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Research Committee Reports

Agriculture Wildlife Conflict Working Group – Birgit Martin

The AWCWG held bi-annual meetings on April 13, 2022, and September 16, 2022.  Both meetings covered summaries of the activity in the Ontario Wildlife Damage Compensation Program (this programs covers livestock losses due to wildlife only, not crop damage).  Further topics included Wild Pigs in Ontario and Avian Influenza.  Below are links to some of the information presented:

Ontario Strategy for Invasive Wild Pigs

Canadian Corn Pest Coalition (CCPC) – Andy van Niekerk

The CCPC is a working group comprised of representatives across Canada from the seed corn industry,

grower associations, regulatory agencies, academic institutions and extension and research staff from both provincial and federal governments. Members are committed to the common goal of responsible deployment of management technologies for corn insect pests in Canada to support the continued effectiveness of the technologies.  The CCPC values its success at maintaining an informal yet constructive environment where the exchange of information and consensus on issues pertaining to pest management technologies can take place amongst industry, regulatory, government extension and researchers.

Tracey Baute continues to be the chair and continues to do an excellent job.  We had 3 virtual meetings with several “email” meetings.

The Corn Rootworm (CRW) resistance situation continues to dominate the group discussions. Many cases of resistance were still being reported in Southwestern Ontario to nearly all the below ground Bt events and continues with 80% yield loss.  The best management practice that can/should be done is to rotate out of corn production. 

The CCPC committed has updated the 2022 English and French Bt Trait Tables and have them posted on the CCPC website:

Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) for CRW management research for “bio-control were being tested in parts of Ontario this past year, but results are still pending.

I look forward to continued participation on this committee.

Ontario Cereal Crops Committee (OCCC) – John Poel

The roles of the Ontario Cereal Crop Committee (OCCC) are to act as the recommending body to The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for cereal variety registration in Ontario. OCCC also advises the CFIA Variety Registration Office as to whether registration of wheat varieties should be extended to Ontario if the variety has been supported for registration outside of Ontario. The OCCC also reviews cereal-related research and coordination of cereal performance testing & reporting. The committee holds this mandate in Ontario for wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt, buckwheat, durum, and triticale.

The regular winter wheat performance trials were planted at 11 locations, the inoculated fusarium trials at three and intensively managed trials at six. Winter survival was good in all but the Kincardine location. The Ridgetown trial location was also dropped due to excessive spacial variability. Eight soft winter wheat varieties have completed their second year in the trials and twelve more have just finished their first year. Two hard red varieties have completed two trial years and six new ones went through their first. The winter barley trials included ten entries at 4 sites with very high yields with good results except one where extensive lodging was an issue due to suspected fertilizer variability. Ridgetown had some uneven maturity but it did not seem to affect the final yield. Nine sites hosted the spring wheat trials, four of which were intensive and two conducting fusarium head blight trials. Spring barley trials were conducted at eight sites and oat trials were performed at seven sites, four of which were intensive. Straw yields were collected at each of the intensive sites for all crops. This extensive effort of research has brought the following number of new cereal varieties forward for consideration to the committee:

  • Seven varieties of soft red winter wheat,
  • Two varieties of hard red winter wheat,
  • Two varieties of hard red spring wheat,
  • One 2-row variety of spring barley, and
  • Two varieties of covered spring oats.

  • Each of these lines will be voted and agreed upon at at the OCCC meeting late January 2023 for recommendation for support for full registration to the CFIA, Variety Registration Office as new commercial varieties.

    Also to be explored by the committee is rolling the GoCereals internet pages into a new, GFO initiative, GoCrops website to facilitate a new all-in-one and AODA compliant web presence.

