Manitoba's edible bean harvest is about half finished, and the crop is in good shape overall. With solid prices and yields, farmers should see favourable returns going forward, although harvest pressure may limit the immediate upside.
"The bean crops are looking good... yields are good overall," said Tina Scott of Legumex Walker's beans division at Plum Coulee, Man.
Quality wasn't at the same high level as seen the previous year, she said, but added there were no real concerns either.
Edible bean harvest operations were about half finished at this point, she estimated, with the remainder generally past the point where frost would be an issue any more. From a pricing standpoint, "prices are fairly strong, although we'll see some pressure with the good yields we've seen," said Scott.
"Growers should be making some good money if they have beans this year," she added, noting black beans are currently priced at around 40 cents per pound and pintos at 39 cents. Some specialty varieties are even higher, with cranberry beans priced as high as 62 cents per pound and kidney beans at 52 cents. Acres were down in Manitoba this year, as many growers planted soybeans instead. However, the good returns should bring more interest to the crop going forward. "Our acres were down substantially this year, and I think we'll see a resurgence back to more normal levels next year," said Scott.
Manitoba farmers seeded only 75,000 acres of edible beans in 2013, which compares with 135,000 the previous year and the five-year (2008-2012) average of 115,000 acres.
Soybeans, meanwhile, saw acres increase to a record 1.030 million in 2013, from 800,000 the previous year.
-- Phil Franz-Warkentin
writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.