‘Average’ Manitoba corn harvest pushed back


CNS Canada –– A southern Manitoba corn agronomist says most corn farmers in the province can expect to see average yields this season.

“Normally harvest would begin in late September but I would be surprised if that happened. I think it will be the first or second week of October,” said Morgan Cott of the Manitoba Corn Growers Association at Carman, adding frost could push that back even more. She cited wet weather as the reason behind the delay.

Despite the heavy amount of rain that struck the province in late August and September, Cott doesn’t think that damaged the crop.

“Corn can tolerate a lot, especially since the ground was so dry; there’s a lot of room for that water to go,” she said, noting the deep-rooted soil would allow the water to move quickly.

Manitoba corn is generally two weeks behind where it normally is at this time of year, but was still showing good development.

“The cobs were filling very nicely, thick cobs. They were filling right to the tip in most cases which is excellent.”

Overall, Cott said it looks like a good year for corn, considering the late start to the season.

“It’s all we could ask for with the type of spring we had,” said Cott.

Estimates for this year’s crop in the province sit at 275,000 acres of grain corn and 85,000 for silage corn, she said.

While some frost has been reported in some corn crops, Cott isn’t sure whether it ended up doing damage.

“Who knows, we’ll have to wait and see,” she said. While temperatures of -1 C have been known to damage corn crops, Cott said it depends on other conditions at the time of the freeze, such as cloud cover and wind.

From now until harvest, temperatures in the mid-teens (C) would be ideal. “Ten-degree days don’t really help a lot.”

— Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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