.

  • Pre-seed:  
    • Apply prior to seeding spring wheat, winter wheat, durum wheat or barley
  • Chem-fallow 
  • Post-Harvest
    • Seed winter wheat 24 hours after fall burn off
    • Seed wheat, barley or oats next spring


Fall Applied Express® SG. Weed control efficacy of Express® SG applied post-harvest as shown compared with a sprayer miss. Photo taken the following spring.


For more information on Express® or other DuPont products please contact:

Caelyn Shearer

DuPont Crop Protection

Grower Specialist, Eastern Manitoba

(204) 918-8356

As with all crop protection products, read and follow label instructions carefully.   Member of CropLife Canada. Unless indicated, trademarks with ®, ™ or sm are trademarks of DuPont or affiliates. © 2016 DuPont.

Post-Harvest Weed Control for a Better Start Next Spring

distinctThis week’s blog is brought to you by Paula Halabicki, BASF Technical Service Specialist

Distinct herbicide provides an excellent broad spectrum and alternative mode of action product for use on broadleaf annual, winter annual and perennial weeds in the post-harvest use segment.  Distinct combines two modes of action: dicamba, a Group 4 synthectic auxin and diflufenzopyr, a Group 19 that allows the weed control to glyphosate, resulting in cleaner fields in the spring and an effective herbicide resistance management strategy.

Here are some tips for the best results with Distinct applied in the fall:

  • Apply in the morning or early afternoon, as plants need two to four hours of 10 degrees Celsius or greater for effective translocation of systemic herbicides like Distinct.
  • Give weeds 1 or 2 days after frost before scouting to determine if herbicide applications are still available.
  • Leaves of weeds should have >60% green after a frost event for effective uptake of herbicides.  If more than 40% of tissue is dead due to frost, herbicides will be ineffective on weeds.
  • Perennial weeds can tolerate some frost depending on temperatures leading up to the frost event.  If daily temperature lows reach 5 degrees  or lower for multiple days prior to the frost event, perennial plants “harden off” and may with stand frosts close to -10 degrees and still be effectively controlled with post-harvest treatments.  Without these lead up temperatures, these plants can be dormant after a frost as light as -3 degrees, resulting in reduced control.  Scouting for actively growing plants is vital prior to application.

Tank mixed with glyphosate, one case of Distinct will treat 40-80 acres, depending on rate (58-115 g/ac) and is supported with Merge or MSO applied at 200 ml /ac.  Distinct applied at 80 ac/case prior to October 15 allows for all cereal and corn crops to be seeded the following spring.  Applications prior to October 1 allows for all canola systems, soybeans, field peas, and lentils to be seeded the following spring.  Applications prior to September 1, allow for all other unlisted crops to be planted the following spring.  If higher rates of Distinct are used after September 1, rotate to cereal or corn crops only.

A fall application of Distinct herbicide in combination with glyphosate allows for effective management of weeds, including glyphosate-resistant weeds, and gives growers the best chance at starting with clean fields in the spring.

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