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Ont. harvest still about a month away

Ont. harvest still about a month away

The wet spring pushed everything back, one farmer said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Ontario producers are closely watching the weather and crop development.

The wet spring, followed by periods of dry weather, pushed everything back, said Mark Davis, a cash crop producer from Lennox and Addington County.

“We’ve still got a long way to go before it’s harvest time on our farm,” he told Farms.com. “I would think our corn won’t get harvested until late October or the middle of November. And we’ll be very fortunate to harvest soybeans before the middle of October. Overall, the crops are surviving.”

For comparison, a Farms.com story from Oct. 23, 2018 included farmers who finished their soybean harvests.

The corn crop needs to avoid a killing frost. Davis’s area is usually frost-free until Halloween and the crop is going to need that to be the case this year, he said.

Bryon Wilson, a cash crop producer from the Regional Municipality of Peel, agrees.

His corn will need some warmer temperatures to help it finish the season.

“If we can get through September without a frost, the (crop) might be okay but, if not, we might be in big trouble,” he told Farms.com. “It’ll be October before we start harvest. The whole year has been late, so you’d expect to have a late harvest.”

Wilson has also been following signs from Mother Nature.

The barn swallows around his farm have left for the winter, which is early for them, he said.

“Maybe they know something we don’t,” he said. “We had our local plowing match last Thursday and the barn swallows were gone by the time we got back.”

Ontario’s Barn Swallow Recovery Strategy affirms Wilson’s belief of an early departure.

“Most Barn Swallows depart Ontario by late September with small numbers present locally through October,” the strategy says.

Like Wilson and Davis, Ed VanDeWynckel, a cash crop producer from Chatham-Kent, doesn’t want a frost anytime soon.

“We don’t need a frost until the middle of October, especially for the corn,” he told Farms.com. “All the plants have cobs on them, but we’ve got a long way to go before they’re mature enough to handle a frost.”

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