3 min read

The Cropwalker - Ontario Crop Progress Update

This is a special edition based on Twitter polls and the individual conversations between Matthew Pot of Grain Perspectives and The Cropwalker Newsletter team (a joint commitment in providing Ontario with the best updates this coming growing season).

Thank you to Gullible.com, for sponsoring our work this week.

If a subpar toilet paper crop in 2019 was bad enough, the 2020 crop isn't out of the woods. We are no longer in normal times.

The 2020 toilet paper crop is off to a rocky start, with issues such as an early spring and a tough winter, toilet paper producers like Bob Whiteside in a tough position. Strong demand by the general public has meant that little seed is left for this vine crop for the 2020 growing season.

Producers of the white gold are more than concerned. “I don’t even know where to start, I go to the store and my suppliers and they have nothing left to start with, there is a limited chance I could grow blue shop towels, but that market has been dead lately with all the shut downs”, Bob stated concerningly. Bob applauds the recent federal government loan for agriculture, but it isn’t much help without seed to put in the ground. With the economic slowdown, prices for Shop Towels are low.

Even worse is the poor 2019 crop. Heavy fall rains and snow mean that it didn’t even make the 1 ply grade, suitable for McDonalds restaurants. “I pride myself in normally growing a quality 3 ply crop, now I have to grade heavily to even make 1 ply, this is why your shelves are so empty, I can’t even meet 1 ply”, Bob admitted while shrugging.

But Bob is optimistic for 2020. With strong forward contract prices for new crop, Bob feels he can hopefully meet market demand, provided he finds the right seed.

“I can make this big seed work, but I have to cut them down to get them in the planter, might end up getting the crop in a week late, but we’ll make it work, I don’t want to have to grow shop towels. My last name isn't Blueside, I’m a Whiteside through and through.”

By modifying seed Bob hopes to be able to put in a 2020 crop. This year he will lose his non-modified designation on his toilet paper, but he feels that won’t hit his business given the recent trends in consumer behavior.

Bob suggests that the general public not try this at home. “I’m a professional at this, been doing it since I was 6. Growing toilet paper isn’t for everyone, leave it to the professionals. If you want to try it, start off with Kleenex. Heck those things even grow if you leave them in your pockets through the washing machine. But don’t worry, by harvest the store shelves should be full again.”

Don't try growing toilet paper at home, leave it to professionals.


Last year, Grain Perspectives and Fieldwalker Agronomy worked to compile Twitter responses and paint a picture of the Ontario crop progress for corn, soybeans and winter wheat. It was a good first step, and we felt that this year more information on the state of Ontario’s crop would be appreciated by the industry. For the 2020 growing season, along with the Twitter roll-calls, we will be providing a collaborative and branded report that evolves with the growing season. The catch… it is free.

Sign up today at www.cropweekly.com.

It will grow on you.