How Western Canada (and other regions) could become a Major Corn producing regions ?

credit: futures mag

The answer is :  Hybrids !

 New Short season hybrids could lead to a  faster drydown. (dropping harvest moisture from the corn to 15% or below).

There are advantages and disadvantages with short season hybrids:

Main Advantages:

– Less kernel damage risks in dryers.

-Less Drying costs, Spraying costs.

-Less potential Mycotoxin risk.

– Less Pest damages and Insect damages.

Late Planting decisions are possible with those hybrids (you drop the growing season from 115  to 76 days…)

Disadvantages :

-Lower Yield (Less GDD and exposed too more timing  risk ?)


 Tightened corn season targeted by Neil Billinger

Western Canada could become a major corn producing region if seed companies can develop shorter season varieties.

Monsanto will spend $100 million over the next decade on research to pursue a goal of eight to 10 million acres of corn by 2025.

Southern Manitoba accounts for the majority of corn acres on the prairies. Statistics Canada estimates the area at 365,000 acres, up from 300,000 acres last year. More corn is also being grown in parts of southeast Saskatchewan and a few pockets in southern Alberta.

The task for plant breeders is to shorten the relative maturity period by six days until it is down to 70 days. Based on past results, that is an achievable long term goal, according to Mike Nailor, Monsanto’s corn and soybean lead in Canada.

For whatever reason, when they got to 76 days, the effort to go earlier seemed to stop across the industry,” Nailor says. “Given the demand for corn, we think the opportunity to breed earlier is there. It’s just a matter of time and resources to make it happen.”

Monsanto has set an initial target yield of 100 to 110 bushels an acre for the early maturing varieties, but long-term production numbers could exceed 130 bushels an acre.

Nailor says a number of factors, including an increase in crop heat units and improved seed treatments, will convince more farmers to include corn in their rotations.

“It may involve investment in equipment. It may involve a learning curve in terms of planting this high value crop, but we think western Canadian farmers are the most sophisticated farmers in the world.”

Monsanto’s corn research will be based at Carman, Man. and two other sites in Minnesota.

The Canadian research is part of the company’s plans to develop earlier maturing corn hybrids for a number of global markets, with particular emphasis on Ukraine and Russia.

Source: Farm Credit Canada Express June 28 28 2013.


In the Future, short season hybrids will simply become another tool that will help farmers to manage their risks.

Farmers located outside of the  US Corn belt will also get more opportunities to grow  Corn.



Farm Credit Canada Express June 28 28 2013.


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