Ontario corn planting isn’t finished, but it’s probably done.
With more rain sweeping across the province – and pushing total spring accumulation to record levels in many areas – it’s unlikely that farmers will be planting corn when things dry out, says Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) corn lead Ben Rosser. He estimates 90% of the crop has been planted.
Many farmers were done planting corn or just finishing up before the rain returned on Wednesday, says Rosser who notes that areas such as the Niagara peninsula never really did dry out and much of the intended corn acreage remains unplanted.
If farmers intend to plant more corn when soils dry out, they’ll likely need to switch to shorter season hybrids. (Rosser reviewed switching considerations in a recent episode of RealAgriculture Corn School.)
The spotlight now focuses on Ontario’s soybean crop. Horst Bohner, OMAFRA’s soybean specialist, estimates that 40% of the 2017 crop has been planted. In some areas up to 60% of the crop is in the ground but very little has been planted in areas such as Lambton County and water-logged Niagara.
“It probably means the end of corn and more soybeans,” says Bohner who adds that the wet weather could push soybeans to three million acres in Ontario. As soybean planting extends into early June, growers could be looking at a four to five-bushel yield hit. But you have to put that into context, Bohner says: “if you were looking at 65 bushel yield potential, they could still go 60 bushels.”
Bohner also reminds growers that soybean yield is really determined in late summer. “If we get a good fall – a warm September – we can catch up on what we missed early in the season.”