Derek's Notes

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.

Getting The Best of Both Worlds: Pre-harvest crop and weed management

~This week’s blog is brought to you by Paula Halabicki, Technical Specialist BASF

BASF logo

Pre-harvest herbicide applications are an important tool for growers. According to growers, the number one reason for pre-harvest applications is for cleaner fields next spring, while speeding up crop dry down comes in second (Figure 1). By choosing the right pre-harvest management tool, growers can get the best of both worlds – a faster crop dry down with effective weed control. 

Figure 1. Grower survey results showing the number one reason for pre-harvest glyphosate applications.

 Contact vs systemic herbicides 

There are two kinds of pre-harvest herbicides – contact and systemic.  Contact herbicides, such as diquat, cause rapid dry down of the plant tissue that they come into contact with, but this may not result in complete plant death. These desiccants must also be applied at higher water volumes for improved coverage and there is risk of crop regrowth. Systemic herbicides, such as glyphosate, translocate to the growing points of the plant. This leads to complete plant death and a reduced risk of regrowth, but plants take longer to dry down. Heat LQ contains both contact and systemic properties, speeding up crop and weed dry down for both a faster harvest and cleaner fields the following season.


Cleaner fields next spring

When tank mixed with glyphosate, Heat LQ does not compromise the level of perennial weed control provided by glyphosate. The combination provides faster, more complete weed dry down on many annual weeds compared to glyphosate alone, leading to reduced weed pressure the following spring.  Using multiple modes of effective action in the tank is also a great way to prevent glyphosate resistance from developing.  Wherever possible, add in a second mode of action.


Improved harvestability

Crop dry down and the timing to harvest will be fastest when using a desiccant and slowest with glyphosate alone.  The combination of Heat LQ and glyphosate will fall somewhere in between. Although not as fast as a desiccant, tank mixing Heat LQ with glyphosate has been shown to improve crop and weed dry down, right down to the stalks, thus reducing green material that may affect harvesting efficiency, crop quality and storability.


Application Timing

Pre-harvest herbicide applications should be made when seed moisture is less than 30%. Earlier applications can potentially reduce yield and/or impact quality. Here are some quick tips for making sure an application is made at the correct stage:



  • 60 to 75% of seeds have changed colour (later is better to allow for complete pod fill)
  • Do not determine by pod colour – pods must be opened to determine percentage change in seed colour
  • Seeds on the bottom 2/3 to 3/4 of the plant are dark brown or black

Field peas

  • 70 to 80% of pods have dried down (changed colour)
  • The peas in the remaining pods should be firm
  • Peas cannot be split by squeezing


  • Back of the heads have turned yellow
  • Bracts are yellow, edges of bracts are turning brown


  • 90% of the pods have changed colour
  • Lower pods are brown, upper pods are yellowish-brown or grey
  • 80% of leaves have dropped, remaining leaves are yellow
  • Seeds should rattle in the pods

Dry beans

  • 90% of pods have changed colour to yellow or light brown
  • 80 to 90% of leaves have dropped
  • Stems are green to brown in colour
  • The few remaining green pods are only in the top of the canopy

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




DuPont Acapela

dupontThis weeks blog is brought to you by Caelyn Shearer, Grower Specialist / Eastern Manitoba / DuPont Crop Protection


DuPont™ Acapela®

White Mould/Sclerotinia:

There are many broadleaf crops grown in Manitoba that are susceptible to white mould and sclerotinia such as: canola, sunflowers, soybeans, and pulse crops. When host crops are grown consecutively on the same field, the likelihood of a disease outbreak is increased. Sclerotia bodies from previous infections can survive in the soil for up to 7 years. Under the right environmental conditions, the sclerotia will germinate into apothecia in the spring. Sclerotia are most likely to germinate when there is high humidity, soils are moist, and temperatures range from 15-25 degrees within the crop canopy. Apothecia look like small mushrooms. When they reach sexual maturity millions of spores are released. The spores target flowering crops for nutrients, then when the petals begin to drop during the maturing process; they land on the leaf tissue and stems creating small lesions (typically oval and white or pale brown in colour). The lesions appear as a result of the pathogen growing into the stem. Inside the stem, the pathogen develops new sclerotia (see photo 1). Sclerotinia causes the plant to ripen prematurely, resulting in the potential for significant yield loss (see photo 2 and 3). When the field is harvested, some sclerotia end up with the seed while the majority falls to the ground from the stem of the plant, beginning to whole process again. The nature of this disease is why rotation to non-susceptible crops, controlling weeds that can act as hosts and prevention with fungicides is essential!

DuPont™Acapela® Fungicide:

Thanks to years of research, fungicides were developed as a tool to help growers decrease the severity and incidence of sclerotinia white mould in their fields. Fungicides help protect crops against many damaging diseases, that can significantly impact yield if unmanaged. By using a fungicide like DuPont™ Acapela®, you are protecting against disease, providing insurance for your crop and maximizing the full yield potential. Acapela® is a group 11 strobilurin fungicide for control of sclerotinia white mould as well as a broad spectrum of leaf diseases in canola, cereals, soybeans, pulses, and corn. Acapela® has 4 unique movement properties that provide superior coverage, delivering consistent and powerful disease control under a variety of conditions:

  • Vapour Activity- creates a gas like barrier that moves locally over the leaf tissue
  • Xylem Systemic Activity- movement through the leaf tissue to distribute across the entire leaf
  • Translaminar Movement-movement through the leaf to protect the top and bottom surfaces
  • Wax Diffusion- provides more consistent coverage across the leaf and stem surface

Acapela® is the only strobilurin fungicide registered to control sclerotinia, providing healthier crops and a higher yielding potential. Acapela® is an extremely flexible fungicide for a wide variety of crops and diseases, making it one of the most convenient products to have on hand.

