Derek's Notes

Rain Day

Its a rain day so I thought I’d do a little update on harvest so far. Wow the heat and humidity have been crazy, not much fun to work in but it sure has helped the corn and soybeans move along nicely. While the heat certainly has been big news, the yields are even the bigger news. In the area spring wheat yields have ranged from 60-85 bus/ac. Canola has also been extremely good 40-60 bus/ac. Some of the early soybeans are starting to drop leaves and corn is in the R4 dough stage with the odd early field starting to dent R5 stage.

We are just getting started with the weigh wagon and I will be posting yield results as we go along. I would like to remind growers of 45H29, 46H75, 45H73 or one of our Sclerotinia tolerant varieties of canola, 900Y71 and 900Y61 soybeans plus corn growers to call me before harvesting so we can get the weigh wagon out to do a yield check.

Also, we are asking growers of DuPont Pioneer Hi-Bred varieties to take pictures (with you in front of combine, trucks, in the field or ?) and send them into me via text 204-792-6744 or email, those of you that send in will be entered into a draw for a pair of Jet tickets.

I was in Winnipeg yesterday for our DuPont Pioneer sales launch meeting and wow we have some very exciting offers for the 2014 seed sales season. The combination of our incredible product lineup and new discount programs is very leading edge. Over the next few weeks I will be announcing some of these offers and I know that growers are going to be impressed. So stay tuned and don’t jump the gun ordering seed.

Here are some pictures of the week.

Grasshopper damage in soybean field.


I took this picture of my soybean plot today these are two new early soybeans P001T34R on the left and P002T04R on the right we have for next year (very limited supply) but as you can see they are really early. The plot is on Old La Salle Rd. between Perimeter Hwy and McGillivray Blvd. We will be having a Plot Tour Day on September 19th more details on that to come.



The tale of two hybrids the top variety is P7443R (74-day corn or 2100 HU) the bottom one is of a competitor hybrid (claim 76-day corn or 2150 HU) maturity looks like a little wider spread than that, this plot was planted in the 3rd week of May.


Picture of my corn plot which is on McGillivray Blvd and Old La Salle Rd. Thanks to Rob and Lori Anseeuw for letting us put the plot on their field and to Tommy, Baumgartner and Luc for planting, it looks great.

Fossay's corn
Fossay’s 39D95 (79-day corn or 2175HU) looking very good and maturity right on pace.

That doesn’t look right! At least it was only 35 degrees out that day. That’s my brother Brad doing all the work while I take pictures and make smartass comments, a true team effort.

Combine Yield Calibration at Silverwinds Colony.

So in summary hot weather, great yields so far, corn & beans moving along nicely, send pictures in, Philadelphia Flyers rule, plot tour on September 19th and amazing DuPont Pioneer fall seed programs. Also, I will be posting yield results as they come in. Oh and lastly happy Anniversary to Slug and Mar aka. my Mom and Dad (not in that order we don’t call my mom Slug).

Start Your Engines

Its the start of the most exciting time for farmers, harvest. Even thou we usually have pretty good idea of how the crops are going to yield there is always that nervous/anticipation when the combine hits the field for the first time. This is our Stanley Cup final, as usual our biggest opponent is Mother Nature, she has made us work pretty hard so far but I think we have the upper hand right now. I believe she only has two plays left to snatch victory from us, we are by no means wet but after yesterdays rain and some of the crops not using anymore moisture it wouldn’t take too many more of those rains to make it challenging. Her biggest play to try and defeat us would be an early frost. The weather for the next three weeks is going to be important we need some nice warm dry weather. If you are someone who looks to the skies to determine when we could potentially get our first frost, I think the first full moon in September falls on the 18th. Most soybeans and corn should be far enough along to handle a frost at that time.

All the winter wheat for the most part has been harvested and while we certainly didn’t have the same crop as last year yields were generally good, I’ve heard between 70-90 bus/ac. Some canola has been swathed, preharvest on spring wheat has begun. Late this week things should get into full swing.

