CHESTERVILLEóEastern Ontario farmers are breathing a sigh of relief coming into October. Killing frost has held off in most parts and crops are in general better than many thought possible back in July.
"The corn looks great!" says Lloyd Crow, grower and partner in Reynolds Brothers Farms in Picton. But, it does need more time and a hard frost could still affect yield in Prince Edward County this fall. "Another couple of weeks would be just great."
There was a light frost in some parts of the county that did very little to damage the crop, but north of Highway 401 there was corn frozen top to bottom and that, he said, could be a problem for corn that wasnít fully dented.
The soybean harvest had just got started around September 25, says Crow, when it started to rain and didnít stop. In spite of the current cold and cloudy weather the bean harvest will have to continue, he said, because they need to get the wheat that follows the beans into the ground. So, until the weather clears, any beans harvested will have to be dried. The bean yield is good, Crow said, but fine weather from late August into September matured the beans, dropped the leaves and stole some of the yield.
And, unlike years past, he added," there will be no 20 per cent corn this year."
In Glengarry County the corn looks OK and undamaged by a light frost about September 26, says Shawn McRae of Bainsville. With no extra heat units this growing season the corn could benefit from a few more frost-free nights to help further kernel maturity and enhance grain quality, he said.
Soybeans look to be variable and hard to peg in Glengarry. McRae needs to first harvest his azuki beans, which are exported to Japan and processed for use in cakes and confections, so he is still two or three weeks away from harvesting his own IP soybeans. But, McRae is hearing that farmers who are harvesting are finding the beans look good in the field but the results of the yield monitors are somewhat disappointing. This bean variability is probably due to the stress from excessive moisture and mould this season, he says.
Arden Schneckenburger in Dundas County is also seeing that bean variability. Plots of beans planted later in the season have not matured uniformly, he says. Most beans have dropped their leaves and he expects harvesting will commence full speed around Thanksgiving.
Late May corn could still be damaged by a hard frost but most corn in Dundas has not been hit. There was some damage from that light frost, he said, but if you walk into the corn, itís still green. A few more frost-free weeks would help a lot with bushel weight, he says, and benefit both quality and yield.
The harvest has shifted two or three weeks, says Schneckenburger "but at least we have a crop. The September we had made the difference between a below average crop to an average or slightly above average crop."