Ontario bean production seen well above StatsCan estimate

edible beans
(Peggy Greb photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

CNS Canada — Ontario bean growers are voicing skepticism of Statistics Canada’s Aug. 31 bean production estimates.

Estimates by the Ontario Bean Growers organization suggest farmers are poised to harvest about 101,495 tonnes this year — 28.5 per cent above the Statistics Canada number of 79,000 tonnes.

OBG chair Jim Gowland said his organization reaches its estimate by looking at acres insured by provincial insurer Agricorp, then multiplying that by expected yield.

Agricorp has 107,410 acres insured of all bean types this year. OBG then accounts for 5,360 acres of uninsured beans. Multiplying the total of 112,772 acres by a yield estimate of 0.9 tonnes per acre means Ontario growers should produce about 101,495 tonnes.

“That’s a realistic number. That’s what people are paying for their insurance for the acres they got there,” said Gowland.

The average yield estimate is “fairly conservative,” he said, given reports the group is hearing. At organizational meetings two weeks ago, many grower-delegates were reporting average to slightlyabove-average bean yields, he said.

That’s similar to conditions on his farm in the Teeswater area, about 130 km north of London.

“Our crop looks good. Good to excellent. If we don’t have a metric tonne (per acre yield) I’d be disappointed.”

However, he added, overall provincial bean numbers will be down from last year’s 120,900 tonnes, mostly due to fewer seeded acres, but it won’t be as low as the StatsCan estimate. In fact, insured acres have already exceeded the estimates of 76,300 planted acres for which StatsCan gathered data this spring.

In Manitoba, StatsCan also projected edible bean production to decline. It estimated total production of 122,800 tonnes, which compares to 130,400 tonnes a year ago.

Dennis Lange, pulse specialist for Manitoba Agriculture, said that roughly fits with what he sees in fields.

“We won’t see last year’s numbers, not on average anyway. Last year we had some really strong yields on dry beans.”

Overall provincial yields, he said, could reach about 2,000 pounds per acre for all bean types. However, he said the crop is highly variable from field to field. Some growers may see only 1,200 lbs./acre, while farmers in areas that received timely rain could see yields of 2,600 lbs./acre.

The edible bean harvest is about 40 per cent complete with good quality overall.

StatsCan’s report for estimated production of principal field crops is based on data from a farmer survey in July.

— Terry Fries writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Glacier FarmMedia company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

Table: Insured Ontario acres for beans as of Sept. 5, 2018. Source: Agricorp.

White beans 47,660
Black beans 11,770
Cranberry beans 13,658
Kidney beans 13,922
Japan/other beans.     . 7,063
Adzuki beans 13,337
Total 107,410
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