    Ontario Corn Committee (OCC) – Andy van Niekerk

    The Ontario Corn Committee has roots back to 1937 after concern over “unscrupulous persons” selling inferior corn hybrids. The OCC evolved into a licencing agent for Ontario. A corn breeding program was started.  And in fact, the first Canadian-Bred hybrids came from the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. Some 50 + years ago the Ontario Corn Heat Unit (CHU) rating system was developed and still stands today.  The AAFC terminated the licencing of corn hybrids, but the OCC continued to test corn hybrids as farmers had now put great value in the 3rd party opinions. And they continue to do testing in 20 different sites.

    This year I attended 2 meetings in 2022 to review the trial set up and review the results, as well as reviewing the finances of the OCC.

    Considerable discussion was held about how to handle the possibility of Tar spot infection. Presentations were made by Albert Tenuta and David Hooker, giving a summary of the Tar Spot experience this year and their recommendations in how to proceed for next year.

    Also in discussion was the rising cost/inflationary factor involved with conducting and contracting out the replicated trials. There was an increased compensation budget approved to ensure integrity of the work to continue.

    Excellent yields were recorded in all trial Preliminary OCC trials were announced Nov 22. Even Dundalk and Orangeville OCC trials averaged over 215 and 224 bu/ac respectively.

    The final results were tweeted out Nov 22, 2022 (earlier this year due to the excellent harvest conditions). For results of the trials please go to

    Ontario Pulse Crop Committee (OPCC) – Phil Oegema

    The Ontario Pulse Crop Committee (OPCC) met on Feb 9, 2022.  The OPCC meeting consists of two parts: general business, and variety registration approvals.  In the General portion of the meeting the committee heard from the various university and industry stakeholders on their activities over the past year.  A common theme was the difficulty the industry was facing in terms of international logistics, high input prices, and market uncertainty.  Concerns were raised that bean varieties are not being accessed by growers unless they are commercialized by larger companies, and that smaller market classes are not eligible for insurance under Agricorp.  Ontario Bean Growers reported on their activities to promote beans, including engaging chefs and recipes that feature various dry bean varieties.  Further discussion on refining disease nursery protocols.

    During the Variety registration portion of the meeting, 17 new varieties were evaluated.  4 navies were supported, 2 cranberry bean varieties were supported on an interim basis, 1 cranberry variety fully supported, 2 DRK full support, 2 BLK full support, 4 deferred pinto and 1 full support NDP.

     Variety trial results will continue to be published on the GoBeans website. 

    Ontario Soybean & Canola Committee (OSCC) – Chad Quinlan

    The Ontario Soybean and Canola Committee met virtually on January 20, 2022.  Meghan Moran, an OMAFRA Canola and Edible Bean specialist, updated the committee on the state of Canola in Ontario.  There remains a short list of spring and winter canola varieties.  No variety trials for spring canola are formally conducted in Ontario.  Winter canola variety trials are conducted in Harrow and Woodslee AAFC Research stations, but not through OSACC.  The winter canola trials conducted there do provide some degree of information for seed dealers and growers.  Mercedes hybrid winter Canola is the only variety locally available for Ontario Growers.

    Horst Bohner OMAFRA Soybean specialist updated on the 2021 crop year.  OMAFRA reported a record average yield of 51.6bu/ac. 

    The committee discussed improving the promotion of the OSACC publication to advertise soybean variety information to farmers and industry across Canada and the US.  There was also discussion on sponsor’s interest in adding a conventional/IP soybean trial at the New Liskeard location.  The motion to make New Liskeard an official MG00 E conventional trial was passed. Further discussion was had regarding inclusion of SCN ratings in the publication, and an adhoc committee was struck to report on that possibility at the 2023 meeting. 

    OSCAA’s next meeting will be held Jan 25, 2023.

    Ontario Soil Management Research & Services Committee – Gord Speksnijder

    The Ontario Soil Management and Research Services Committee (OSMRSC) makes fertility recommendations for the province. More specifically, the purpose of the Committee has been to:

    • Review, critique and approve proposed changes to OMAFRA fertility recommendations as presented by related sub-committees
    • Identify gaps in existing data
    • Discuss established and emerging issues, government programs, etc.
    • Discuss and recommend future research projects directly associated with the aspects of fertility.

