By Connor Lynch
PICTON — This year’s winter wheat harvest saw yields all over the map, but most growers had at least a good year and some had an absolutely outstanding crop.
Harvest rolled out ahead of schedule in Eastern Ontario thanks to the crazy heat, said agronomist and wheat expert Peter Johnson. Most farmers were satisfied with average yields, but there were fields breaking 100 bushels/acre in the east, he said.
It’s not all full fields and happy farmers. Some guys were getting yields in the 60 bu/ac range, Johnson added. But vomitoxin, the unpleasant byproduct of fusarium in wheat, was practically non-existent in Eastern Ontario this year.
For some growers, harvest was a sprint; for others, a slog. The sprinters ended up with the best crop. Those who got caught by rain slogged along with rain causing mildew and putting a damper on quality.
Ask Picton-area cash crop farmer Lloyd Crowe how his winter wheat harvest went and he’s ever so happy to tell you. “It took a little bit longer than usual, but the crop’s been so good. Sometimes it was falling out of the combines, and that’s a good thing.”
It was his best-ever crop, he said. “There was no winterkill really,” Crowe said, and yields were very strong at over 100 bu/ac average, well above the normal 80 bu/ac. His straw yield was about double his average, he added.
The five-year Ontario winter wheat yield average is 82.8 bu/ac.