By Tom Collins
LANARK COUNTY — It didn’t take long for Eastern Ontario crop farmers to catch up on corn planting after a delayed start to the season.
Independent crop agronomist Gilles Quesnel estimated the corn crop was about 40 per cent planted on May 18 but farmers were helped out by a sunny May-long weekend. About 80 per cent of Eastern Ontario corn acres were planted as of May 23. Quesnel said some areas, such as west of Brockville to Belleville, were about 50 per cent planted as of May 23.
Lindsay farmer Joe Hickson said corn in the Lindsay area was about 50 to 60 per cent planted as of May 23. He said normally 90 per cent of corn is planted by the May long weekend and this year some farmers were considering switching some acres over to soybeans.
A study from the University of Wisconsin said farmers can expect to lose 0.9 bushels per acre per day when planting corn after May 10, 1.6 bu/ac per day after May 20 and expect to lose 2.6 bu/ac per day after June 1. Quesnel said those losses would be similar for Ontario.
Lanark County’s Andrew Dawson started planting corn on May 16, the latest he had ever started. He had 75 per cent planted as of May 23. This year is a complete reversal from last spring when it was dry and farmers were pretty much done planting corn and soybeans by the end of May.
“One neighbour said to me he would never complain about too much water again, but last week he was complaining about too much rain,” said Dawson. “It’s just funny how every year presents a different set of challenges. My wife says we must be Leafs fans because you always think next year is going to be better.”