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Spray 101

A John Deere tractor pulling a sprayer in a field of soybeans

Spring planting got off to a really rough start in much of Ontario, but most farmers in the province are (slowly) working towards finishing #plant17.

How late did it really go? Many farmers had to balance spraying the fields they planted on time while still planting others.

First on the agenda for spraying this spring would be spraying the winter wheat planted last fall. Wheat will need to be sprayed if it has strong symptoms of a disease outbreak. Cool and wet conditions are a breeding ground for fungal and bacteria spores. Many farmers are now working hard to spray fungicides onto their wheat crops before fusarium and rust spores damage the crop.

Once the barley, corn, oats, and soybeans have been planted across the province, farmers will diligently monitor the fields as the crops grow. They are checking to see if there are pests that arrive in the fields to cause harm to the growing plants. Baby plants are very susceptible to even the smallest threat of a pest, whether that’s an insect a disease or even competition from neighbouring weeds. Farmers must be diligent during this growing period to monitor the smallest threat and determine if a spray is necessary. They will only spray if there is a large threat that will cause significant damage to the growing crop, as pesticides are expensive and could harm the crop if not applied correctly.