Farmers should have contingency plans in place, one grower said
By Diego Flammini
Another round of rain in parts of Ontario means cash croppers are still waiting for a window to plant.
Some farmers have yet to seed a single acre, which is adding to the frustration this spring is causing.
“Everyone is just staring at the ground or driving around looking for a field to plant,” Scott Bowman, a producer from Middlesex County, told Farms.com. “I don’t have anything in the ground.”
As the planting season drags on, farmers like Bowman wondering whether to trade seed in, even if it affects yields.
“Late planting might mean switching seed in for one with a lower heat unit which could impact yields,” he said. “But if this weather holds out, it probably won’t be good for any crop.”
Some farmers are considering other crops if the fields remain too wet to plant corn, soybeans or wheat.
Don McGugan, a grower from Lambton County, has previous success growing and selling adzuki beans, which are used in Asian cuisine.
Aside from spraying in October, McGugan hasn’t been in his field. Given how much rain has fallen in Ontario, having a contingency plan seems like a good idea, he said.
“I’ve been growing (adzuki beans) off and on for about 25 years,” he said. “They’re an interesting crop and it pays decent, but I won’t make that decision until the middle of next week. I’ve already called my co-op and there’s a need for adzuki beans. I told them that if I don’t have all my corn in by next Wednesday that I will switch to the adzukis.”
Given that no fieldwork can be done, farmers should explore other crop opportunities, McGugan said.
“I would think they should,” he said. “It’s too wet to do anything else but at least we can do some research to find out what other crop options might be available to us.”