Man. bean area likely to beat StatsCan forecast

CNS Canada — Early indications from Statistics Canada call for a sharp reduction in edible bean plantings in Manitoba, but actual area likely won’t be down by that much on the year, a provincial specialist says.

StatsCan’s planting intentions report on Thursday predicted Manitoba farmers intend to plant 75,000 acres of edible beans in 2015, well below the 125,000 seeded the previous year and the second-smallest acreage in nearly 20 years.

Of the total, coloured beans account for the entire decline, dropping to 40,000 acres from 95,000 in 2014. Navy bean area is forecast to rise by 5,000 acres on the year, to 35,000.

“That seems a little on the low side,” said Dennis Lange, a farm production advisor with Manitoba’s agriculture department at Altona, Man., noting interest in edible beans had been strong at meetings earlier in the spring.

There were issues with frost in some of the dry bean seed production areas of the U.S., and “seed supplies are a little tighter this year than other years,” which may reduce the number of acres to some degree, he said.

However, he estimated actual edible bean area in Manitoba would be closer to 110,000-120,000 acres, depending on planting conditions, with navy beans and pinto beans accounting for the bulk of the acres.

Soybean area is on the rise in the province, but is not taking any land away from edible beans, said Lange.

StatsCan is forecasting soybean area in Manitoba at a record 1.3 million acres, up slightly from the 1.27 million planted the previous year.

Lange noted most of the expansion in soybeans was happening in the western part of the province in areas not suitable for edible beans. Meanwhile, those key growers in the better edible bean-growing areas continue to stick with the higher returning crop.

Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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Phil Franz-Warkentin writes for MarketsFarm specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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