Southwestern Ontario Corn Crop Likely Destined for Below-Average Yield


The corn crop in southwestern Ontario has strong yield potential in a few regions, but the good areas won’t be enough to offset the drought-damaged areas, according to reports from farmers reporting on crop condition to the Ag-Alert service.

“We received a wide variety of corn crop prospect reports early this week, ranging from excellent to downright poor,” said Ag-Alert’s Ranulf Glanville.

Reports of below-normal corn yield potential far outnumbered reports of excellent corn fields.

On the north side of the London area, farmers reported missing most of the good rains. Now, it’s “too little too late especially late-planted crops on clay,” said a farmer northeast of the city.

“Agricorp will see a lot of claims coming from here; a lot of uneven corn. There is corn that’s just three feet tall and tasseling,” said the farmer.

A grower west of Kitchener said corn on sandy hills won't recover now, even with future rains.

A farmer east of Exeter said the area was missing almost all the rains since spring, with the biggest being less than a half inch. “Crops are in very bad shape,” said this grower, adding however that hopefully it’s not too late for this week’s rain to help.

A farmer in the Parkhill area reported having corn just five to six feet tall that’s tasseling.

One farmer south of London near Belmont said that after a great corn crop of 230 bu/acre last year, the farm is facing a significant yield reduction; maybe half.

There are some very hard-hit areas in Lambton County. A grower south of Sarnia reported stunted corn with small cobs forming. “It’s probably the worst since 1988,” said this farmer.

“We hope to get half a crop but that might be optimistic.”

In the Blenheim area moisture has been lacking, said one farmer. “We received between 1 inch and 1.8 inches since June 10. Crops range from poor to decent with most fields just holding on.”

“Super dry in Thamesville and the southern area of Chatham-Kent,” summed up another.

That said, in Essex around Harrow the crops are “very good; timely rains helped.”

In the Hamilton and Niagara region, lots of fields have been missing the rains, although some did fall Wednesday night/Thursday morning and a farmer with large acreages south of Dundas reported excellent crops.

More rain crossed the province late Thursday and Friday morning, suggesting the full story of this year's Ontario corn crop is not written just yet.

Statistics Canada will release initial model-based Ontario yield and production forecasts for corn and other crops on Aug. 29.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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