Cool and wet conditions throughout much of Ontario have prevented any meaningful field work from happening during April, according to the latest field crop report from Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
A string of warmer, drier weather is needed before the 2019 planting season can get moving at a steady pace. The delay due to weather mirrors what western Canadian growers are experiencing in some parts of the Prairies that are seeing late season snow and below-seasonal temperatures. While the delay is nerve-racking for the farming community, OMAFRA’s field crop team states that soil conditions at the time of planting take priority over calendar date. Growers are encouraged to wait until soil conditions are suitable for planting.
Highlights from the latest crop report include:
- Growers have to identify how much of the 2019 winter wheat crop is worth keeping, with a high likelihood that a large amount of acreage will be terminated.
- Winter wheat growers should start securing seeds and inputs for their “Plan B” seeding option to secure their first choice.
- Some winter wheat fields are seeing weeds, but winter wheat is extremely competitive and yield losses will not be significant.
- Soybean seed size is larger this year, so growers must ensure planting equipment is setup to deliver whole seed effectively to the ground. A split seed will not survive.
- For corn growers, the general recommendation is to stay with an adapted hybrid until May 15-20th in shorter heat unit areas of the province (<2,800 CHU), or to the end of May in the longest heat unit areas (>3,200 CHU).