Corn School: Helping Ontario’s crop find the finish line

Many corn growers across Ontario continue to hold their breath as the late-planted, slow-developing crop continues its march to maturity.

In early September, many growers wondered whether the crop would make it, but after a stretch of good weather and an extended forecast that promises more warm days and good nighttime temperatures, the finish line is now in sight.

On this episode of RealAgriculture’s Corn School, Bernard Tobin and PRIDE Seeds market agronomist Matt Chapple look at how crop maturity is tracking in southwestern Ontario. In the Chatham area, Chapple notes that corn planters usually start to roll on May 1, but in 2019 many growers had to wait until June 1.

The late start required growers to plant shorter-season hybrids than they typically would on their farm. In this video, Chapple looks at a plot where he’s planted 3200 CHU corn, and 3000 CHU corn to factor in the loss of early-season heat units. As of September 16, the area had accumulated 2750 CHU since the June 1 planting. (Story continues after the video.)

In the video, Chapple takes a closer look at how the good fall weather has both hybrids racing to the finish line. He also discusses the risk management benefits of reducing corn maturity during a tough spring and the potential for hybrids of different maturity to deliver solid yields when Mother Nature decides to co-operate later in the season.

Click here for more Corn School episodes.