Spring planting remains a work in progress across Ontario, although relatively drier conditions are allowing fieldwork to progress in some pockets, according to the latest provincial crop report on Thursday.
Soils continue to remain unfit in large parts of the province, especially in much of the southwest and parts of eastern Ontario, the report said. However, there have been windows of opportunity for some producers to catch up on cultivation, fertilizer spreading, and planting, including in parts of Grey, Bruce, and Huron counties.
In the drier areas (see map below), corn planting is estimated to be as much as 50% to 80% completed. On the other hand, those portions of the province that have experienced consistent wet weather or have heavy soils remain “almost completely unplanted.” The overall provincial average is around 15% complete on corn, with producers now starting to switch to shorter-season varieties.
The report encouraged those farmers being kept out of the field due to weather conditions to take the time to review their crop plan and prepare to adjust as conditions evolve. “The crop plan acts as a reminder to stay the course where appropriate, and to develop a Plan B that can be used if certain conditions are met,” it said.
Soybean planting in the province has been minimal to date, the report said, adding those producers who intend to plant winter wheat in the fall are planting earlier-maturing soybeans to ensure a suitable planting window for winter wheat and improve the chances of winter survival.
As for the winter wheat crop, the report said the fields that were kept from being torn up and planted to an alternative crop are looking better after a rough start. Regardless, the crop continues to be a “management challenge full of stress and difficult decisions.” Nitrogen has been applied to most winter wheat fields by now, though conditions remained so unfit that some growers chose to apply by helicopter, it added.
Winter wheat stage is highly variable both within and between fields. In southwestern Ontario, the most advanced fields are at flag leaf while others are just barely emerging.
Spring cereals are emerging well where they were planted. The extended planting deadline has come and gone, but many of the intended spring cereal acres are still not planted, the report added.
The winter canola crop is flowering in southwestern Ontario and is being scouted to time fungicide application at 20 to 50% flowering. Spring canola is emerging well. Some acres intended for canola have not yet been planted.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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