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2020 Corn Seasonal Summary

In March 2020 Statistics Canada estimated Ontario farmers intended to plant 2.3 million acres of grain corn, 10% higher than the 5-year average seeded acres of 2.1 million acres (2015-2019) (OMAFRA Crop Statistics).
Spring 2020 provided a great start to planting. April remained cold but sun and dry weather provided an extended period of excellent soil conditions. A very small amount of planting was reported as early as the first half of April but planting did not start in earnest on lighter soils until just prior to the last weekend of April (April 25/26). By the first week of May (May 3) planting was well underway in most areas, ranging from just starting on heavier soils to nearing completion on some lighter and better drained soils. General estimates were well over 50% of Ontario corn acreage was planted by the end of this week.
Weather conditions changed approaching mid-May with a forecast calling for significantly colder temperatures and rain or snow. When to stop planting ahead of this forecast was a main point of conversation. Traditional wisdom suggests stopping planting 48 hours prior to cold soaking rain or snow to reduce seed vigour risks associated with a corn seed’s initial imbibition of cold water. At Elora, from May 4 to May 13, there were nine days with low temperatures below freezing. Rain or snow was received in many areas from Friday, May 8 to Monday, May 11. By the third week of May (May 17) planting was largely complete except for heavier textured soils and some sandy areas where some growers delayed planting to avoid potential for cold temperature complications.
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