By Connor Lynch
LISTOWEL — Winter wheat looked like an uncertain crop to bet the farm on, but as harvest rolled out yields have been solid and quality excellent.
Senior Agris Co-op agronomist Dale Cowan told Farmers Forum that as of Aug. 2, the harvest in Western Ontario was well underway. Yields were average to above average, said Cowan, with excellent quality.
The season was touch and go at times, he said. Early wetness in the season could’ve proved troublesome for the crop. Spring is when winter wheat heads, and wetness then makes the crop vulnerable to fusarium. “Quality was a question mark, a lot of wetness going into heading time is usually good for fusarium.” Farmer’s diligence in spraying fungicide paid off, he said.
Cowan said he’s heard of yields ranging anywhere from 65 bushels per acre to 135. Across Western Ontario, vomitoxin and fusarium have been low, he said.
Though overall yields are likely down from last year because last year was a good year for winter wheat, quality is up this year, said Cowan.
Dave Johnston, a cash crop and dairy farmer at Listowel, in Perth County, started his winter wheat harvest on July 29. As of Aug. 2, Johnston was about a third finished harvesting his crop. “It’s awesome. Unbelievably awesome. Yield has been phenomenal, the quality is great.” Most fields of his 100 acres of winter wheat were averaging 100 bu/ac. “Ninety bu/acre would be a good yield.”