Great Lakes Grain Report Shows Crops Holding Up Across Much of Ontario Despite Challenges in 2022


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Final Crop Yield and Quality Report for the 2021 Crop Assessment Tour

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CHATHAM, Ontario, Sept. 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Great Lakes Grain Crop Assessment Tour is now coming to an end in its 13e year. The tour covers all of Ontario, from Windsor to Ottawa. Great Lakes Grain staff, including FS system partners across Ontario, have assessed over 900 corn and soybean fields

The Great Lakes Grain Crop Assessment Tour has been held annually since 2010 to assess the size of Ontario’s crop and give producers a better understanding of how their crop is performing relative to others in the province. It enables producers with their agronomists and grain traders to refine their management plans for future improvements in production and marketing.

The growing season has been variable to say the least across the province. In most of the province, crops were planted seasonally. However, the abundant rains that followed planting in many areas led to replanting and a reduction in stands. This was followed by a drier than normal period in June and July, with some areas seeing virtually no measurable rainfall. Overall, we expect Ontario’s corn and soybean crops to be average.

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Determining the performance of the Great Lakes Grain Crop Assessment Tour focuses on the components of yield. In corn, it is the number of ears per acre multiplied by the number of rows and the number of kernels in the row and the weight of the kernel. When making yield estimates, grain weight is the unknown factor. We use 90,000 grains per bushel. This varies greatly depending on the hybrid and the weather during grain filling. It can be as low as 57,000 to 105,000 grains in a bushel.

This factor can have a profound effect on yield estimates. The final kernel weight can be determined after the black coat by collecting the harvested kernels and obtaining the actual thousand kernel weight (TKW). The final grain weight is strongly influenced by the duration of the grain filling period. This is a function of the lag phase of the core from R1 to R3 which determines the size of the core and of the linear phase from R4 to the black layer R6 which is a function of grain fill ratio and duration. Reproductive stages from R1 to R6 are strongly influenced by an adequate and balanced nitrogen supply of all essential nutrients, healthy plants with green leaves and, of course, timely rainfall during the grain filling period. The large differences in end-of-season rainfall and soil conditions will be a major factor in determining final grain weights and yields. Not only did yields vary widely within each field, but the variance from field to field was significant due to last season’s erratic rainfall.

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Dry weather limited nitrogen and potassium uptake on corn. This is confirmed by deficiency symptoms on the lower leaves expressed as chlorosis and later followed by necrotic tissue. Nitrogen starts at the leaf tip and runs down the center of the midrib of the leaf, while potassium also starts at the leaf tip but runs down along the leaf margin. Symptoms are of course more severe when nutrients are limited due to low soil test levels and/or inadequate nutrient application. Water stress on crops serves to amplify other problems besides nutrient supply such as soil compaction.

Leaf disease in terms of incidence and severity was relatively minor in the majority of fields. Tar spot started to develop after R5 which has little to no impact on yields at this stage of growth. Most corn fields blacken over the next week, so any impact on green leaf loss at this stage is unlikely to have much impact on kernel weight. If conditions remain favorable for disease progression, we will see rapid loss of green tissue. It remains to be seen what impact this may have on grain drying rates, stalk integrity and standability. This will certainly add to the inoculum load in the fields in the future

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The components of yield in soybeans are the number of pods per acre multiplied by the number of beans per pod divided by a bean size factor. This year we used 3100 seeds per pound for conversion.

Growing soybeans seems to offer more yield stability within fields and between fields with more consistent pod count, the average bean count per pod is still 2.5 beans. The difference between this year and last year is a slightly lower pod count and smaller bean size in 2022. This will lower the yield estimate but still produce respectable yields. We observed a difference in planting dates on yields. It seems that the soybeans planted before May 15 were more affected at R1 by the heat and the lack of humidity. Soybeans planted after May 15 to May 20 may have found this sweet spot for pod retention. Of course, beans planted later give less yield in any year. The mid-season beans seemed to take advantage of any August moisture to fill out the pods at the top nodes.

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Drier weather influenced nutrient uptake. Widespread manganese deficiency as well as some potassium deficiency symptoms were easily observed. Manganese deficiency was alleviated by foliar application and some fields required two applications for symptom relief. In the past, yield response to foliar application has averaged from a typical 5 bushels to 20 bushels per acre when severe.

Some potassium deficiencies were observed higher in the canopy when late season pods were filling in and drawing potassium from the nearest trifoliate.

Root rots in some clay farms were a bit surprising to see in drier weather. There must have been enough humidity early on for the infection and the dry weather was the tipping point for additional stress to increase the severity. White mold was very isolated, in thinner stands brown Septoria leaf spot was higher than normal in the canopy.

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Japanese beetle feeding appears to be increasing, but still well below action thresholds.

Perhaps the most troubling development is the increase in populations of multimode resistant aquatic hemp in soybeans. Either an escape, a failure or an ineffective herbicide choice. Regardless, this weed will require diligent effort over several seasons to reduce the weed seed bank in order to bring it under control.

The GLG Crop tour is all about estimating yield, but being out in the field watching the performance of the crop program is always instructive. When it comes to crop nutrients, follow 4Rs stewardship practices and work with current soil tests that are less than 4 years old to effectively manage the rate, source, timing, and placement of all nutrients. nutrient sources.

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Below are the average returns we have determined.

Summary of yields by region across Ontario.

Don Kabbes, General Manager of Great Lakes Grain, says, “The tour allows us to observe crop performance on our customers’ farms and gain valuable insight into what is working and where there is room for improvement.

Great Lakes grain is a grain marketing partnership between AGRIS Cooperative SA, GROWMARK, Inc. (including FS PARTNERS, a division of GROWMARK, Inc.) and Embrun Co-op. Great Lakes Grain is one of Ontario’s largest rural elevator operators. It represents nearly 22 million bushels of storage capacity with a total marketing of more than 50 million bushels. Great Lakes Grain serves farmers at 27 AGRIS Co-operative, FS PARTNERS and Embrun Co-op branded locations that stretch from North Windsor to Georgian Bay and the Ottawa Valley.

Visit us at for more information.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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