Corn acres seen rising in Manitoba

CNS Canada — Corn prices in Manitoba may not be setting any records these days but they’re still likely high enough to spur an increase in the amount of corn planted this year, according to an industry watcher.

“I would not all be surprised to see a 20 per cent increase. The value of corn isn’t terrific but it’s not terrible either,” said Myron Krahn, president of the Manitoba Corn Growers Association at Carman.

Manitoba farmers last year planted 250,000 acres of corn.

“Some areas may be too wet, but with an early spring that can get alleviated,” he said.

The toughest question producers may be facing is when to put the seed in the ground, MCGA agronomist Morgan Cott said.

“With corn you kind of have to guarantee some nice weather to be planting, because corn doesn’t like sitting in cold soil,” she said.

The second week of May is generally a good target date for planting corn in the province, she said.

Prices are currently in the $4.50-$4.70 per bushel range which is about average, based on the cost of production, Krahn said.

“Right now corn is still at a profitable level to grow,” he said. “But we’re at the bottom end of that range of the profitability and we don’t want to go too much lower or it could discourage acres.”

However, he said, the province still isn’t producing as much corn to fulfill demand.

“It’s a real good feed energy for animals and for the ethanol industry. It helps keep the price competitive.”

Dave Sims writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting. Follow CNS Canada at @CNSCanada on Twitter.

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