Manitoba soybean acreage looks to inch upward

CNS Canada — U.S. farmers may be seeding fewer soybean acres this spring but expectations for the crop remain relatively steady north of the border, according to Francois Labelle, executive director of Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers.

“Our first indications are that acreage will be the same as last year to up a little bit,” he said.

Last year, farmers seeded 1.39 million acres of soybeans in Manitoba, up from 874,000 in 2012.

Companies have indicated to Labelle that bookings of seed have been a little slower than in past years, he said.

However, soybeans are still “on the positive side of the ledger” and drawing interest, he said.

“They may not be the leading crop but they’re still up there.”

While U.S. acreage numbers are always interesting to look at, Labelle said those aren’t the primary factor determining what Canadian farmers will plant.

“Right now, I think the growers have to make the calculation on their own farm and what they’ve been able to grow, and what they’ve seen and the return they have on their farm,” he said.

While some Manitoba growers are expressing interest in planting lentils or peas instead of soybeans, they may want to show some caution, he said.

“We have got to be cautious on that one, because if they get good weather in India between now and our harvest, those values (for peas and lentils) could go south in a hurry.”

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

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