ollow us on: @pickseedcanada Corn critical plant period - making a plan By: Lee Brien, CCA-ON District Sales Manager Believe us, we are as exasperated about this weather as everyone else. We feel the itch! We would rather be outside playing in the soil than sitting here, at a desk, watching raindrops hit the window. This delay does, however, gives us time to think. But, this extra thinking time, can cause us to become our own worst enemy when it comes to our seed choices. Did I push this variety too far? Will this hybrid make it to black layer? What if we get a September frost?! These are legitimate questions, but they aren’t as dire as the calendar makes them seem, as it whispers them in your ear with each passing day that planter wheels don’t roll. OMAFRA and University of Guelph research shows, that by switching to shorter day hybrids, you stand to lose a minimum 10% of potential yield versus staying with your full season choice. Pushing your planting date later you stand to only lose 5% of potential yield. If Mother Nature is still delaying planting come Victoria Day, it may become necessary to shorten your heat units to 100-150 CHU. Once we hit this critical time and producers start to switch varieties for shorter heat units, seed supplies will become short. The producer that thought ahead and put a plan in place with his seed dealer to make this switch, will likely be rewarded with a smooth transition. Producers that are traditionally more tolerant to growing soybeans versus corn will also look to make the switch from corn to soybeans. This may not be necessary and could be costly to the producer in the long term. If we look to 2011 when about 60% of the Ontario corn crop was planted after June 1. The resulting average Ontario corn yield was 152 bu/ac. When you compare this to 2012, a Spring that saw one of the earliest planting windows Ontario has ever seen, 2011 measures up 1 bushel short of 2012 average yields. Crop rotation studies conducted in the US show up to a 19% yield bump in fields that use a rotation of more than 2 crops. Keep that rotation going! Key Point Don’t let that calendar bully you into changing hybrids just yet! Most research indicates that a change from a full season variety isn’t necessary until after the Victoria Day weekend and switching to soybeans can negatively impact your profit potential. Take a deep breath and go hug your planter. We have plenty of time for the sun to shine and get good things growing!
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