Acapela® Timing:

To protect against white mould in soybeans, spraying must occur around the R1 to R2 stages (beginning to full bloom), before the disease begins to form, at the 27 acres/jug rate. If mould symptoms are already present in the field it is too late for a fungicide application. A follow up application of Acapela® 7-10 days later is beneficial when white mould pressure is high. For foliar diseases, optimal timing is between the R2 and R3 growth stage (full bloom to beginning pod) at the 27-40 acres/jug rate depending on disease pressure.


For control of sclerotinia in canola, Acapela® should be applied at the 20%-50% bloom stage (between 10 and 20 flowers open on the main stem) before the development of disease at the 30 acres/jug rate. If disease pressure is extremely high, follow up with a second application 7-14 days later with a fungicide from a different mode of action.


To protect pulses from white mould, make a preventative application of Acapela® at the 27 acres/jug rate near the beginning of bloom and a follow up application with a different mode of action 7-10 days later. For foliar diseases, apply Acapela® prior to disease development and continue on a 7-14 day interval at the 27-40 acres/jug rate, depending on disease pressure.

To optimize yield and control flag leaf diseases in cereals, apply Acapela® at the 40-50 acres/jug rate at the T2 or flag leaf stage. Protecting the crop at this stage has been shown to significantly increase yield.

For optimal control of Northern Corn Leaf Blight, apply Acapela ® between full tassel (VT) and milk stage (R3) at 30-45 acres/jug.


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

Caelyn Shearer | Grower Specialist | Eastern Manitoba| DuPont Crop Protection

Cell: (204) 918-8356  


Please visit our Canada website at

As with all crop protection products, read and follow label instructions carefully.

The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, Acapela®, are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates. E. I. du Pont Canada Company is a licensee. Member of CropLife Canada.














  1. Sclerotia bodies inside soybean stem









  1. Acapela® Treated vs. Untreated white mould in soybeans
    1. 3.5 bushel/acre yield increase







  1. Untreated on left vs. Acapela® Treated on right
    1. 3.5 bushel/acre yield increase









Photo credits: Caelyn Shearer, Rosser Manitoba, September 9, 2015


LynnThis week’s blog is brought to you by Lynn Van De Spiegle, BASF Crop Protection

With tightening canola rotations and an over reliance on resistance genetics as a sole method for controlling the disease, blackleg is making a resurgence across Western Canada.


Blackleg can infect the plant from seedling through to harvest with early season infections causing the most economic impact.  Early infection can result in the blocking of nutrient and water flow to the plant resulting in premature plant death, increased lodging, and decreased yield.  While seeds are protected through seed treatments, plants are vulnerable by the 2 leaf stage as seed treatments wear off.

While harvest is the best time to scout for the disease, you can also see signs of blackleg at this time of year.  Greyish, white lesions speckled with black pycnidia on the leaf surface or lesions on the stem may be signs of blackleg, but can also be misdiagnosed with other diseases.

As an additional tool to compliment resistance genetics, the addition of Priaxor fungicide with your canola herbicide is a great option.  Priaxor combines the unique mobility properties of the active ingredient Xemium, with the proven benefits of AgCelence in a multiple mode of action formulation.

Priaxor delivers more consistent and continuous blackleg control and plants that often show increased growth efficiency and better management of minor stress resulting in an average increase of 3 bushels per acre across 100 research and grower applied trials over the past 3 seasons when applied at the 2-6 leaf stage.

As you begin your canola herbicide applications this season, consider the addition of Priaxor to protect your canola and help maximize your seed investment.


Flea Beetle Scouting in Canola


flea beetle

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


Seed Treatments for canola help protect seedlings from disease and flea beetle damage.  Factors that reduce canola growth rate and add stress can make canola more vulnerable to these pests.  The key is to start with a plant stand of 7 to 10 plants per square foot.    Assess the stand at emergence; if the population is low the same flea beetles can cause more damage per plant, so adjust your actions accordingly.

Image / chart from

Image / chart from



Early scouting and continue regularly to the 4 leaf stage to monitor feeding, plant health and plant count.  Flea beetles are more active in warm, dry, windy conditions.  To assess damage to flea beetles, click the link below for more information, or use the image to the right from


Flea Beetle Damage Ratings

*Image source, Canola Watch.

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This site has been designed to bring you local information to support your farming operation in and around Oak Bluff, Manitoba. For more information about Pioneer headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, see Pioneer's website at

The DuPont Oval Logo is a registered trademark of DuPont. ®, ™, SM Trademarks and service marks of Pioneer. Pioneer® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase which are part of the labeling and purchase documents.

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