Extension of soybean seeding deadline one less thing to worry about for farmers

The seeding deadline for insurance on soybean crops has been extended in Manitoba – a move soybean farmers have been looking to see for years.

The province announced the full coverage seeding deadline in Area 1 is now June 8 (extended from June 6), the deadline in Areas 2 and 3 is now June 4 (extended from May 30). There is no change to the seeding deadline in Area 4, which continues to be May 30.

"In addition, soybean growers in these areas will now be eligible for insurance if planting occurs in the five days following the full-coverage seeding deadline. However, coverage will be reduced by 20 per cent," the province said on Friday, adding there will be no change to premiums as a result of the extension.

"These changes are permanent and will be part of the AgriInsurance contract going forward."

Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers were consulted in the decision to extend the deadline. Daryl Domitruk, the executive director of the association, said soybeans are a relatively new crop in Manitoba, but have seen a tremendous amount of adaptation, requiring shorter and shorter growing seasons.

He said it's been around 17 years since the seeding deadline for soybeans was last considered, though it's been something farmers have been looking for over the last number of years.

"This year, with the challenging growing and seeding conditions that we have, it seemed like an appropriate time to finally take a hard look at the data that we've accumulated over a number of years," he said, adding it was determined the risk associated with growing the crop could be well managed by extending the deadline by a few days.

"It became evident that we could move soybeans onto a little bit more of an equitable footing with the other major crops in Manitoba, like wheat and canola."

Most other major crops have a seeding deadline around June 20. The province said a seeding deadline extension for other crops is not being considered at this time.

Domitruk said soybeans are a good crop option for farmers as they do not require nitrogen fertilizer, which sometimes is in short supply and is expensive.

While the seeding deadline extension means one less thing for soybean farmers to worry about, Domitruk said there is still a lot of work ahead, especially with the wet start to the season.

"The big job is going to be to get on the field. Moving the crop insurance dates into June a little bit (is) one thing that can help," he said. "If farmers continue to want to plant soybeans, they have a little bit more leeway to ensure they get proper insurance coverage."

The province said AgriInsurance contract holders who are unable to seed by June 20 due to wet conditions are eligible for Excess Moisture Insurance, and should contact their Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation service centre.

A full list of the seeding deadlines can be found online.