By Connor Lynch
ROMNEY — Some producers switched up their planting plans for this spring, swapping corn acres for soybeans.
Two factors are scaring corn producers. Corn futures were down, because North American corn prices follows oil price because the ethanol industry is a big end-user of corn (see story on page 9). The other factor is uncertainty. While the ag supply chain in Ontario has been moving well to all appearances, farmers are aware that could change. Soybeans are a lower maintenance crop in general, requiring fewer inputs and management than corn, said grower and Sarnia seed dealer and crop farmer Dave Park.
He swapped out about 20 per cent of his planned corn acres for soybeans and an easy 10 per cent of acres among his customers were switched the same way, he said. “Demand for corn has significantly deteriorated with lack of ethanol needed right now,” he said. He was concerned that it would only get worse with time. “Anything that needs more human resources is at risk,” and soybean crops just have fewer moving parts, from fertilizer to in-field management. “There’s some ethanol plants that have already shut down in the Midwestern U.S. It’s concerning. We’re part of that corn belt.”
Kent County farmer Ken Dawson, however, was sticking with his original planting plan. COVID-19 has introduced a whole new level of uncertainty to the entire world. “Who knows what the future brings,” Dawson said. So he was going to carry on with his roughly 60:40 split for corn and soybeans.
WESTERN ONTARIO: Some producers swap corn acres for soybeans amid price slump, supply chain concerns
By Connor Lynch