Manitoba soybeans hang tough despite flooding

CNS Canada — Despite widespread flooding in a region known to carry significant soybean acres, a Manitoba industry watcher predicts this year’s crop will be fine.

Shawn Rempel, product manager for Quarry Seed at Stonewall, Man., acknowledges wet conditions in southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba have been a problem for producers.

However, he said, the threat of that rain was what caused many farmers to turn to soybeans in the first place.

“I think guys got nervous for a wet season so it was a very easy decision for some of these guys to make.”

Before planting began, Statistics Canada estimated 1.3 million acres would be planted in Manitoba. Rempel doesn’t believe that figure will change much, even with all the rain.

“We have more in the ground now than we were scheduled to have at the beginning of May.”

Producers were even planting in the middle of June, which is unheard of, he added.

“Five years ago if guys hadn’t been seeding soybeans by the 20th of May I think our phone would have been ringing off the hook in cancellations. And we had very few cancellations.”

Soybeans handle moisture stress better than a lot of other crops, he said, and most of the seeds were planted before the wet weather set in.

Dennis Lange, a farm production advisor with Manitoba Agriculture at Altona, Man., said more details will be known in mid-July when the planted acreage numbers come out. However, he expected projected acres will be over a million.

“Through the (Red River Valley) pretty much everything did get planted as planned.”

Generally, he said, soybeans were poking through the ground after the first seven days which is quite impressive.

However, he said, there have been reports of iron deficiency chlorosis in various spots, which points to a plant’s inability to take up the iron that’s in the soil. Once that combines with cool, wet weather, Lange said producers can expect to see some yellowing of leaves in certain plants.

Fortunately, he said, warm weather will likely take care of the problem over time. Producers should be patient, he added.

“Take the long way home from town, rather than going by your soybean field every day.”

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

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