Man. soybean crop expecting average yields and better

Despite a recent bout of hot and dry weather across Manitoba, many soybean crops across the province are expected to see average to above-average yields this year.

Concerns about similar hot and dry conditions in the U.S. have been reported recently, with talk that the conditions would reduce yield potential for the country’s soybean crops. But the weather isn’t causing as much stress on Manitoba’s soybean crops, said Shawn Rempel, product manager with Quarry Seed at Stonewall, Man.

Rempel said he’s seen many fields in the province that look like they will yield around 30 to 35 bushels per acre or more, adding he believes the average yield in Manitoba is around 33 to 35 bushels.

“I personally think that we have a lot of fields out there that have a 40-bushel (per acre) potential,” he said.

But there are also some fields that lack moisture because they didn’t get enough rain this summer, and will see some yield reductions because of that.

“Where our seed yard and farm is in Stonewall, we’re probably one of the driest areas in the province and you can sure tell,” said Rempel. “It’s showing up on our crop in a big way.”

Statistics Canada estimated average soybean yields in Manitoba would be 33.3 bu./ac. in 2013, down slightly from 34.9 in 2012.

If that proves to be true, Manitoba farmers should have about 928,000 tonnes of soybeans to market this fall. And at good prices too, because dry weather concerns have caused U.S. soybean prices to rally, and the cash market in Manitoba is along for the ride.

The Manitoba soybean crop is still a little bit behind in development in some areas, but recent warmer weather has helped crops mature.

“Some of our early-season beans are maturing very quickly,” Rempel said. “We’re at the point of around 10 per cent leaf drop on some of our early-season stuff, and that’s a great place to be because you know, you have your yield virtually in the bank, and now it’s just a matter of making perfect quality.”

Rempel expects that the Manitoba soybean harvest will be later this year than it was in 2012, but won’t be far off from average in some areas.

“Some of the first soybean crops are going to be combined, in my opinion, Sept. 10 to the 15th,” he added.

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

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