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Man. soybean growers prepare for harvest

Winnipeg (Resource News International) — The harvest of Manitoba’s soybean crop was
expected to pick up steam next week with recent cold temperatures
not seen as being much of a factor.

“We have just entered the early stages of the soybean
harvest,” said Bruce Brolley, a pulse industry development specialist
with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives. “There have been a few
fields harvested, but overall not very many.”

He said of the soybeans harvested in Manitoba, yields have

been quite variable.

“I have heard reports of soybeans yielding 34 bushels an
acre, some in the 42 bu./ac. range and some in the 21 bu./ac. area,”
Brolley said.

He said soybean yields were very much dependent on how much
rain the crops received during July.

“Fields which received a lot of rain in July are going to
have above-average yields, while crops that were drier will have
limited yield potential,” Brolley said.

Producers in Manitoba seeded 230,000 acres to soybeans, based
on data from Statistics Canada. Harvested soybean area in 2007-08
was expected to be around 225,000 acres. Manitoba’s expected soybean
production in 2007-08 has been estimated at 174,200 tonnes.
Seeded soybean area in Manitoba in 2006 totalled 350,600
acres, while harvested area totalled 350,000 acres. Soybean
production in the province during 2006-07 was 252,300 tonnes.

The light frost that occurred overnight
Thursday would likely have had little impact on soybeans in
Manitoba, Brolley said, as the bulk of the crop was mature enough to handle the
cold.

A good portion of the soybeans in Manitoba were at the brown
pod stage of development, which means it is mature enough to take
a frost of -10° to -30°C, Brolley said.

“The only thing holding back the harvest of these soybeans
is the fact that the moisture content is a bit high,” he said.

The moisture content of some of these soybeans were said to
be in the 40 per cent range, and needs to move down to about 16 to 18 per cent
before producers will harvest the crop, he said.

A large portion of the soybean crop
was also at the yellow pod stage of development, Brolley added.

“While the yellow pod stage of development is not as far
advanced as the brown pod, these soybeans can still take a frost
of -2°C for a couple of hours without
sustaining any sort of damage,” he said.

There was a very small portion of the soybean crop in
Manitoba that was still at the green pod stage of development. He

said these soybeans were probably the most at risk from cold
temperatures but at this stage, there is still a canopy of leaves
which in turns limits any frost damage.

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