The final results of an Ontario crop tour suggest a better-than-expected corn crop in the province, but a lower yielding soybean crop.
The Great Lakes Grain Crop Assessment Tour – which sampled more than 500 corn and 450 soybean fields between Aug. 26 and Sept. 6 – pegged this year’s average Ontario corn yield at 164 bu/acre, down 2 bu from a year earlier but above last month’s Statistics Canada’s survey-based estimate of 156.1 bu. On the other hand, the tour’s final soybean yield estimate came in at just 40.2 bu/acre, 3.4 bu below the StatsCan estimate and potentially the lowest since 2009.
The highest corn yield potential was found in Hamilton-Wentworth at 182.9 bu/acre, while the lowest was seen in Grey County at 143.3 bu. The highest soybean yield is expected in Oxford County at just over 50 bu, and the lowest yielding crop is forecast in Dufferin County at just 29.8 bu/acre.
In an accompanying statement, the tour said the 2019 growing season represented one of the most challenging on record, given the overly wet, cold conditions that badly delayed both corn and soybean planting through most of the spring. As the calendar flipped to July, many areas of the province then turned too dry.
Crop tour survey teams documented the yield impacts of delayed planting, and also witnessed the combined effects of drainage, compaction, crop residue management and the impacts it had on planting conditions, crop emergence and inconsistency in growth stage development.
Additionally, the crop tour found that most of the province will need another 25 days to accumulate sufficient heat to get to black layer on corn. “With cooler weather, the dry down to harvest moistures may take us to late October before we see significant harvest activity on grain corn.”
For soybeans, most acres are expected to mature within a 10- to 12-day period around Thanksgiving.
Last year, 93% of the observed corn fields were in the dent stage of development at the time of the tour; this year it was only 22% in the dent stage. For soybeans, the tour noted that late planting has resulted in fewer main stem nodes and nearly 15% fewer pods compared to a year ago.
The good news this year is the relative lack of disease and pest pressure. Essentially no ear rots, foliar leaf disease or widespread Western Bean Cutworm were reported. There are isolated fields that will have some issues with ear rots, but at this point no widespread DON problems are expected.
The full crop tour report and a yield map is available here:
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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