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Ontario’s winter wheat harvest yielding good results despite slow start

August 19, 2019  By Field Crop News

This year’s winter wheat harvest is a “pleasant surprise” for many Ontario growers considering all the stresses the winter wheat crop had to endure, according to the latest crop report from Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

Reported yields range from 90 to 130 bushels/acre, which is on par with the five-year average yield of 82.7 bu/ac. There are some reports of straw yield averaging 4,000 pounds per acre, well above the average of 3,000 lbs/ac. Wheat quality is also high with low levels of Fusarium head blight. The OMAFRA field team says this is a testament to the progress of improved tolerant varieties, disease forecasting, and better use and timing of fungicides.

Other highlights from the latest crop report include:

  • Soybean crop looks good and is advancing rapidly for most parts of the province. Soybeans in southwestern Ontario, in areas such as Chatham-Kent and Essex, are experiencing some yellowing due to water ponding because of the frequent rain events experienced in the areas.
  • Soybean fields located in dry areas are showing early signs of reduced pod fill, flower abortion, reduced growth which may impact yields.
  • Sudden death syndrome (SDS) developed early this year in the southwest and symptoms in soybeans have increased the past few weeks due to the crop stage (post flowering) and weather conditions.
  • Corn, particularly in eastern and central Ontario, are showing typical moisture stress symptoms while in field plant variability was obvious during tasseling which made fungicide application timing very difficult.
  • Western bean cutworm levels have been low and egg masses have been rare which has allowed many growers to skip insecticide applications.
  • Overall foliar disease pressure has been low across the province, but northern corn leaf blight has increased in areas with frequent rains.
  • The frequent rains, high humidity and foggy mornings in areas of southwestern Ontario are potentially favourable for Gibberella ear rot infection however, it is important to remember hybrid, management and the weather conditions through grain fill is critical to subsequent mould growth and DON accumulation.

Read more in the latest crop report from OMAFRA’s field crop team.


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