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Ont. producers reflect on 2019

Ont. producers reflect on 2019

A vacation is in order after the year the industry faced, one farmer said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

As the calendar inches towards 2020, many people will take some time to reflect on the year that’s ending.

With that at top of mind, Farms.com reached out to members of Ontario’s ag community for their thoughts on how the 2019 growing season played out in their operations.

The wet conditions during the planting season set the year off on the wrong foot, said Tracy Dafoe, a cash crop and dairy producer from Havelock, Ont.

“We had a difficult time getting onto our land because it was so wet,” she told Farms.com. “There was one piece of land that we were unable to plant.”

Despite the planting challenges, Dafoe’s corn tested well and yields were good, she said.

The wet conditions provided opportunities to make new decisions on the farm as well.

Dafoe and her husband, Jim, had to find different forage mixtures for their dairy herd.

“We had to think outside the box to try to make feed for our animals, so this year was the first time we planted fall ryegrass,” she said. “We’re hoping now for a good winter and spring harvest.”

The Dafoes also changed their dairy herd management practices to better track which cows produce the most milk.

“We are now on DHI testing, which we weren’t before,” she said. “It’s been a valuable tool to help us weed out the good cows from the not so good ones.”

Other producers would like to forget about 2019 and focus on the future.

Bruce Hudson, a cash crop and hog producer from Huron County, hopes he can be finished harvest in time for the holidays.

“It would be nice if we can be done everything by Christmas,” he told Farms.com. “Then it’s all about maybe planning a vacation and looking ahead.”

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