By Connor Lynch
TILBURY EAST — Planting season in Western Ontario either came late or went slowly but the corn crop is looking decent for most growers and soybeans are too early to say.
Over 90 per cent of the corn crop in Western Ontario was in by the end of May, leaving most growers with over a week’s window before they started taking yield hits for late planting. Most soybeans were planted by June 28, which meant likely some amount of yield hit but not as much as corn, which can suffer as much as 20 per cent yield penalties if planted after June 10, said agronomist Dave Hooker.
Some soybean fields had to be replanted because of hail on June 27, said OMAFRA soybean specialist Horst Bohner.
Planting conditions in Western Ontario were far from ideal, with soaked or occasionally flooded soil delaying some growers from getting into the field.
Bohner said that as long as August is good, soybeans can struggle during this part of the growing season and it won’t affect yields.
There was some localized replanting of corn in late May and early June, said OMAFRA corn specialist Ben Rosser, but stands look good overall.
Greg Glasier, a cash crop farmer at Tilbury East in Kent County, told Farmers Forum that any of the 300 acres he planted after the farm got pounded with rain at the end of May is looking better than what went in the ground before the rain.
Despite that, he only had to replant about 10 acres of soybeans, due to soil crusting causing emergence issues.
He had a window for corn in the middle of May and took advantage of it, getting the entire crop planted within a few days. He started soybeans by the last week of May and was finished before the end of the first week of June.
Both crops went in a bit later than average, but not drastically so, said Glasier.
Up in Middlesex County, farmer Rob Foster at Ilgerton said once the early weather delays were done, planting went quickly. Corn planting was started in the middle of May and was done within days, though normally he’d be finished with corn before April was out. Soybeans were started by the third week of May and were finished within the week.
Foster told Farmers Forum on June 26 that his corn had done a lot of catching up in the last week. “No complaints at this point,” Foster said. Some of his first-planted soybeans had some initial issues with stands, but not bad enough to justify replanting “and it turned out okay.”