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Ont. soy harvest underway, corn on hold

(Resource News International) — Ontario’s soybean harvest is about to
gear up while the grain corn harvest is still a few weeks away,
according to a provincial cereals specialist.

“In terms of the soybean harvest in Ontario, it is full
steam ahead where possible,” said Peter Johnson, a cereal specialist
with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

The soybean harvest in the province has been
underway in some areas for weeks, he said, but there were many where the crop is just not ready to come off yet.

“There are ideas that some of those crops will be ripe
enough to harvest within the next week to ten days, depending on
the weather,” Johnson said.

Early soybean yield results have been extremely variable,
with some fields averaging as few as five bushels an acre
while some have yielded as high as 55 bu./ac., he said.

“Soybean fields laying side by side have been running as
much as a 30-bu./ac. difference in yields,” Johnson said.

Management, rotation, drainage and weather were all factors
causing some of the extreme yield variability.

Ontario’s soybean harvest should generally be
complete by the end of September, but there were likely to be
some late-maturing fields and heat-affected areas where farmers are expected to take the crop off in early October.

Meanwhile, Ontario farmers were just now preparing for
the grain corn harvest, Johnson said. Little grain corn has been harvested there to date, he noted.

“There have a few fields of grain corn that have been pulled

off, but typically the harvest of this crop gets into full swing
in the early stages of October and could continue through to the
start of November,” Johnson said.

The condition of the grain corn crop in Ontario was
extremely variable, he said.

“Given how dry it was in the province during the growing
season, producers are indicating that crop potential is better
than anticipated,” Johnson said, estimating about two-thirds
of the crop performed better than expected.

Early estimates on corn suggest yields in the 122- to 128-bu./ac. range.

Johnson said seeding of the winter wheat crop in Ontario
was in full swing, with record acreage anticipated.

“A lot will still depend on how fast the soybean harvest
goes, but based on early indications from producers, the province
is definitely looking at a new record,” Johnson said.

An official with the Ontario Wheat Producers Marketing
Board early in September said it was conceivable that 1.5 million
acres would be planted to winter wheat varieties in the fall of
2007 in Ontario.

The area seeded to winter wheat in Ontario last fall was
just under 500,000 acres, while the current record was achieved
in the fall of 2005 when 1.2 million acres were planted. Ontario
producers normally seed between 800,000 and one million acres to
winter wheat each fall.

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