Derek's Notes

Open Fall Weed Control

Dwight Willoughby, P Ag CCSC

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

This early harvest may present winter annuals, dandelion or perennials like Canada Thistle to contend with.  Moisture is key for adequate REGROWTH.  As dry as some areas have been up to 6 weeks from swathing could be required to access a herbicide TIMING.  Under good moisture, normally we can see these weeds ready in 3 weeks from cutting.  Having mentioned this, it’s important to harrow early to spread out trash in areas where perennials will be sprayed.

The effect of FROST differs by weed and the duration of overnight temperatures.  Dandelion is more sensitive to frost than thistles so an application should be planned by mid-September in our are.  For Canada thistle, the window is longer.

Wild Buckwheat

Canada ThistlePre



When we think about how often any one field in a given year receives more than one application of glyphosate, it’s prudent to use a tank-mix partner to preserve the sustainable life of this NB product, especially in multiple Roundup Ready rotation.

Below are a few herbicide options for post-harvest and winter wheat.

Post-Harvest/Pre-Seed (all added to glyphosate)

  • PrePass FLEX and XC (Florasulam)
    • FLEX-Flexibility to mix with any glyphosate\
    • XC-convenience of glyphosate included for ease of use and compatibility.
    • Multi-Mode of Action for overlapping activity on key weeds.
    • SoilActive technology for extended broadleaf weed control.
    • PrePass FLEX/XC applied after August 1 can be seeded to winter wheat that Fall, or spring wheat, durum, barley, and oats the following Spring.
  • Paradigm (Arylex, Florasulam)**
    • Controls your toughest weeds, including Group 2 resistant cleavers and hemp nettle.
    • SoilActive technology for extended broadleaf weed control.
    • Just GO when you want on big or small weeds, early or late, in wet or cool conditions.
    • Flexibility to tank-mix with any form of glyphosate.
    • Paradigm for pre-seed applied after August 1 can be seeded to winter wheat that Fall, or spring wheat, durum, or barley the following Spring.
  • Korrex II (Florasulam, Dicamba)**
    • Excellent solution for fall Canada thistle control and kochia.
    • SoilActive technology for extended broadleaf weed control.
    • Multi-Mode of Action for overlapping activity on hard to control weeds.
    • Flexibility to tank-mix with any form of glyphosate.
    • Korrex II applied after August 1 can be seeded to winter wheat that Fall, or spring wheat, durum, barley, and oats the following Spring.
  • Distinct
    • Tank-mixable with glyphosate
    • Active on Canada thistle and broadleaf weeds (consult the label for list).
    • Some restrictions for follow-up crops depending on date of application in the Fall.




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)


Field Day and Contest Announcement

Derek Erb Seeds Inc 005

fielddayWhat a great way to spend a Wednesday morning, with a wonderful group of local growers and industry experts sharing information, technology and ideas.  Days like yesterday are just a small example of how Canadian Farmers are constantly educating themselves.  And our plot, located 1.5 miles South of Oak Bluff, was the classroom!

The plot, seeded by JR Brothers of Fannystelle, was in excellent condition.  The crops included were Soybeans, Corn and Canola with multiple varieties of each.  Plots like ours take a great deal of time and care when planting, and we are very thankful to Richard for his work.

Derek Erb Seeds Inc 020

Here is just a taste of the topics covered by our highly knowledgeable and respected speakers;

  • Straight Cutting Canola and Desiccation Timing  /  Lynn Van De Spiegle of BASF  
  • Blackleg in Canola and Best Management Practices  / Dwight Willoughby of Derek Erb Seeds
  • Phytophthora Root Rot Identification in Soybeans, Causes and Management / Mike Weir Agronomist with DuPont Pioneer
  • Soybean Seeding Depth and Supplemental N Fertilizer / Terry Buss of MAFRD
  • Pre and Post Emergent Corn Herbicide / Caelyn Shearer of DuPont Crop Protection
  • Yield 360 Y-Drop Fertilizer Application System for Corn / Frank Prince of Yield 360
  • Crop Imaging with a Fixed Wing Drone equipped with NDVI Camera / Matt Johnson of M3 Aerial
  • Wolverine Rotary Ditcher for effective field drainage / Robin Karlowsky from KNR


We also had the pleasure of doing a draw for those in attendance during lunch.  One grower walked away with two tickets to the NHL Jets Heritage Classic taking place this fall at the Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.


Derek Erb Seeds Inc 039P7211hr

And finally we kicked off our 2016 Guess the Yield Contest, by having those in attendance submit  a yield guess for P006T46R Soybeans or P7211HR Corn.



Growers picked one (1) crop; either the Corn or the Soybeans, which we had a chance to view in our plot during the field day.  They entered their yield guess (bushels).  The person closest to the yield recorded for the corn and the person closest to the yield recorded for the soybeans at harvest without going over wins for their selected crop.  Then, and finally, the winners of the Corn and Soybeans guess the yield will be put in a hat for a draw to determine the Winter Getaway WINNER!


tropical getaway




Derek Erb Seeds Trials

7 trials, 34,000 plant pop, head to head ,includes 2014 MCGA yield variety winner and 70 & 72 day varieities

7 trials, 34,000 plant pop, head to head ,includes 2014 MCGA yield variety winner and 70 & 72 day varieities

Dwight Willoughby, P Ag  CCSC

Dwight Willoughby, P Ag CCSC


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

P7632AMMASSE2015 Trials seeded across canola, soybeans and corn on 5 different locations testing DuPont Pioneer’s newest traits in Canola, product launch of 70 day and 72 day corn with BT protection, head to head product comparisons of DuPont Pioneer’s new T Series vs competitors, plus new for us this year, a University of Manitoba canola fertility site.  We would like to thank Masse Bros and Fossay Farms for sharing their time and efforts establishing parts of these promising trails.

Stay tuned!  Tour dates will be announced in the coming days.





Encirca SM View


~ Today’s blog brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P Ag   CCSC


encirca view Encirca SM View is an APP Derek Erb Seeds will be using to record field scouting this spring, summer and fall.

Encirca makes it easy to record, organize, and share crop observations for cereals, canola, soybeans and corn.

Introducing Encirca Services from DuPont Pioneer

Below is a picture of typical Encirca notes you would receive from Derek and myself,


A note has been shared with you on EncircaSM View
Title: Corn
Author: Dwight Willoughby
Date: 6/4/2014Crop: Corn
Soil Moisture: Wet
Crop Condition: Average
Growth Stage: V1+June 3, 2:57, 2014 Temperature – 29 C Weather – good growing conditions,,over cast currently Soil – crusting in low areas, Weed control – good job with first pass, nothing much happening to alert Crop stage – V1 to coming into V2


How do I get Encirca View?
Creating an EncircaSM View account is easy.

  1. Download the EncircaSM View app or visit
  2. Create a free Encirca View account

The EncircaSM View app is available for Apple or Android mobile devices. Visit your app store to download and create your Encirca View account today.





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