Carruthers photo

Michelle O’Donohue
AgriNews Contributor
CHESTERVILLE – With snow and cold temperatures now the reality for the next few months, harvest has largely quieted. OMAFRA Cropping Systems Specialist Scott Banks spoke with AgriNews to discuss what crops remain standing yet, and the overall outlook on the quality of the late corn still being harvested.

Banks advised that on the whole, harvest is largely completed, remarking that there is the “odd field of soybeans that may not have been harvested to date, but the majority of the soybeans are off now.” He estimates that there remains “20 to 25 per cent of corn yet to come off across the greater Eastern Ontario area,” going on to note “most of that [corn] was planted late.” He added that the weather over the last month has made it difficult for farmers to combine those last remaining acres, as the snow has slowed harvest. Additionally, the corn coming off now [in December} has been high in moisture, “probably 25-30 per cent was more common, that’s quite high for combining,” Banks said.

When asked about the yield and weight of the late corn, Banks remarked that both were lower than seen earlier in the year, but this is to be expected as much of what is coming off late was also planted later this spring, noting “generally, most of the earlier harvested stuff had pretty good yields, and relatively good moisture for combining, the stuff that’s left tends to be the lower yield, higher moisture corn.” He added that the test weights of the latest corn have been on the low end as well saying, “generally we’re starting to see some lower test weights with that later corn, the grade is grade three or lower on some of the corn coming off.”

Regarding the remaining corn, Banks noted two of the primary concerns for farmers facing winter harvesting are the high moisture levels, and battling with snow cover. Talking about moisture levels, he said, “even though it freezes up, and is a very slow dry down, they can get some days where the moisture actually does start to drop a bit.”

The balancing act with Mother Nature proves a challenge at all times of year. Banks remarked that in the winter, snow can be one of the biggest challenges, “mainly the snow causes issues with plugging up the combine,” adding “some will be looking for an opportunity when the snow has melted down, but the ground is still frozen to get back into harvest.” Ultimately it will be the decision of each individual grower when they feel they are able to get back into the fields and finish harvest, or whether they will wait for spring.

Banks stated that with this year’s season largely finished, attention now turns to planning for next year. He advised that the program for this February’s Eastern Ontario Crop Conference is now available online. For more information, or to register, visit;

Finally, performance   trials for both corn and soybeans are now available online at: Corn:; Soybeans: