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Ontario's corn crop may suffer this year due to a significant lack of rain.


Producers in Ontario have faced starkly different growing conditions across the province this season, with Northern Ontario seeing record amounts of rainfall, and southern parts of the problem facing severely dry conditions.

Ontario farmers planted 2.1 million acres of corn for grain this spring according to Statistics Canada's June principal field crop report. In July, many corn fields showed signs of damage stemming from dry conditions, with a Wisconsin source estimating yield losses of 2%-4% per day. Western bean cutworm moths have been found in traps throughout southwestern Ontario, according to a report from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

The province's 5.5 million acres of soybeans are handling this summer's dry conditions better than corn, but OMAFRA reports dry soil conditions at planting have resulted in patchy fields with poor germination. Soybean aphids haven't been a significant problem to growers this year. OMAFRA predicts that some areas may see poor yields despite any forthcoming rainfall.

Straw and winter wheat crops have shown good quality and yield, and winter wheat harvest was ahead of schedule compared to 2015. Stripe rust has posed a new threat to Ontario wheat growers. In the past, the disease--which researchers say is carried by the wind from the U.S.--stopped being a threat in temperatures of about 21 C (70 F). Agronomist Peter Johnson says it appears the fungus has mutated, resulting in a more heat-tolerant form of the disease, which can survive in temperatures as warm as 28 C (82 F)--potentially devastating wheat yields.

Four environmental groups have launched a federal lawsuit alleging the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) registered neonicotinoid pesticides over the last decade without acquiring scientific evidence necessary to evaluate the environmental risks, particularly in relation to pollinators. The groups are looking to the court to overturn the PMRA's approval of neonicotinoids. The federal government has not yet filed a response in court.

Article and photo by Stephanie Croley, Editor, Top Crop Manager East

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Title Annotation:ONTARIO UPDATE
Author:Croley, Stephanie
Publication:Agri Marketing
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Jul 1, 2016
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