2015 crops better than Central Lambton farmers expected

A farmer near Alvinston works his fields. File Photo

The crops of 2015 are turning out to be a lot better than many people thought.

That’s according to Kevin Marriott, the Lambton County Chair of the Grain Farmers of Ontario.

The prospects for a strong 2015 looked poor in the spring. Only 10 per cent of Lambton County’s winter wheat crop had been planted in the fall of 2014 because of wet weather. And the hits kept coming, as fields in the county were soaked for weeks, raising concerns that some corn crops would be killed off.

Marriott says many farmers lost out on their wheat income, but were pleasantly surprised by the quality and quantity of the corn and soybean crops.

The corn which is being taken off now, he says, has turned out surprisingly well with some fields producing up to 200 bushels per acre. Marriott says between 150 and 160 bushels per acre is considered a good yield.

And he says some farmers in the Alvinston-Watford area didn’t fair as well. That region saw heavier rain than the rest of Lambton County.

“It is turning out better than most people thought,” says Marriott. “Some isolated areas which got too much rain and that hurt the yield but overall it is turning out well.”

Marriott adds the 2016 winter wheat crop is also getting a great start. Soybeans were off the fields a little earlier this year giving farmers lots of time to get the crop in the ground.

“I haven’t heard acres, but I know from driving the county we’re likely breaking records,” he says. Marriott anticipates as much as 150,000 acres of land will be planted in winter wheat for harvest in 2016.

Much of it has already grown an inch and Marriott says that bodes well for the crop. “It’s in great shape.”