Forecasters predicted above normal precipitation for parts of Ontario this spring. And to several farmer's dismay, soaking rains have indeed dominated the region.
A wet and cool spring has stalled the planting season across southern Ontario.
“Right now it's primarily affecting corn planting and spring grain planting,” says Todd Austin, Marketing Manager for Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Maybe one percent of the estimated total acreage has been planted to date. It's going to be a concern over the next two weeks for producers to decide if they will keep corn in their rotation, change the hybrid that they're going to grow or switch over to soy beans rather than corn.”
Farmers say the amount of days they've been able to work in their fields have been extremely limited.
“If we compare this to last year, by this time I think we were probably close to 100 percent complete for corn planting,” recalls Austin. “The trick is to grow a crop that maximizes your profit potential. With the way the weather has gone, some of those opportunities aren't presenting themselves this year.“
Agricultural experts say the longer farmers have to wait to begin seeding, the more likely yields will be lower. The combination of cool, wet weather has completely delayed and put a damper on things.
“You want some warm weather so the seed bed is warm enough to promote germination,” says Austin.
Producers like to have the soil roughly 10°C to plant into.
For a closer look at what the weather will be like in your area, head to the Ontario Cities Index.