Corn harvest 2020

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Josh Butler combines a field of corn on Croton Road recently.

By Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative

Corn harvest 2020 has progressed well, however some fields have been impacted by a small amount of the disease fusarium.

“It’s not as bad as two years ago, says Grain Farmers of Ontario provincial director Mark Huston, “but it’s worse that we expected it to be.”

The Thamesville-area cash crop farmer says yields are varied across Chatham-Kent with some billed as excellent and others lower due to heavy rain or drought.

“Some are really, really good and close to record,” he says, “but some aren’t.

“It’s the joys of agriculture.”

Chatham-Kent is the second largest producer of grain in the province, second only to Wellington-Grey-Bruce. However, those areas include oats, barley and mixed grains, which are rarely grown within Chatham-Kent.

Across the province average yields number around 55 acres a bushel.

But Huston says the official numbers of acres and per bushel yields have yet to be tabulated by Agricorp.

COVID-19 has also impacted agricultural operations this year, Huston adds, impacting the value chain.

He says the movement of grain has been slowed at times as the system was full and farmers were unable to deliver, meaning elevators couldn’t take grain in.

However, he says things are improving.

“As time goes on, it’s starting to open up,” he adds.

Travel restriction on export markets can also affect how the crop moves to market, Huston says.

An estimated 60 per cent of corn produced in Ontario is used for feed and around 40% goes for industrial uses, such as ethanol production.

A significant acreage is also planted to produce silage for livestock feed.

The Thamesville Herald

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