The shortage isn’t as severe as corn, but Manitoba seed dealers are also running out of early season soybeans needed for growing regions outside the Red River Valley.
As a result, growers in western Manitoba and Saskatchewan should be careful when buying the appropriate bean variety for their farm, said Ray Wytinck, general manager of NorthStar Genetics Manitoba.
“There will be companies out there selling later season material … but if you’re a first time grower … pay really close to attention to the maturity and heat units of the variety.”
Industry observers are predicting that soybean acres could top one million in Manitoba next year, up from 850,000 in 2012.
Many of those new acres will be north and west of the Red River Valley, the province’s traditional soybean region.
Ed Rempel, a canola and soybean grower near Starbuck, Man., said Manitoba producers are competing with Saskatchewan farmers for soybean seed.
“The short season soybeans in Manitoba that are available at seed retailers are flying off the shelves and going to Saskatchewan.”
Wytinck said growers in western Manitoba and Saskatchewan could take a chance and grow a later maturing variety, but there are no guarantees of success
“I would really recommend under 2,400 heat units. Once you’re getting over 2,400 heat units, you’re talking a mid-season variety,” he said.
“If we have a summer like last year, we’ll probably get away with it. But if we have a normal summer, cool, wet weather combined with an early frost, it could prove to be an unfortunate experiment.”