This year’s yields will be surprisingly better than expected despite some dry pockets in the province.
It’s not a record-breaking year for corn, but experts say the 2022 crop yield is still impressive, coming in well above average. For soybeans, it is also expected to be above average.
The 2022 Great Ontario Yield Tour team visited farms across Ontario from August 15-26, 2022, collecting 869 corn and soybean samples in total.
Hosted by Farms.com Risk Management Chief Commodity Strategist Maurizio (Moe) Agostino and Greg Stewart the Agronomy Lead with Maizex, the two Great Ontario Yield Tour experts are predicting an above-average yield for corn with an estimated 186.6 bu/acre—well above the 10-year Agricrop average at 175.50 bu/acre.
Although last year’s record corn yield was an estimated 200 bu/acre, the previous Agricorp high was 183 bu/acre set in 2018. The 2022 corn yield estimate of 186.6 bu/acre certainly tops that high.
“It may not have been a record-breaker, but it was still quite a strong corn crop,” stated Agostino.
The Great Ontario Yield Tour is estimating the 2022 soybean yield at 50.3 bu/acre, which is shy of the 2021 record by Agricorp at 53 bu/acre, but it will be the fourth-largest crop ever, well above the 10-year Agricorp average of 47.55 bu/acre.
“It’s a good crop, but it’s nothing too exciting,” said Stewart.
Both Agostino and Stewart agreed that it was too dry for too long from the second half of June into early August for the sandy/light soils.
“On June 10th, there was some who thought it would be a record corn crop—I said wow, this was going to be amazing considering the record we set last year, but across almost all of Ontario, the weather was hot and dry in July,” recalled Stewart.
While not systemic across the entire province, both agreed that enough people had enough dry weather for them to complain about it.
“And yes, the dry weather pulled back the length of the ear compared to last year,” noted Stewart.
Agostino agreed: “Some people will scratch their head over our corn yield prediction, thinking that the dry weather will affect the crop. But in August, most areas have received plenty of moisture.”
He continued, “The corn crop has held up quite well to sustain itself under the stressful dry conditions.”
The experts acknowledged that the corn yield of 186.6 bu/acre is calculated by measuring the potential and the ear count, and while girth is there, it’s the length that is a problem in 2022 versus last year.
For the Ontario soybean crop, the dry weather also played a role in the expected above-average yield, as pods and plants measured in a 10-foot space were slightly lower than last year’s record crop.
“Things were great at the onset,” said Stewart. “But, if we were to hit a record, we would have needed relief from the dry weather by the end of July. But that just didn’t happen.”
Agostino added, “Many will be surprised with their yields this year despite the below average precipitation as genetics continue to surprise. There will be more haves than have-nots, and the garden spots will outweigh the dry spots.
“Beans are very sensitive to the dry weather, but can handle the stress better,” he said, “but we needed rain earlier than we saw to take it to a record level.”
The results were shared with 250 farmers who attended the Great Ontario Yield Tour final event in western Ontario, which was held in Woodstock, Ontario.
Farmers attended eight demonstrations during the day-long event on topics ranging from maximizing fertilizer, to pushing for bigger kernels, and growing more with less, as well as a more technology-focused component such as planter technology, a review of why cheap dryers are so expensive, analyzing data, and turning images into money powered by drones.
The day also included a presentation from guest speaker Ken Ferrie on “Farming is an environmental triangle” focusing on the importance of hybrid selection, 4R nutrient management, and disease control.
Stewart provided the audience with the agronomy results from the Great Ontario Yield Tour and provided insights into yields in different regions and counties across the province, while Agostino provided a 2022 Grain Market & Basis Outlook for the farmers in attendance.