Manitoba’s 2013 corn crop a new record

Manitoba farmers grew a record-large corn crop this year, as yields ended up well above earlier expectations.

Statistics Canada raised its corn production estimate for the province to 1.219 million tonnes in its crop report Wednesday, topping an earlier estimate of 812,800 and the previous record of 815,400 tonnes set in 2012-13.

Good prices ahead of spring seeding led to an increase in planted area, said Morgan Cott, research agronomist with the Manitoba Corn Growers Association.

A record 380,000 acres of corn for grain were seeded in the province in the spring of 2013, according to StatsCan data, but Cott noted original intentions had been for an even-larger acreage base before adverse conditions in the spring caused some growers to move away from the long-season crop.

After jumping so much in 2013, Cott was uncertain if the crop would see the same amount of growth in 2014, especially as prices are no longer as favourable.

“I would expect it to be fairly flat,” she said, looking ahead to next spring.

While some producers were already talking about expanding corn acres, she said, others would be reducing their area or not planting the crop at all due to rotational issues.

– Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.