    Early in 2022, Committee members and other stakeholders participated in a facilitated discussion to review the mandate, structure, and operation of OSMRSC. A number of suggestions came out of the discussion, with the group wanting to improve effectiveness in the following broad themes:

    • Strengthening 4R practices and knowledge
    • Integrating and increasing knowledge regarding production economics and environmental impact
    • Soil conservation practices
    • Integrating fertilizer use with manure/organic amendment application for greater efficiency
    • Water management, both drainage and irrigation, to improve climate resiliency.

    OSMRSC has historically operated in conjunction with a number of sub-committees. Based on discussions and recommendations of the working group, it may be that several of these committees will only be active on an ad hoc basis when needed. It is hoped that this operational structure will improve efficiencies and minimize human and financial resources required to operate effectively. Recommendations of the working group will be brought to the Committee for revision and final approval. It is hoped that, moving forward, OSMRSC will more nimbly respond to research results and identify what new research is needed to make appropriate fertility recommendations in a timely manner. Efforts will also be made to better explain to farmers how fertility recommendations are developed, as well as when and why they are changed.

    Ontario Weeds Committee (OWC) – Brady Jones

    The Goal of the Ontario Weed Committee is to strive to provide a venue for people with an interest in weed management to interact, share ideas and work towards improving the management of detrimental weedy plants in Ontario.

    In 2022 the Ontario Weeds Committee did not have a meeting, although there was a Plot Field Day. This is an update on progress made in the 2022 season.

    The first objective in the Ontario Weeds Committee is to compile and publish a list annually of management solutions for weedy plants that have a negative effect on Ontario agriculture. The focus for the applied research trial comes mostly from a survey conducted in 2020, of certified crop advisors asking about the recent weed issues affecting Ontario producers. Next, I am going to list the top fourteen difficult to control weeds, and why they are.

    1. Lamb’s Quarters:

    • Even when lamb’s quarters were small, the hot and dry conditions resulted in poor control with herbicides.
    • It is one of the most difficult to control in the post-emergent herbicide window, and one of the most common weed escapes in IP soybeans and dry beans.
    • There was no opportunity to control them, and increased seed dispersal is a concern for next year, with the late summer rains that brought flushes.
    • The group 27 (Ex. Acuron, Calisto, Shildex) and group 4 (Ex. dicamba) herbicides, still supply good control, well glyphosate struggle at time in corn.

    2. Canada Fleabane:

    • Canada Fleabane is very resistant to glyphosate, and it is in a lot of the fields.
    • It has been around for a long time, but due to the chemical rotation, crop rotation and tillage, it has not been as bad as it could have been.

    What is working in soybeans: 

    • Sencor + Eragon LQ works well on Canada Fleabane.
    • Eragon LQ + 2,4-D ester works very well as well.
    • Eragon LQ/Authority Supreme/Sencor is working well on fields with waterhemp and Canada fleabane.

    3. Giant Ragweed: 

    • Due to sensitive crops, especially areas where they could not use dicamba, most residuals herbicide do not provide good control, so late emerging seedlings were hard to control.
    • Enlist soybeans has had promising results for fields with high giant ragweed pressure, with the application of Enlist 1 or Enlist Duo.
    • Another good control of group 2 and 9 resistant giant ragweed is a post-emergent herbicide option for Extend and E3 soybeans.

    4. Foxtails: 

    • In 2020, escapes following the use of a soil applied herbicide occurred more often.
    • Foxtail was even a struggle to control using graminicides (ex. Yuma/Assure).

    5. Pigweed:

    • A problem in seed corn was Redroot pigweed.
    • After testing, applications of group 2 and group 27 did not control them, when they were revealed to only be resistant to group 5 herbicides.
    • Mostly pigweed is brought in a late flush of weeds when there’s late summer rains.
    • Both Dry beans and soybeans pigweed control is concerning because few options exist for their control, and even post-emergent contact herbicides do not do a respectable job of controlling pigweed.

