For the second year running, Manitoba farmers’ top pick for red spring wheat varieties was Carberry, the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC) says.
The data is based on seeded acreage reports filed by farmers enrolled in the crop insurance program.
The data also includes the total number of acres of each crop seeded this year.
Farmers enrolled in crop insurance are obliged to report all their seeded acres, including uninsured crops. MASC estimates 90 to 95 per cent of Manitoba’s major crops such as wheat and canola are insured.
Carberry was seeded on 35 per cent of the 2.17 million acres sown to red spring wheat this spring. That’s up slightly from 32 per cent last year.
Harvest and Glenn were the second and third most popular with market shares of almost 15 and 12 per cent, respectively.
AC Domain, which is an older variety, ranked seventh with a market share of three per cent.
AC Barrie, which is older yet, ranked 13th and accounted for one per cent of the acres.
While Manitoba farmers seeded 2.17 million acres of red spring wheat in 2014, down 17 per cent from 2013, they doubled their feed wheat plantings to 279,169 acres. The jump is no doubt due to the popularity of two Canada Western General Purpose wheats — Faller and Pasteur, which accounted for 90 per cent of the acres — 47 and 43 per cent.
Faller acres tripled in 2014, while Pasteur acres doubled.
In 2013 their rankings were reversed with Pasteur having the most acres, followed by Faller.
Both are potentially high-yielding wheats.
Faller is an American Dark Northern Spring wheat, typically used for bread making. It is grown under contract in Manitoba.
Pasteur is a European milling wheat. Depending on its quality, Pasteur is sometimes sold in Manitoba for milling, but it’s also used to make ethanol.
While feed acres increased the most of any crop in percentage terms, the crop with the biggest increase in acres was soybeans, up 22 per cent to almost 1.3 million.
The variety 24-10RY, accounted for 10 per cent of those acres. It was No. 1 last year too with 12 per cent of the acres.
Thunder 32004R2Y and 900Y61, which ranked second and third in 2014 and 2013, had almost seven and six per cent of the market this year.
Soybeans, which were a minor crop 10 years ago, have doubled in acreage since 2005 and remain solidly in third place behind canola and wheat. Some analysts have predicted it could overtake canola within the next five years. Both canola and wheat acres dropped this year.
Soybeans are popular because they provide good returns and tolerate wet conditions better than most other crops.
Dennis Lange, a farm production adviser and pulse crop expert with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, said it’s possible soybean plantings could increase one million acres by 2019.
“Growing earlier-season varieties is going to be key,” he said in an interview Aug. 7. “We’re going to see expansion on the western side of the province. That will help things along.
“But what may slow progress is if we get an average fall frost. An early fall frost will definitely set things back a bit.”
Last year almost 80 per cent of Manitoba’s soybeans were grown east of a line between Miami and Portage to the Ontario border and north to Beausejour. That means there’s room for expansion in the west, he said.
Plantings of two other pulse crops — dry edible beans and field peas were also up, along with flax, sunflowers and perennial ryegrass.
Canola plantings declined by seven per cent to 3.04 million acres.
Again 5440 Invigor, which is an older variety, ranked No. 1 with 20 per cent of the acres. It was the most popular canola in 2013 with a 17 per cent market share.
Invigor L130 and Invigor L252 were second and third this year with a 14 and nine per cent market share.
Crop-insured farmers reported 985,000 acres were too wet to seed this spring.