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Man. corn bids weak, crop in rough shape

(Resource News International) –– A lack of heat units and a late start to seeding have resulted in Manitoba’s corn crop being well behind in development, but cash bids for the crop barely reflect these problems.

“The heat we experienced in the province last week was good for the crop, but we will need at least another few weeks of those kind of temperatures in order for Manitoba’s corn fields to catch up,” said Theresa Bergsma, secretary-manager with the Manitoba Corn Growers Association at Carman, Man.

The province’s corn crop was said to be anywhere from two to three weeks behind in development.

“Essentially, the crop needs to be frost-free now until the end of October,” Bergsma said.

Manitoba’s corn crop was said to be fully in the tasselling stage of development, but will require another four to six weeks of good weather in order to maximize yield potential, she added.

Frost, forecast for Saskatchewan later this week and possibly for parts of Manitoba, is not what the crop needs, Bergsma said.

However, if the frost hits, she said, hopefully it will be a decisive killing frost so that producers can collect crop insurance and begin the process of cleaning off those fields for next year.

Bergsma estimated 167,000 acres of grain corn were planted in Manitoba in 2009 and 53,161 acres of corn was for silage. In 2008, Manitoba producers seeded 198,356 acres to grain corn and 54,029 to silage.

As for the cash bids for corn, values have been on the decline, given that the U.S. corn crop is doing well and end-users in Manitoba have easy access to the U.S. supply.

Bergsma indicated, however, that despite the weak cash bids, producers in Manitoba were already giving some consideration to planting corn next year in the province.

“The way these producers are looking at it is that there can’t be three years of bad weather in a row, can there?” she said.

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