Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Man. corn acreage hike expected, weather eyed

High corn prices, nearly double the traditional average in southern Manitoba, should have corn producers in the province looking to increase their acres this spring.

However, actual plantings will depend on weather conditions at seeding time, said an official with the Manitoba Corn Growers Association.

“The numbers are pretty good for corn right now, price-wise as well as expense-wise,” MCGA secretary manager Theresa Bergsma said.

Corn futures prices at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) have climbed steadily higher over the past few months and the bids in southern Manitoba have moved up in sympathy.

Spot prices could currently be found in the $5.90 to $6.25 per bushel area in southern Manitoba, which compares with traditional levels of $3 to $3.50 per bushel, Bergsma said. She had heard of some new-crop pricing opportunities in the $6.35 per bushel area, delivered.

Manitoba farmers planted 185,000 acres of corn for grain in 2010 and harvested a 480,100-tonne crop, according to Statistics Canada data. Bergsma said early indications were for acres in the 200,000-plus area in 2011, “if all goes well.”

Due to the lengthy season required for growing corn, producers in Manitoba usually like to get it in the ground by mid-May, with crop insurance deadlines coming at May 31.

Excessive moisture conditions in the province have led to some concerns about spring flooding, but Bergsma said it was still too early to say if wet conditions would deter any corn plantings.

The gradual melting of the snowpack seen in recent days would help ease the moisture worries in the spring, she said, but also pointed out that any number of weather events could happen between now and seeding.

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