Its been a beautiful start to the summer- hot, sunny and the perfect conditions to get outside and enjoy the weather. But, this weather isn’t great for Ontario crops. Ontario grains need a drink of water.

Farming is very challenging especially when a crop’s ability to survive is dependent on decent weather throughout the growing season. Planting in perfect soils, sunny days and timely rains contribute to how well a crop is going to grow- and how well that crop will be in order to produce our quality food.

It’s getting too dry!

What does this mean?

Hot temperatures also cause the plants to use up more water from the soil. If there is less water in the soil because of no rain, the plants could become sick or stressed. Many crops now are experience drought conditions due to the lack of water in the soil. And, with very little rain in the forecast, this could be detrimental to the success of these crops.

When corn plants are dry, the leaves roll inwards. This is a defensive measure to protect the plant from losing more water in times of extreme heat. When the leaves are rolled inwards, less leaf area is exposed to the sun, meaning they are burning less energy to grow and ultimately using less water.

Soybean leaves act much like trees in times of heat and lack of water. Have you noticed when things are dry, tree leaves flip upside down? This is their protective measure to reduce energy and conserve water within the plant during the heat and sun of the day.

How important is rain?

When plants are stressed due to hot temperatures and lack of water, they will pull nutrients away from the reproduction parts of the plants just to keep surviving. This means the number of seeds and the quality of those seeds in the plants could decrease.

A farmer’s job is to keep their grain crops healthy. They ensure their crops are healthy by providing necessary nutrients during planting, protecting their crops against pests and ensuring they are keeping the soil healthy, because a healthy soil = healthy grains. But, one thing they cannot control is Mother Nature and the weather conditions that arise during the growing season.

Many of #YourFarmers will be looking to the skies and long term forecasts hoping for rain for their crops to continue their hard work of growing healthy, quality grains for Ontarians to eat and use in their everyday lives.

From the farmers in the fields to the wholesome food on tables across Ontario — there’s Good in Every Grain #ONgrains