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Ontario soybean yields above average

(Resource News International) — Soybean yields in Ontario are believed to be the second highest on record due to good moisture and timely heat during the growing season.

“Average soybean yields in the province during 2008 were in the 43.0 bushel an acre range,” said Horst Bohner, a soybean specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at Stratford.

The 10-year average for soybean yields is 37.5 bushels per acre, while in 2007, soybean yields were dismal at just 33.1 bushels per acre, he said.

Soybean producers in some regions were able to harvest crops that yielded in the 50- to 60-bushel an acre range.

There were a few areas in the province where yields were below average, Bohner said.

“The area that experienced some poor growing weather included the extreme southwest, where dryness and pockets of drought occurred during the critical July and August period,” he said. “The yields in that area were below average as the crop just ran out of moisture.”

On average, Bohner said Ontario’s soybean growing conditions were wetter than normal, but the difference this year in comparison to the 2007 season, was that timely heat units arrived.

Along with the high yields, Bohner said the quality of the province’s soybean crop was also very good.

An estimated 2.1 million acres of soybeans were harvested in Ontario during 2008, he said.

Producers in Ontario seeded 2.24 million acres to soybeans during the spring of 2007 with harvested area totalling 2.225 million acres.

Bohner said the soybean harvest in Ontario was roughly 95 per cent complete, with the remaining five per cent of the crop generally under snow.

“The snow just arrived, and producers with soybean standing are still planning to harvest the crop,” Bohner said. “They are hoping for at least one more warm spell.”

Producers with those fields will be still looking to bring in those crops despite the loss in quality and yield, he said.

As for how much soybeans Ontario producers will plant in 2009, Bohner indicated price, weather and the cost of fertilizer will all be tied to the decision making process.

“If it ends up being a wet spring and producers in Ontario can not get their intended corn crop in, then there will be a switch to soybeans,” Bohner said.

Crop rotation needs will also be vital in determining seeded area in the province.

The price of fertilizer will also be an influence, he said, noting that corn requires more of these inputs than soybeans. If the price is high, producers will look to soybeans which require less chemicals to grow.

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