Man. corn harvest progresses rapidly despite moisture issues

CNS Canada — Manitoba’s corn harvest is nearly finished and may be bringing farmers above-average yields, according to a provincial crop specialist — though some producers have had to make tough decisions when it comes to drydown.

The province’s latest crop report for the week ended Oct. 13 pegged grain corn’s harvest progress at 45 per cent.

However, the stretch of time since the last report has been vital to harvest, said Pam de Rocquigny of Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

The corn harvest, she estimated, is now about 70 per cent finished. The five-year yield average for grain corn in Manitoba is 117 bushels an acre.

“Whether or not 2015 provincial average yields will be the highest, we’re waiting to see, but in terms of what we’ve been hearing from producers we’re definitely at or above that,” she said.

Statistics Canada’s current projection for 2015 sits at 109.5 bushels an acre.

“This is a pretty big week here right now, so every day that passes there’s a lot more done,” said Myron Krahn, president of the Manitoba Corn Growers Association.

But producers have had issues with kernel moisture, which could take away from their bottom line.

“It’s a reoccurring theme this year — maybe higher moisture content than usual for this time of year,” de Rocquigny said.

Producers try to let the kernels dry down in the field for as long as possible, she said, but at the same time, as winter approaches, the crop has to come off, and some corn will need extra drying after harvest.

“Those are the issues producers have to make decisions on at this time of year.”

Besides the excess moisture in the kernel, certain areas during the growing season were decimated by hail or heavy rainfall, but otherwise, producers’ concerns are at a minimum.

“We had quite a good growing season, I should say, which has been followed up by a fairly nice fall to take the crop off,” Krahn said.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

 

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