By Diego Flammini
The sun may be shining in Ontario today, but cash crop producers still find themselves looking for a window to harvest their crops.
A recent stretch of rain and cooler temperatures forced some farmers to come up with concrete plans to harvest, regardless of field conditions.
“My soybeans were ready to come off about 10 days ago but I haven’t been able to start harvest yet,” Bill Lammers, a cash crop grower from Lambton County, told Farms.com. “I can’t afford to wait any longer, so I’m probably going to start today or tomorrow no matter what.
“Ideally, I’d like to wait until things dried up a little bit, but I don’t think I’m going to have that option.”
Some producers, however, have been able to harvest some of their acres.
Tom Stableford, a cash crop and forage producer in Kawartha Lakes, Ont., harvested his soybeans about three weeks ago. He still has corn to harvest but isn’t in a rush “because the corn could stay out there all winter,” he said.
In addition to producing crops, Stableford does custom work and hauls grain for a trucking company.
Some growers are choosing to wait the weather out to save money, he said.
“There’s a fantastic crop out there but we keep getting rained out,” he told Farms.com. “Some of my customers could’ve been done with harvest but they don’t want to pay for grain drying. But there’s some people now that are combining as soon as they see the sun.”
The slowed harvest in Ontario has a domino effect on the industry, he added.
Ships are waiting in some harbours to transport grain, but elevators are having a hard time filling those orders.
“Those boats need to leave, but the elevators don’t have enough beans,” he said. “Some elevators are offering half-price grain drying to encourage growers to get their crops harvested and transported.”