By Connor Lynch
CRYSLER — As Eastern Ontario ground through a late harvest, corn yields turned out surprisingly well for some growers.
As of Nov. 22, about half of the corn harvest in Eastern Ontario was done, Crysler-based Harvex Agromart crop advisor Barton Simpson said. That half-harvest had a fair amount of variation from field-to-field he said, working out to an average yield for most growers. The five-year corn yield average for Eastern Ontario is 152.7 bu/ac. Last year farmers averaged 147.2 bu/ac.
That overall average yield was hiding some surprises, he said. A grower texted Simpson with a surprising 220 bu/ac. “He was very surprised. It shouldn’t have done that,” Simpson said.
Mountain-based crop farmer and custom harvester Chris Klein said that if he’d been asked in June or July how the corn crop would be, “I’d (have said) we wouldn’t have a crop.” Klein, who harvests fields from Pembroke to Kingston, said that a year like this one 20 years ago “would’ve been a writeoff.”
Cash crop farmer Travis Greydanus, who farms 3,400 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat near Grafton in Northumberland County, said that his yields so far are hovering around 160 bu/ac on average. But as of Nov. 21, he was only about one-third of the way into his harvest, and he’d started with some of his worst fields. His corn was struggling from the start. He planted in wet conditions, and close to harvest time it was yellowing from nitrogen deficiency. “So average yields, we’re quite happy with that,” he said.
Despite promising yields, however, this year’s corn crop is costing producers in dryer costs. Much of the corn is coming off at 25 per cent moisture or more, adding drying costs at the elevator.
Based in Kemptville, OMAFRA cropping systems specialist Scott Banks, said that overall, “It’s turned out to be a reasonably good season.”