Lo­cal yields lagged be­hind pro­vin­cial av­er­age

The Glengarry News - - Sport in the Glens -

As the land slowly emerges from a blan­ket of ice and snow, farm­ers are look­ing ahead to an­other plant­ing sea­son.

In 2017, af­ter a year of un­cer­tainty, warmer, drier fall weather al­lowed many crops to reach ma­tu­rity and led to bet­ter-than-ex­pected yields, ac­cord­ing to Agri­corp, the pro­vin­cial agency that ad­min­is­ters risk man­age­ment pro­grams in On­tario.

Corn pro­duc­ers planted over 1.5 mil­lion acres in 2017 and re­ported an av­er­age yield of 186 bushels per acre. Soy­bean pro­duc­ers planted over 2 mil­lion acres and re­ported an av­er­age yield of 44 bushels per acre.

The pro­vin­cial av­er­age yield for soy­beans was in line with the ten-year av­er­age.

How­ever, re­gional av­er­ages were below the On­tario mean. In Stor­mont-Dun­das-Glengarry, most ar­eas had yields of 40 to 45 bushels, although some pock­ets re­ported higher re­turns, reach­ing 50 to 55 bushels per acre. Prescott-Rus­sell was con­sis­tently below the pro­vin­cial av­er­age, rang­ing from 30 to 35 bushels.

Prov­ince-wide, corn yields were higher than av­er­age, at 184 bushels per acre. Again, yields in the east- ern coun­ties were lower. In SDG, har­vests pro­duced any­where from 130 to 170 bushels. Prescott-Rus­sell’s re­turns were in the range of 90 to 110 bushels per acre.

Manag­ing weather risks

On­tario's agri-food sec­tor is one of the largest con­trib­u­tors to the pro­vin­cial econ­omy. Pro­duc­ers be­hind this vi­tal in­dus­try face many unique risks be­yond their con­trol – a big one is the weather.

Ev­ery year, farm­ers some­where in the prov­ince face chal­leng­ing weather that can lead to dif­fi­cult plant­ing, grow­ing and har­vest­ing con­di­tions.

In 2017, wet, cool and stormy weather in the spring led to de­layed plant­ing and caused dam­age to planted crops in ar­eas across On­tario.

In 2016, ab­nor­mally dry weather across On­tario caused stress to crops, low­ered yields and re­duced the avail­abil­ity of for­age.

Fed­eral and pro­vin­cial pro­grams like AgriSta­bil­ity, Pro­duc­tion In­sur­ance and On­tario's Risk Man­age­ment Pro­gram (RMP) help farm­ers deal with the im­pacts of chal­leng­ing weather and other farm risks. In 2017, these three pro­grams cov­ered over $5 bil­lion in li­a­bil­ity.

SOUND IN­VEST­MENT: Wet grow­ing con­di­tions un­der­line the im­por­tance of drainage, which helps im­prove yields.

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