by SUSAN MANN
Ontario farmers will see a smaller corn crop this year as the growing season’s hot, dry weather conditions and spotty rainfall are expected to take a bite out of yields, according to a report from Statistics Canada.
Grain corn production in Ontario is expected to decrease by 14.8 per cent to 6.6 million tonnes this year compared to last year. That’s due to an anticipated decline in yield of 25 bushels per acres, it says in Statistics Canada’s principal field crops report released today.
The numbers don’t come as a surprise to Grain Farmers of Ontario. Ryan Brown, vice president of operations. Brown says the combination of farmers having to plant significantly later in the year than normal due to a wet spring and some growers switching hybrids so they could get a crop in the ground “would suggest that we were looking at reduced yields.”
As part of its annual budgeting process, Grain Farmers began reducing some of its own forecasts in the spring due to the continued delay in planting.
The drought conditions that hit the province in July were also tough on soybeans and corn in some areas. Brown says at a recent Grain Farmers board meeting some directors noted in some areas the corn will never come back and produce a cob because of the severe drought stress it was under. But that doesn’t apply to all areas because crop conditions are variable across the province.
Statistics Canada also reported that soybean production in Canada is expected to decline 11.1 per cent to just under 3.9 million tonnes. Ontario and Quebec account for roughly 90 per cent of the country’s total soybean production.
Brown says rains during the past several weeks have helped revive crops in some of the drought-stricken areas. In the areas that weren’t as severely hit the crop is starting to come back and look excellent.
Grain Famers will continue monitoring yield projections and “certainly adjust the organization’s budgets accordingly to make sure that if the conditions are tough out there and as a result funding to the organization is decreased then we’re going to take the necessary steps to address that as well,” Brown says. BF