Got beans? More than 150,000 acres of Saskatchewan farmland has soybeans growing for 2013. In Manitoba the crop is passing the one million acre mark.
Attractive as a low input crop, despite its high seed price, soybeans offer fair margins with yields as low as 25 bushels per acre, provided the price of the commodity remains at current levels.
Crop production costs are typically between $125 and $150 per acre.
Garry Hnatowich of the Canada Saskatchewan Irrigation Diversification Centre in Outlook, Sask., says producers across of the prairies are adding the crop to their rotations for a variety of reasons, including seeding and harvest timing.
Here is a video of Hnatowich’s presentation at the CSIDC 2013 field day.
Below is WP managing editor Michael Raine interviewing Hnatowich:
The crop is typically not planted until the last week of May, when soil temperatures reach 10 C, and likely won’t see the combine until sometime in October.
Shatter resistant, the nitrogen fixing oilseed can produce above 30 bushels per acre in the right years and is disease and insect resistant, due in large part to intensive breeding efforts in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Hnatowich says producers might not put all their beans in one basket when it comes to adopting the oilseed for all their acres, but for growers looking to add some more diversity to their rotations, with simple production strategies that typically involve one or two glyphosate applications and waiting for a killing frost to terminate production, the crop is an option.
“Despite being an agronomist on the Canadian Prairies for 35 years, I ended up doing a lot of work with soybeans over that time,” he said.