Some Ontario producers have purchased machinery to try to offset the effects of wet conditions
By Diego Flammini
The 2019 spring in Ontario can be summed up in one word – wet.
Between April 1 and May 28, some parts of the province had 31 days of rain. More wet weather is expected as the calendar changes to June.
Many farmers haven’t finished planting their crops yet, which has led some producers to reconsider equipment options.
Growers like Robert Clark, a cash cropper from Carleton County, decided to purchase some equipment to help get the crops in despite these soggy conditions.
“I bought a no-till drill this year so, if it’s too wet to work, we’ll have to give that a shot,” he told Farms.com. “Sometimes it’s dry enough on the top of the ground to plant but too wet underneath to work the soil.”
The wet conditions have affected the way Clark is going to apply fertilizer.
“When I put the fertilizer on, I’ll just work it in with the drill as I’m seeding and use the packer to pack it down,” he said. “I’m on a clay soil and, if I turn it over, it’ll just turn to mud. We’re not getting the hot and dry days we need to dry the soil out, so this way I can still plant.”
Other producers, like Ken Durham, a cash cropper from Niagara, are choosing to keep equipment away from the fields until the conditions change.
“We do no-till so we have to wait until the water goes away and the soil gets dry,” he told Farms.com. “It’s too wet to disc and you don’t want to take equipment into the field and make it hard for the roots to grow.”