    6. Ragweed: 

    • Ragweed is another weed brought on with late rains.
    • In IP soybeans, Ragweed is their biggest uncontrolled species.
    • Post-emergent options are limited, and soil applied herbicides are “ok” at best, in dry bean and soybean crops.

    7. Wild Carrot:

    • Over the last two seasons, wild carrot is becoming a bigger problem, especially in IP soybeans.
    • Classic has done an “ok” job of slowing it down and has been effective in soybeans.
    • An adoption of a fall application would go a long way on reducing the population of wild carrot.
    • Preplant application worked ok with Express SG.

    8. Waterhemp: 

    • Some growers learned last fall that waterhemp needs to be part of the management plan, especially when they had problems with harvest.

    What is working in waterhemp:

    • Soil applied herbicide Zidua and other pyroxasulfone mixes (ex. Fierce, Authority Supreme), have had excellent results.
    • Integrity + Aatrex and Accuron have had remarkable success in corn.
    • Fierce is a “go to” product in soybeans, while Fierce + Sencor is also in the mix.
    • Another “go to” is Accuron and has provided good control.
    • Eragon LQ/Authority Supreme/Sencor also work well with both waterhemp and Canada Fleabane.

    What is not working well in waterhemp: 

    • Some growers that an Eragon LQ burndown did not provide good enough waterhemp control, followed by dicamba, so a soil applied residual group 14/15 herbicide is particularly important.

    9. Perennial sow-thistle:

    • The best suppression of perennial sow-thistle when compared to other options like Reflex, and Basagran, was Permit applied post-emerge, in dry beans.
    • Lontrel only had some resprays where the product was sprayed around four-leaf corn.
    • If the herbicides are timed, or after sow-thistle has eight leaves, it is less likely to regrow.
    • Sow-thistle came through PRE herbicides, mostly Accuron, but replying Lontrel and Glyphosate worked well.
    • Lontrel worked nice in controlling perennial sow-thistle in corn, it would be used more if there was more confidence with recropping issues, especially in the fall application, according to agronomists.

    10. Bluegrass: 

    • It is an increasing problem, especially in cereals.
    • A glyphosate application in the fall can do wonders for the management of bluegrass.
    • In corn, Accuron does an excellent job.
    • In Soybeans, Zidua and Fierce does a fantastic job.
    • A glyphosate application before planting wheat is extremely helpful.
    • An expensive choice being considered is Simplicity GoDri, but its $26 dollars an acre.

    11. Fall Panicum:

    • Like other weeds, late summer rains brought more Fall Panicum.
    • When soil applied herbicides were used, it was common to have escapes.
    • Even Graminicides like Yuma and assure, struggled to control escapes.

    12. Velvetleaf: 

    • A two-pass application management works better than relying on soil applied herbicides to control this weed.
    • Pre and post application of Permit was cleaner at harvest compared to reflex, in dry beans.

    13. Vetch: 

    • Poorly controlled in RR and IP soybeans.
    • Unsure what works better E3 Enlist or Xtend Soybeans.

    14. Wild Oats: 

    • Axial seems to still work in barley, but most wild oats are group 1 resistant.
    • Group 2 herbicides like Varro, Simplicity GoDri were effective at controlling wild oats in wheat.


    Next in the Survey were issues and concerns. The agronomist agreed there are seven problems:

    1. Dicamba Drift

    • Agronomist felt that dicamba drift is not being reported as much as it is happening.
    • Inadequate sprayer cleanout, vapor drift, and physical drift can all cause Dicamba drift.
    • The most difficult one to manage is vapor drift, it is amazing how far away from the application area you can find injury.

    2. Poor Lambs Quarter Control

    • Agronomist’s primary query is if they see glyphosate resistant lamb quarters.
    • Farmers and Agronomist with plants that survived an application of glyphosate are encouraged to contact Dr. Peter Sikkema and Dr. Martin Laforst and provide them with mature seeds.

