By Tom Collins
There’s going to be some disappointment with soybean yields this year, said OMAFRA’s soybean specialist.
“The range in a year like this will be tremendous,” said Horst Bohner. “There are some fields in the Niagara region that have been written off by crop insurance so their yields will be zero. Then there are some fields that got timely showers that I expect to be well above average.
“One decent rain in August can make a difference between having a very poor crop and an average crop.”
The five-year average for Western Ontario is 45.8 bu/ac, while the five-year average for Southern Ontario is 46.5 bu/ac.
Bohner said Niagara, Haldimand, parts of Norfolk and a pocket of Bruce County were hardest hit by this summer’s dry weather, whereas things look quite good in parts of Elgin, Lambton and Middlesex. Speaking to Farmers Forum on Sept. 7, Bohner said that more specific soybean yields were too difficult to predict.
Arpad Pasztor at Port Burwell, east of St. Thomas, said one of his 40-acre farms had 20 acres turn yellow by Sept. 6. He’s also had to deal with spider mites. This year has been the worst year for the pest in a decade.
Pasztor said the plants are tall and hopes the pods can still fill out.
Dave McEachren, of Glencoe in Middlesex County, expects farmers in his area to see average to above average yields. He said there are fully-developed pods right to the top of the plants.
“The top few nodes, when they pump out a bunch of pods at the very top end of the plant, that’s a pretty good sign that you’re set up for an above-average yield,” he said.