Man. corn acres unlikely to live up to early expectations

Manitoba corn growers have made good progress planting over the past two weeks, but the late start is expected to limit expansion into non-traditional growing areas, according to an official with the Manitoba Corn Growers Association.

After planting a record 300,000-acre corn crop in 2012, strong prices and improving varieties had Manitoba farmers intending to expand corn acres in the province to as many as 400,000, according to early Statistics Canada survey data.

“We’re probably 70 to 80 per cent done,” said Theresa Bergsma, general manager of the Manitoba Corn Growers Association, on the corn seeding progress as of Friday.

While rain over the past weekend caused planting delays in some parts of southern Manitoba, she said most of those areas already had their corn seeded.

“We’ll be in good shape, but not everyone will get in all the acres they want,” said Bergsma. Overall, she expected corn area would end up close to the 300,000 acres planted the previous year.

Producers in most of the province have until Thursday (May 30) to meet crop insurance deadlines.

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. expanded the insurable area for planting corn this year, but “with the late spring, (those non-traditional areas) will be cautious,” said Bergsma.

For what is in the ground, conditions are looking good. “We just need some heat now,” she added.

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

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