    3. Late Emergence Grasses

    • There is a concern that a shift in late emerging grasses is occurring, making it harder to control.

    4. Herbicide Resistance

    • Many of the weeds listed above are either speculated or known to be herbicide resistant.
    • There will always be herbicide resistance if we rely on herbicides to control weeds.
    • There needs to be more development in the industry on effective and economical ways to discourage recruitment of seeds, reduce seed bank numbers, and control emerged.

    5. Antagonism

    • To make one pass applications more efficiently control difficult weeds, more herbicides are being mixed to solve herbicide resistance.
    • Many agronomists wonder if they see antagonism on certain species that normally are controlled when the herbicide included is used alone.

    6. Herbicide Carryover

    • Herbicide carryover had favorable conditions between 2019 and 2020.
    • The guide to weed control was appreciated by agronomists because they could access the re-cropping guidelines.
    • To manage risk better, they would like to have access to more information on the factors that could increase the risk of herbicide carryover.

    7. Relying too much on Group 15 Herbicides

    • Relying on Group 15 Herbicides will cause more resistance issues.
    • The industry needs to find other ways to reduce seed bank numbers, control emerged weeds, and discourage.


    The next part of the survey was about things that worked well and continuing to work well.

    1. Fall weed control:

    • Fall weed control is an important method for managing perennial and winter annual weeds.
    • There is hesitancy to manage weeds after corn harvest, it is not as easy to do like after cereals and soybeans.

    2. Residual herbicides; multiple modes of action; two-pass system:

    • These three items have many common themes.
    • Dealing with herbicide resistant weeds have been highly effective with use of soil applied residual herbicides with multiple modes of action.
    • A farmer using a two-system uses a soil applied herbicide to control early germinating weeds and ensure that the crops emerge in a weed free environment, then they go in for the “second pass” with a post emergent herbicide to control any later emerging weeds, or weeds that escaped the first pass.
    • Any fields with waterhemp will need a two-pass system, since the gemination of the species is a prolonged period, and a single pass program would not be adequate.
    • The poor control over lambs’ quarters could be control with the use of effective soil applied herbicides.
    • Any second waves of germination would be lower in numbers and more uniform in size, making it easier to apply glyphosates at the right stage of growth.

    3. Scouting:

    • In just a few days, the weeds can go from “just right” to “too big” when it comes to sensitivity to herbicides, making scouting particularly important.
    • Scouting helps improve the management of applications at the right time.
    • It also helps stay on top of new weed problems and helps to eradicate.

    4. Soil fertility: 

    • Healthy crops care best at canopying quickly and competing against weeds.
    • When the soil has adequate potash and phosphorus, canopy closure happens much quicker.

    5. Crop rotation:

    • Ontario organizations that support agriculture must make it easier to access markets and provide incentives to plant more diverse rotations.
    • Agronomists also commented that winter wheat is an easy crop to achieve effective weed control.
    • Many opportunities to reduce weed seed dispersal come from planting fall crops, like winter wheat and winter canola.
    • Some regions in Ontario have the window to double crop soybeans, and implement fall weed control.
    • A microclimate exists when a field is planted in the fall that does not recruit the same type of species that corn and soybeans do.
    • Forage crops that are perennial are also valued crop in a rotation, because they effectively lower annual weed seed dispersal to the soil.
    • There may be economic and infrastructure barriers that halt the adoption of more diverse crop rotation.
    • Farmers know that a more diverse crop rotation is better for the long-term health of the soils, and crops.