I would love to have my weigh wagon very busy this fall so if you have Pioneer Hi-Bred canola, soybeans or corn please give me a call so we can get out to your fields and do a yield check. If you have my products in same field and one of my competitors it would be awesome to get a yield comparison. Also we are running our yield challenge again this year so again let me know when you are harvesting so I can get weigh wagon out to you.

Something that is getting more and more challenging every year is moving large equipment on roads and highways. I can not believe how much traffic there is now. To make matters worse it seems everyone is in a hurry, so be careful this fall out there and one thing I have learned is that you can’t assume the people driving vehicles are going to adhere to traffic laws, it seems that solid no pass lines don’t apply when passing a combine with a 35 foot header or a left turn signal doesn’t mean anything when its attached to something other than a car.

It was my birthday last week and I got one of the best birthday presents ever, a friend who I have not seen in 16 years stopped by. Dmitri worked for us in the mid 90’s and quickly became a huge part of our family, pretty much the fifth Erb son. He is a remarkable person, in 1991 he left Moldova a small country that was once part of the USSR with his wife, 2 year old son, a suitcase and the clothes on their back to come to Canada. They had no family or friends here and didn’t speak a word of English. Somehow he ended up working for us and after 3 years he moved to Southern Ontario. I missed him a lot after he left at first I thought is was because he was such a great worker but quickly realized it was because I missed my friend. By the time he left for Ontario his family had expanded to include two daughters and the suitcase became a small trailer. Over the last 16 years he has started his own business, built a new house and sent two kids to university (son has a Master Degree, oldest daughter is in her 3rd year and youngest is still in high school).They all came for a visit last week and it was a great day. They thanked us for helping them make a life in Canada which was humbling considering how much they have done since coming to Canada, like I said him and his family are remarkable.
From left to right Dimitri Jr., Anna, his wife Anna, Amy and Dmitri.
Me, the Boss, Dmitri and Brad
My Mom and Dad with Dmitri’s family.

Two last things check out this old Pioneer Hi-Bred commercial its amazing it still applies today.
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And lastly hope no one is going fishing in Lake of the Woods the next few days I have heard fishing is terrible. Good luck Bobliciuos and gang.

Early August Update

At least I think its August, 6 degrees yesterday morning, yikes my folliclely challenged head needed a toque. But it must be August because this little cutie just turned 4!

20130803-222433.jpg HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACE!

I have been out looking at a lot of crops the past couple of days and wanted to give an update on what I saw and have heard growers talking about. Perennial ryegrass harvest is getting underway and winter wheat should not be too far behind.


The canola “lean” is back and its awful nice to see. This cool weather has been tremendous for canola flowering and pod fill. I have been raving about 46H75 our Clearfield Canola and I am not about to stop it looks fantastic. Here is a photo of a field north of Starbuck.

20130803-195842.jpg 20130803-195859.jpg

Be sure to ask how this beauty performed this fall. If it does as well as it looks you will want this hybrid on your farm in 2014. Some growers have been spraying for grasshoppers. Swathing early canola should start in 7-10 days.


This cool weather has slowed down soybeans a bit. That being said the crop is podding well. Again some growers have been spraying grasshoppers, I have seen very few aphids but we should continue to scout. I have been watching fields that were planted into heavy trash all year and while they have greened up and look much better but they are still behind and shorter than other fields although they seem to be developing the same number of pods as the taller beans, it will be interesting to see the final results this fall. Speaking of tall soybeans this is a picture taken Friday in my brother Brad’s 900Y61.


I showed this photo to a few people and they all said I should get off my knees! I like to have taller soybeans because they look good and it can make them easier to harvest but there can be a point were too tall can be a problem, so I am glad the majority of this field was not over my waist like this for a few reasons, last year growers were having some real challenges harvesting very tall soybeans, luckily 900Y61’s have good white mold tolerance but having fields this lush and with favorable weather conditions it could lead to some white mold issues and lastly soybean trash can be hard to manage especially if harvest is late.

