Manitoba edible bean yields ‘all over the board’

CNS Canada — Harvest of edible beans is underway in parts of Manitoba, with yields reported as variable so far.

Yields on pinto beans have been reported as anywhere between 1,500 and 1,800 kilograms per hectare so far, with a range of 2,000-2,100 kg/ha on kidney and cranberry beans, according to Dennis Lange, farm production advisor with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development in Altona.

“There’s also going to be some lower yields than that, so it’s kind of all over the board,” he noted.

In 2013, average yields for dry edible beans in Manitoba were around 2,300 kg/ha, Statistics Canada data shows.

For 2014, the agency predicted average yields of around 1,900 kg/ha for white and coloured dry edible beans in their August production report. Farmers planted 58,600 ha (145,000 acres) of edible beans in Manitoba this spring.

Quality-wise, there haven’t been too many problems reported, as recent rainfall didn’t hamper operations for edible beans.

“I’ve talked to some of the buyers and they’re fairly happy with the quality that we’re seeing,” Lange said. “Moisture levels are good to work with, in that 15 per cent moisture range — none of this 20 per cent moisture that companies have had to work with in other years.”

Much of the harvest activity has taken place in the south so far, from Carman down to Winkler and Altona.

Pinto, kidney and cranberry beans have all been coming off, with about 30 to 40 per cent of the crop in the Red River Valley harvested as of mid-September.

Farther north, into the Portage La Prairie region, farmers are further behind and just getting going on some of the navy and kidney beans, Lange said, adding that about 20 per cent of the beans provincewide have come off so far.

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

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