Majority of Manitoba corn progressing on time

CNS Canada — Despite sporadic crop conditions across the province, the majority of Manitoba’s corn crops are reported to be progressing on time.

“It basically depends where you are in the province,” said Morgan Cott, a field agronomist with the Manitoba Corn Growers Association at Carman, Man.

“The majority of the corn is well into pollinating so it’s right on track and there’s a lot that’s just sort of tasseling right now, a little bit of silking, so it’s just a couple weeks behind.”

Acres are down to about 274,000, from last year’s 334,000, according to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp.

Conditions vary from field to field, Cott added.

“It really depends where you are in the province but it also depends what field you’re looking at because they can range from two miles apart and they can be completely different,” she said. “It’s really, really spotty this year. There’s no sort of norm in any area, I would say.”

Areas seen to be the worst off are in the province’s west and north, where crops were seeded late and battled with excess moisture. However, the crop has got off easy in terms of pest issues.

“Insects are pretty good this year,” said Cott. “The corn borer hasn’t seemed to be a problem, which it can be. Last year we had a lot of spraying for European corn borer.”

However, the bacterial disease Goss’s wilt has recently been a concern.

“The good thing with the Goss’s wilt is that you might find a few plants that are really infected, but it’s not spreading to other plants right now, but it’s really spreading on the plant that it’s on,” said Cott. “It’s there and it’s bad but it’s not spreading outwards.”

Harvest isn’t expected to start until October or late September for the more successful crops.

Cott said she believes the corn harvest for most producers will be a week or a week and a half later than last year.

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

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