White mould sobers hope for outta’ the park yields
MORRISBURG — Eastern Ontario’s soybean crop looked good and bountiful coming off the field this fall, though white mould tempered some yields.
Morrisburg-area cash-cropper Warren Schneckenburger was expecting his best-ever harvest with a 60-something bushels per acre on 750 acres. One stunning 25-acre plot was kissing 70 bu/ac on heavier soils. He had one dismal field with white mould that cut yield to 20-something bushels in one field.
“Certainly there is the potential for a record yield,” Schneckenburger added. “But they’re not all in the bin yet. We could have hail or who the hell knows.”
“Yields have been very promising, unless you’ve got white mould,” Eastern Ontario Pioneer agronomist Paul Hermans said, estimating that 80 % of the crop was coming off fields at 60-plus bu/ac. “But with white mould it’s in the 20 to 40 bu/ac range.”
Overall Eastern Ontario soybean yield forecasts range from 49.7 bu/ac to 55.9 bu/ac. Last year’s actual soybean yield for Eastern Ontario was 48 bu/ac, spot-on the 10-year average.
White mould got the better of Marcel Smellink’s 200 acres of soybeans in Iroquois. “If I can get a tonne per acre (37 bu/ac), I’ll be happy,” Smellink said, suggesting he should have applied more fungicidal spray this year.
In Williamstown, cash cropper Martin Lang said he saw 68 bu/ac on 20 acres in early harvesting and expected more good yields, aside from one field with evident white mould.
He noted the moist conditions that have made the fungus more of a factor in this year’s crop. “We had enough rain during the summer, and we had all kinds of nights where there was a mist or a fog almost rolled in and sat in the fields.”
The Lang operation has taken measures to mitigate the risk of white mould. “We’re on 30-inch rows, and we’ve been cutting the plant population back the last few years, and maybe that has helped us, too,” he said.
Dairy farmer Joshua McOuat of Lachute, north of Hawkesbury in Quebec, reported a soybean yield of 1.5 tonnes per acre (about 55 bu/ac) on most of the farm’s 250 soybean acres.