The planting season got off to a dry start in May and June, but with lots of rain in July and August. Only an early frost could ruin things now as the corn crop is one to two weeks behind.
"It is the best corn crop ever produced in Ontario," said Farms.com Risk Management Chief Commodity Strategist Moe Agostino.
The 2023 Great Ontario Yield Tour team visited farms across Ontario from August 14–25, 2023, collecting hundreds of corn and soybean samples.
This year’s tour was a challenge for scouts as they encountered plenty of moisture during their yield checks, with ankle-high water, lots of mud, and lodged soybeans at the end of the tour.
The Great Ontario Yield Tour team of experts—Agostino, Maizex Chief Agronomist Heny Prinzen, and Alpine Agronomy Manager Steve McQueen—spent two weeks in August touring and sampling hundreds of farms across Ontario.
These Yield Tour experts are predicting the 2023 Ontario corn yield will be 203 bushels per acre (bpa)—a new record high! The previous yield record in Ontario was in 2021 at 200 bpa.
Depending on the location of the farm in Ontario, the team is predicting a corn range of 201.2–205.2 bpa.
In Eastern Ontario, attendees at the event held at Derks Elevator on August 24 learned that they can expect corn yield ranges of 196 to 206 bpa.
Western Ontario farmers, however, can expect corn yields ranging between 203 and 224 bpa.
The 8th Annual Great Ontario Yield Tour experts said the Ontario corn crop is clean, but more than 50 percent is immature and behind by one to two weeks. A great finish during September will be required to reach the record-breaking potential the team of experts is predicting.
The team is also predicting a record yield for soybeans.
The estimates for the 2023 Ontario soybean yield are 53.5 bpa, just beating the 2021 record of 53 bpa.
The yield range for Ontario will be 52.43 to 54.6 bpa for soybeans. Eastern Ontario will see a range of 52 to 57 bpa, while Western Ontario will see a range of 52 to 64 bpa.
According to the Great Ontario Yield Tour experts, the soybean crop is more variable and has more disease, particularly white mold, so it could be a drag on final yields if the finish is not full of heat and sunshine. Again, the team feels there are more good soybean crops to outweigh the bad.
“In 2023 the number of corn plants per acre was up by 24 ears versus 2021," Agostino stated. “The soybeans are awash with 2021 with similar plant and pod counts, but the heaviest producing regions like Essex County are outweighing the bad counties.”
The 15-day forecast looks hot and dry—exactly what the doctor ordered!
The final Ontario yield estimates were shared with the 250 farmers who attended the Great Ontario Yield Tour final event in Western Ontario, held in Woodstock, Ontario.
Guest speakers Timothy Laatsch and Bryce Geisel, agronomists from Koch Agronomic Services, gave a presentation titled "How Secure is Your Nitrogen Vault?" that provided valuable insights to farmers in attendance.
Attendees also participated in seven demonstrations throughout the day-long event on topics ranging from amplifying crop potential with Alpine Bio-K to weathering the weather with hybrids with Maizex and trench warfare with nitrogen stabilizers from Koch Agronomic Services.
There were also several demonstrations about leveraging technology; amongst other things, GPS Ontario showcased an autonomous tractor, Advanced Grain Handling Systems talked about the ups and downs of grain conveying, CASE IH featured Connected Farming, and TerraNova UAV talked about the lessons learned from the air in 2023 and, more importantly, the outlook for 2024.
Prinzen and McQueen provided the audience with the agronomy results from the 2023 Great Ontario Yield Tour and provided insights into yields in different areas across the province, while Agostino provided a 2023 Grain Market & Basis Outlook for the farmers in attendance.