IMG_0151 IMG_0219

The top picture is of a field of 900Y71’s west of Brunkild and the bottom from a field south of Oak Bluff.

We have two new very early soybeans P001T34R which is in the 001RM maturity group and P002T04R which is in the 002RM group. This is a picture taken 7 days ago of P002T04R you can see it how well it has developed to that point.

IMG_0331 Again this picture was taken a week ago.

You can see these two varieties along with some new experimentals in my soybean plot which is located on old La Salle Rd. between McGillivary Blvd and the Perimeter Hwy. We will be having a plot tour in September so we can see maturity differences in the varieties, so be on the look out for the announcement of that tour date.

Some other things I have seen and heard about in soybeans this year.


This is a photo of a plant wilting because of Phytophthora root rot in one of the varieties in my soybean plot. I have seen this disease the last few years and it is found mainly in fields that have had waterlogged or saturated soils, which is not uncommon in our heavy clay soils. This disease can affect the plant at any stage but very noticeable later in the season when large plants are dying off. 900Y61 and 900Y71’s do have multi race Phytophthora resistance that doesn’t mean they are bullet proof from this disease as there are many different races found in our soil but it does give you a much better field tolerance against this increasing problem. In talking to growers and from what I have seen this year one of our main challenges in soybean production going forward may end up being root rot issues. I think our heavy clay soils make seedling and root diseases more prevalent. I have also seen some Bacterial Blight which looks like this and have heard it is around other areas as well.


It is not shocking that we might see some of this it favors cool rainy weather and shows up after rainstorms with high winds. Fortunately I have seen very little of it and higher temperatures will halt the disease development so another reason we need to get back to some typical Gold Bond August temps! Generally soybeans look great this year lets hope they finish off great.


Corn is moving along nicely but just like soybeans it would be great to get a warm stretch through August. I was checking some corn fields yesterday and found this in a field of P7443R north of Starbuck.


Classic “shot hole” damage from corn borer and on further inspection of the plant I found this little guy.


I found a few in one area but none in a couple other spots I checked. I have not seen much corn borer damage in the corn fields I have checked but corn growers should still be out monitoring fields. Look for the shot holes on the leaves or broken tassels like this picture which was taken in the same field as above.


I was looking for some common smut so I could show you what it looked like and it was tough to find but I ended up finding it in a competitor field (some varieties are more susceptible to this disease than others we have varieties that are susceptible and I have no idea what variety of the pictured corn is it just so happened that’s where I found it) this is what it looks like.


Like I said corn is moving along nicely it is either flowering or in most cases pollination is complete.  Some pictures of corn in the area.

IMG_0228 This is a field of 39D95 west of Oak Bluff

IMG_0203 Field of 39D97 west of Starbuck

IMG_018920130803-194439.jpg This is a field south of Oak Bluff that has P7213R, P7443R and a competitor all in the same field. Here is a picture of the maturity difference in competitor and P7443R.

IMG_0147 P7443R on the left and competitor on the right, will be interesting this fall when we bring weigh wagon out.

We have a new BT corn out this year P7632HR I have a few growers trying it out this year. It was a little slower out of the ground than P7443R but has come along nicely as of late and is in full tassel and silking. Here is a picture of a field near Fannystelle.


This hybrid should be a really good fit for our area, providing excellent yield potential with BT protection. Be sure to ask how this hybrid performs this fall it maybe a good fit for your farm in 2014. We will be having a corn plot tour in September so be on the look out for that announcement coming in the next few weeks.

So that about covers some of the things going on out in the fields, everything is looking good and providing we get some heat in the next few weeks we should be in for a very good harvest. If you are seeing anything that you want to share or have a concern about please feel free to contact me. Hope you are having a great long weekend.


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