Cool Temperatures but Ontario Planting Conditions Still Good

Cooler-than-normal temperatures are slowing soil warm-up and delaying germination and emergence of seeded crops, but the 2020 season is so far still offering better planting conditions than the past number of springs, according to the latest Ontario crop report.

Indeed, as much as half of the provincial corn crop has already been planted, while much of the winter wheat crop continues to look excellent, the report said.


Corn planting has progressed steadily during the week of the May 4th and planting conditions have been excellent. While corn seed planted three weeks ago has not emerged, the ground is not overly wet, which is when the problems of slow germination are of concern. With relatively low temperatures predicted, it is fine that the corn has not yet emerged.

The rate of planting varies widely within and between areas. Some people are completely done and moved onto soybeans while others are just started or yet to start. On average we predict that around 50% of the corn has been planted across Ontario with higher levels in the west and far east compared to the mid-west and central regions. Areas with heavier soils continue to wait on field conditions to be suitable.


Most of the winter wheat crop looks excellent although the prolonged cool conditions have slowed growth. Some of the later planted winter wheat fields are struggling but producers want to keep these because of the current market pricing. Growth of annual weeds continues to be slow but is starting to get to the stage when herbicides should be applied.

Disease pressure is low across the province with Septoria being the only disease reported in the lower part of the canopy in some fields. In general, disease pressure is well below threshold for triggering application.

Spring cereals are all planted with increased acres across the province, especially oats. Cereals are taking 7-10 days to emerge under these temperatures, but seed was planted into “fit” soils and everything should be fine.


Soybeans, like other crops, do best when planted under ideal soil conditions and for the most part, the 2020 planting season has offered this. Some have expressed concern over the cold temperatures predicted for May 7-11. Once moved into May, the expectation is that temperatures will only improve so if soil conditions are good, growers should continue to plant. The emergence of soybeans planted this week will be a bit delayed, which under current soil conditions is fine and low temperatures should have passed by the time emergence occurs.


Much of the spring canola in the traditional southern Ontario locales is completed. Seeding has started in northeastern Ontario.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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