Shallow roots potential concern for Manitoba sunflowers

(File photo)

Commodity News Service Canada – Sunflower crops in Manitoba are generally in good shape for this time of year, but excess moisture in the key growing areas have kept root systems shallow, which could create problems later in the season, according to an industry participant.

It’s still relatively early for sunflowers, with diseases usually not setting in until late-August or early-September, said Ben Friesen, purchasing manager with Scoular in Winkler.

“The fields look good, but they have pretty shallow roots,” said Friesen, adding that heavy winds could do some damage if they hit the crops at the wrong time.

Sunflower acres in Manitoba are down on the year, with Statistics Canada reporting that only 70,000 acres were seeded. That compares with 100,000 acres the previous year.

While Manitoba’s crop may be smaller, the market hasn’t seen any movement from a pricing standpoint. Friesen noted that Argentina has a good crop and “as long as they are shipping product out, it will hold pricing at a level that we have to compete with.”

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

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