Where is the province at for harvest progress?
As harvest has been wrapped up in the southern end of the province for a couple weeks now, whereas some areas are still working hard to get the remainder of the crop off. In the Niagara region, harvest is complete or very close to complete for most growers.
In the Palmerston area and to the North and East, harvest is approximatley 70% complete. The recent rain event on August 3 and 4 will cause a slight delay for those who still have wheat to harvest. Despite a weather setback, quality remains strong.
In terms of the spring wheat crop, Tim Meulensteen, Agronomist with C&M Seeds states that “spring wheat development is extremly variable this year. The delay in spring planting due to excessive rain will cause a large variation in harvest timming. He notes, the earliest planted spring wheat will be harvested by the middle of August. Whereas, the lattest planted will be harvested as late as the middle of September as some fields are still flowering”.
Yields across the province for winter wheat range from below average to average to above average. The high yield areas were very dependent on getting the right weather at the right time, which as farmers, we know is completly out of our control. Mother nature will always hold 70% of the cards. That being said, 30% of the yield outcome can still be managed.
The 30% that can be managed starts in the fall. Management strategies such as:
- Planting date
- Starting with a proper seed source with professionally applied seed treatments
- Variety selection
- Fall residue management
- Seed placed phosphorous
- Seeding Rates
- Equipment Tuned and Calibrated
- Fall Weed Control
Accomplishing these eight wheat management strategies is going to be what make a decent crop into a great crop! Remember, a strong start in the fall will lead to a strong finish next summer. Ask yourself this question, are you “fall ready”?