Less wheat in Lambton, higher prices

·2 min read

Lambton County’s wheat fields are not likely to bring in record yields, but high prices for the grain could be a saving grace for local farmers.

That’s according to Kevin Marriott of the Grain Farmers of Ontario.

Many Central Lambton farmers are chomping at the bit to get into the fields, but Marriott says many need to wait just a bit longer.

“It looks ready but it is not ready,” said Marriott as he is waiting for the wheat to fully mature before taking it off his Shiloh Line fields.

“Essex County is just taking their winter wheat off now,” he told The Independent on July 5. “Usually farmers can count on being 10 days later than Essex.” This would peg the start of the harvest at July 15. Most wheat harvests begin in mid July.

There was one exception to that a few years ago when it was extremely dry and the harvest started between July 6 and 8.

While the weather is good now, the winter weather has played havoc with some of the wheat. Marriott says only 60 per cent of the usual acreage survived the wet fall and winter.

Lambton had the third highest wheat production in the province behind Middlesex and Huron Counties. Almost 94,000 acres were harvested with 92.4 bushels per acre yield.

“Even in the wheat that is left, it might not be 100 percent,” he said. “The quality of the wheat we won’t know until we get the combine out.”

The upside is prices are strong.

Wheat prices have seen historic highs at $13 a bushel, but have recently taken a tumble to $9 a bushel. The high prices might have farmers choosing to harvest wheat that they might otherwise leave in the field any other year, said Marriott.

The high price is a result of what is happening overseas with the war in the Ukraine, he added. Ukraine is one of the world leaders in the production of wheat and is having a hard time getting its crop from last year to market amid the invasion by the Russians.

- The Independent

, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent

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