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Steady to Lower for Manitoba Pulse, Soy Acres

Manitoba soybean and pulse crop acres will likely be just steady to slightly lower this year, undermined by strong prices for competing crops.

Provincial pulse specialist Dennis Lange estimated growers might seed about 1.2 million acres to soybeans in 2022, roughly similar to the previous year and 47.5% below the 2017 peak of 2.29 million. After hitting a new high in 2021, dry pea acres will likely hold around 227,000, he said, while dry bean planted area could dip to around 150,000 acres from 175,000.

“What may swing things a little bit more for pulses (and soybeans) may be the high nitrogen prices. If growers are looking to grow pulses, they won’t be adding any additional nitrogen for peas and for soybeans. In those situations, they may grow a few more acres but they also have to keep their crop rotations in line,” Lange said.

However, the biggest determinant of seeded area for 2022 will likely still be the amount of moisture in the soil, following last year’s devastating drought. The early prognosis for Manitoba is good, with the province seeing cold temperatures and abundant snowfall in many areas this winter. In fact, Lange said he expects some farmers could be late in heading to the fields this spring.

“I don’t think there’s going to be an early seeding. There’s not going to be one of those mid-April seedings unless something dramatic happens. I think it will be towards the end of April, beginning of May before we get into the fields.”

Growers in the Red River Valley are keeping a particularly close eye on the potential for flooding due to the massive snowpack.

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