Soybeans becoming a Top Crop for Western Canada

As soybean varieties are developed to offer shorter season early maturity, higher yields, and higher protein levels, they are becoming an addition to crop rotation plans in Saskatchewan like they have been in Manitoba in many areas for many years.

According to Manitoba Agriculture, up until the mid-1990s, soybean varietal improvements had been slow to reach the grower, but since that time there have been many new varieties being marketed in Western Canada. With the transition into herbicide-tolerant soybean varietals as well as the new “stacked” products, growers are experiencing an increasing ease in soybean production.

A large part of the growth of soybeans in the west is being able to get the right bean in the ground for the environmental and soil conditions while holding yields. With the added benefits of soybeans being a nitrogen-fixing plant needing no nitrogen fertilizer, it has become a great option in crop rotations.

In the Grain Farmers of Ontario, The Demand for Canadian Soybeans in International Markets publication, they estimate there will be approximately 2 million hectares of soybeans seeded in Western Canada within the next 10 years. “With the continuous improvements in genetics and production technology, Canada will also continue to see increases in yields across the country for both non-GMO food grade soybeans and genetically engineered.”

According to the Stats Canada Principal Field Crop Areas, July 2014, there is an anticipated 1.2 million acres of soybeans to be harvested in Manitoba, an increase of 17.7 percent over 2013 and 300,000 acres in Saskatchewan up from 170,000 in 2013.

Nationally, soybean area could reach a record high for the sixth consecutive year, rising 23.5 percent from 2013 to 5.6 million acres.