By Tom Collins
NAPANEE — At Farmers Forum, we called around to find out who’s the first in the field planting corn. We found Joseph Gordon hard at it on April 19.
He assumed some farmers think he’s a little nuts to be planting corn so early but the dairy and crop farmer is right on schedule for an average planting season.
One of the first in Eastern Ontario to start planting corn, Gordon, who runs Gordon’s Custom Farm Services near Delta in Leeds-Grenville, planted 20 acres on April 19 on well-drained lighter-soil fields. That’s five days earlier than his April 24 start date last year.
“Everyone thinks we’re crazy, I guess,” he told Farmers Forum. “We’re not going crazy at it. We’re just cherry-picking whatever’s ready. If it’s not perfectly fit, we’re just leaving it.”
Napanee’s Max Kaiser of Kaiser Lake Farms is an early starter every year. He planted 10 acres of corn in the evening of April 19 before planting around 70 acres the next day. That was right on par with last year when everything was planted in mid-April. The Kaisers grow 350 acres each of corn, soybeans and winter wheat.
Kaiser’s father Eric thinks they could have been planting a couple of days earlier but modifications to the planter had to be finished and new baby chicks arrived on the farm and had to be taken care of.
“April 18 is normal for us. We generally will start any time after the 15th when the land is fit,” said the no-till farmer.
Independent agronomist Gilles Quesnel said this year was right on schedule as 10 per cent of the corn is usually planted by April 30.
“The land is drying very well and there was very little frost in the ground,” he said. “We’re pretty much right on par (with an average planting season).”