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Farmers plan to seed record amount of soybeans

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Harvested soybeans sit in a tractor trailer before transport.

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Harvested soybeans sit in a tractor trailer before transport.

Manitoba farmers expect to plant another record amount of soybeans and a lot more flax, sunflower seed and dry beans this year, but less of pretty well everything else except canola, Statistics Canada said today.

The agency said its annual spring survey of farmers’ crop-planting intentions shows Manitoba producers expect to seed 1.3 million acres of soybeans this year. That would be an increase of 23.8 per cent from 2013’s record of 1.1 million acres, and would be the sixth straight year of record soybean acreage.

But there is expected to be an even bigger jump this year in the number of acres devoted to dry beans, sunflower seed and flax, the survey found.

Manitoba farmers said they expect to seed 120,00 acres of flax, which would be a 41.2 per cent increase from last year’s 85,000 acres.

They’re also expected to plant 78.6 per cent more sunflower seed — 125,000 acres versus 70,000 acres — and 50 per cent more dry beans — 120,000 acres in total.

As for the province’s two most popular crops, StatsCan said farmers expect to plant 3.2 million acres of canola and 2.8 million acres of spring wheat. The canola total would be on par with last year and close to the five-year average for Manitoba, while the spring-wheat acreage would be down about 3.6 per cent from 2013’s 2.9 million acres.

Other crops where fewer acres are likely to be planted this year are: barley, down an expected 3.3 per cent to 435,000 acres; oats, down an anticipated 6.7 per cent to 420,000 acres; and corn for grain, down an expected 21.1 per cent to 300,000 acres.

This year’s seeding forecast is based on the results of a survey of 1,291 Manitoba farmers between March 24 and March 31 of this year. However, Statistics Canada noted farmers may modify their plans prior to planting time, as some said they were still undecided about their strategies for this year.

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