Across Ontario, a stretch of dry weather has helped pushed corn planting past 80 per cent complete in many areas.
“Things are rolling right along,” reports RealAgriculture agronomist Peter Johnson. In his area of southwestern Ontario, “corn is wrapping up and growers are rolling hard into soybeans,” he told a Tuesday morning virtual agribusiness breakfast meeting of provincial agronomists, extension specialists, and crop retail representatives. “It’s been a crazy spring in terms of dry weather and it’s been tough to keep up.”
Further to the southwest, AGRIS Co-operative agronomist Dale Cowan is reporting a similar story. As of Monday, he estimates that 70 per cent of the corn in Essex and Kent counties was planted and he expects growers to finish quickly.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if 80 per cent of the soybeans were in by the weekend,” said Cowan. “Things are drying out fast, but there is still some moisture down there to put the seed into.”
Cowan also shared crop heat unit accumulations for Ridgetown, Ont. He reported a total accumulation of 188 CHU since May 1. That compares to 204 CHU for the same time period for 2022. Despite the the dry, warm days over the past two weeks, Cowan notes that cool nights have been holding down total heat accumulations. He adds that those cold evenings, with many nights dipping well below 8 degrees C, is likely contributing to slower herbicide activation and weedy fields across the province.
The same rapid planting story is also unfolding further north. Pioneer agronomist Greg Stopps, who covers the area north of London, Ont., including Perth, Huron and Bruce Counties, reported corn planting at 80 to 85 per cent done. “Conditions have been fantastic,” Stopps reports. He added that if conditions hold, growers across his area could wrap up soybeans by the end of this week.
There are some areas, however, where planting is progressing at a slower, more measured pace. Corteva Agriscience area agronomist John Seliga noted his company reps have been reporting slower progress in parts of Lambton County, where growers have to contend with heavier ground. Planting progress in some of the tough clays is pegged at 20 to 30 per cent, said Seliga and growers are just getting started into beans.
“I think with this stretch of weather here before the weekend, a lot of ground will get covered,” noted Seliga. But the ground is also drying out quickly. “We could use some moisture by the end of the week, that’s for sure,” he added.