By Owen Roberts for FCC Express
A provincial yield record for soybean production is being predicted in Ontario.
With 90 per cent of the 2.8-million acre soybean harvest complete in Ontario, observers say a new provincial yield record of 50 bushels an acre is a possibility.
That’s an increase of over three bushels an acre than the previous record.
“The late August rains were ideally timed this year,” says Dale Cowan, senior agronomist at AGRIS and Wanstead co-ops. “That made all the difference.”
Pests and disease
Plant disease was noticeable, but had a smaller impact in this year’s soybean crop, and insect pressure was at a minimum. Aphids and leaf beetles, which often plague the soybean crop, were barely seen. The only problem was with stinkbugs, and even that was negligible.
The 2.2-milion acre corn crop was another matter. The early summer drought left it wanting, and by the time August rains arrived, the crop was already behind.
Cowan expects it will likely still average a “decent” 150 to 200 bushels per acre yield in the southwest. That production will be reduced considerably, though, in the Niagara area, eastern Ontario and around the Peterborough area, which was hard hit with drought.
Ontario farmers are hoping for a rapid harvest for the corn crop remaining in the field. About one-quarter of the samples submitted to labs are registering two parts per million of vomitoxin, a mould that gets worse the longer the crop is in the field. When vomitoxin levels exceed two parts per million, affected corn must be diluted with clean grain to keep it safe for livestock consumption.
Tomato producers in southwest Ontario are likely disappointed with this year’s crop. In fact, it’s being touted as the worst year in 45 years. Early drought followed by late rains left tomatoes uneven and difficult to harvest.
“They were green and over-ripe at the same time,” Cowan says.
On the horizon, Cowan is looking forward to a good winter wheat crop. It was planted early, which can lead to positive yields, conditions permitting. At planting time, prices were down due to last year’s record acreage and production, so he’s expecting about a 20 per cent reduction in acreage.