    6. Cover crops: 

    • Cost effective ways to reduce weed seed recruitment and dispersal and improving soil health are implementing cover crops.
    • They improve soil health by increasing organic matter and erosion protection.
    • Examples of Cover Crops are:
      • Cereal Rye
      • Oats
      • Triticale


    The next part of the Survey was the most used Herbicides in Corn, Soybeans, and Cereals:


    • Acuron
    • Halex GT
    • Integrity
    • Lontrel XC
    • Glyphosates
    • Destra IS
    • Converge XT
    • Callisto + Primextra
    • Engarde


    • Blazer
    • Glyphosate
    • Boundary LQD
    • Dicamba
    • Classic
    • Eragon LQ
    • Fierce
    • TriActor
    • Sencor
    • Reflex
    • Graminicides
    • Zidua
    • Authority
    • Valtera
    • Enlist Duo
    • 2, -4 Ester + Eragon LQ
    • Freestyle


    • Infinity FX
    • Pixxaro
    • Buctril
    • Refine M
    • Barricade M
    • Simplicity GoDRI


    They also discussed three General Research Priorities across all crops:

    1. The development of economic and effective ways to discourage recruitment of seeds and control emerged weeds, and ways to reduce seed bank numbers.
    2. Improve our understanding of the control of weeds and biology. Also, an understanding of how soil health, soil fertility, crop rotation and cover crops play a role in the control of the weeds, and the development of diagnostic testing that is dependable, and an understanding of mechanisms of herbicide resistance
    3. Evaluation of tank-mixtures to determine synergism and antagonism amongst crop species and weeds.


    The last part of the Survey was Commodity specific priorities.

    Grain Farmers of Ontario:

    • Evaluating weed control in the fall following corn harvest.
    • Evaluating risk of carryover with fall applied Lontrel XC in soybeans against the value of perennial sow-thistle.

    Ontario Bean Growers:

    • Evaluate how to improve control of existing crop desiccants methods.
    • Evaluate the potential crop desiccants.
    • Methods on how to improve Annual grasses, lamb’s-quarter, ragweed, and pigweed species (including waterhemp) control.

    Ontario Canola Growers:

    • Risk of carryover to winter canola from cereal herbicides.

    Ontario Forage Council:

    • Management of fowl meadow and rough stalk bluegrass in alfalfa, and alfalfa timothy.

    Seed Corn Growers of Ontario:

    • The control of pigweed that is resistant to herbicides.


    The Second Objective of the Ontario Weeds Committee is to compile and publish confirmed populations of weeds resistant to herbicide in Ontario. The results will help nudge Ontario agriculture towards integrated management practices adoptions that reduce the risk of selecting herbicide resistant weeds.

    The Ontario Weed Committee, now after four years of “cleaning up” and standardizing data from 25 years of resistance weed testing, has a mapping tool where cases of resistance by species, herbicides, year, and county can be found easily. This is the link:

    Ontario Weed Committee’s 3 Objective is to review the layout and content in Publication 75, more commonly referred to as the OMAFRA Guide to Weed Control. They will help improve the quality of this guide, by supplying feedback and support. They also help ensure that it is available to the Ontario agricultural community by January of each year. All printed crop protection products, including the Guide to Weed Control, have been replaced by an online hub, known as the Crop Protection Hub. The beta version of the Crop Protection Hub was launched in the spring. Improvements are being made constantly based on feedback. It is also in the works for customized print options for Ontario producers, and the ability to access the site where the internet is unreliable or nonexistent. The link to the Crop Protection Hub is

    The last objective of the Ontario Weed Committee is to showcase weed management research initiatives in Ontario. On July 13, 2022, there was a weed control plot tour at the Elora Research Station. There were sixty-five participants. Some of the research includes:

    Herbicide Efficacy and Tolerance Studies:

    • “IP” soybean comparison of herbicide programs
    • Control of Field Horsetail in E3 (ENLIST) soybeans
    • Corn Herbicide programs comparison
    • Soybean Tolerance to PRE applications of amine, choline, and 2,4-D ester
    • Control of bluegrass in winter wheat
    • Tolerance of cover crop in corn to residual herbicide programs.

    Graduate Student Projects:

    • Olivia Noorenberghe- Effects of cereal rye termination strategies on weed control, corn establishment and yield
    • Marinda Gras- Winter Canola and Soybean relay cropping.

    OAC Weeds Team Training Plots

    • Herbicide Injury Plots