Crop insurance will have to grind through this brutal Ontario corn harvest


“Brutal” is just one word being used to describe some of the corn coming off in Ontario. While yields are good, a perfect storm of disease-inducing conditions at and following pollination has left a chunk of the 2018 corn crop riddled with myctoxins, most notably vomitoxin.

“There is still lots of good corn in Ontario,” says Barry Senft, CEO of the Grain Farmers of Ontario, but there are certainly pockets of heavily infested corn, and that tonnage is weighing heavily on corn movement into elevators and ships.

Most elevators have posted discounts beginning at 3 to 5 parts per million (ppm) vomitoxin, with discounts capping out around 8 to 9 ppm. After that, it’s a refusal for many elevators, though it is site specific.

With some tonnage reported at testing at 20 to 25 ppm and higher, Senft says there’s no winner in this year’s harvest.

“There are no positive in this for anyone,” he says, not farmers, not processors, or the insurer. That said, Senft adds that Ontario producers have a very good crop insurance program to depend on. The key now will be patience as Agricorp works its way through claims and elevators work their way through crop volumes.

Senft says that the first things farmers have to do is put in a claim as soon as you’ve identified an issue. “It should be covered, but it’s going to take time to address,” he says.

Listen below to Barry Senft, with Grain Farmers of Ontario, discuss this harvest with RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney, where Senft also discusses what long-term research Grain Farmers of Ontario has been investing in to address the vomitoxin issue on a broad scale.

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