Edible beans fight for yields in watery Manitoba

CNS — Flooding in Manitoba is causing headaches for growers of edible beans but at least two industry experts think they’ll come out of the situation OK.

Jason Voth farms southeast of Altona and also sits as chairman of the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association’s Edible Bean Committee.

He says in his local area of Altona to Emerson, flooding has taken its toll on fields with many beans fighting to keep growing.

“A lot of drowned out spots and a lot of yellowing.”

Voth says the situation isn’t dire enough to make him worry about acreage losses yet but he feels yields will take a hit.

Most of the flooding has been confined to the southwest, an area where edible beans aren’t typically grown in high numbers, according to Ben Friesen, purchasing manager for Legumex Walker Inc., a processor and merchandiser of special crops in Western Canada.

He estimates 120,000 acres of beans were planted this spring, up a bit from last year.

Most of the beans, he believes, will survive the current wet period.

“The south-central area here is really good. (There are) Some losses in the Portage La Prairie area, but in general I think the percentage of losses will be very small.”

Voth agrees with that assessment, noting fields west of Altona look “real nice.”

As far as the market goes Friesen says prices are generally hovering around the 30 cents per pound range for pinto, white and navy beans.

“They’re all in that (30 cent) range, some just under and some just over.”

He says pinto beans had been over 40 cents per pound last year but took a dive down to the 30’s after Mexico harvested a good crop of its own.

Markets are generally diversified with no one country driving up or down the price.

“Everything is looking good so we’re very much watching the weather.”


Dave Sims is a reporter for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg-based market reporting service.

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