November 21, 2008

Good growing conditions boost Ontario's soy yields


Soy yields in the province of Ontario are believed to be the second highest on record due to good moisture and timely heat during the growing season, according to an official with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.


"Average soy yields in the province during 2008 were in the 43.0 bushel an acre range," Horst Bohner, a soy specialist with the Ontario provincial government said.


The ten-year average for soy yields is 37.5 bushels per acre, while in 2007, soy yields were dismal at just 33.1 bushels per acre, he said.


Soy producers in some regions were able to harvest crops that yielded in the 50- to 60-bushel-an-acre range.


There were a few areas in the province where yields were below average, Bohner said.


"The area that experienced some poor growing weather included the extreme southwest, where dryness and pockets of drought occurred during the critical July and August period," he said. "The yields in that area were below average as the crop just ran out of moisture."


On average, Bohner said Ontario's soy growing conditions were wetter than normal, but the difference this year in comparison to the 2007 season, was that timely heat units arrived.


Along with the high yields, Bohner said the quality of the province's soy crop was also very good.


An estimated 2.1 million acres of soy were harvested in Ontario during 2008, he said.


Producers in Ontario seeded 2.240 million acres to soy during the spring of 2007 with harvested area totalling 2.225 million acres.


Bohner said the soy harvest in Ontario was roughly 95 percent complete, with the remaining 5 percent of the crop generally under snow.


"The snow just arrived, and producers with soy standing are still planning to harvest the crop," Bohner said. "They are hoping for at least one more warm spell."


He said producers with those fields will be still looking to bring in those crops despite the loss in quality and yield.


As for how much soy Ontario producers will plant in 2009, Bohner indicated price, weather and the cost of fertilizer will all be tied to the decision-making process.


"If it ends up being a wet spring and producers in Ontario can not get their intended corn crop in, then there will be a switch to soy," Bohner said.


Crop rotation needs will also be vital in determining seeded area in the province.


The price of fertilizer will also be an influence, he said, noting that corn requires more of these inputs than soy. If the price is high, producers will look to soy which requires less chemical to grow.

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