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Frost Damage in Manitoba Wipes out Canola Fields

Frost damage last week in Manitoba has destroyed many canola fields in the province, driving up November canola futures by 3.4% on Monday June 1, and sparking a wave of insurance claims.

Frost and freezing temperatures on Friday May 29 and Saturday May 30 resulted in widespread damage with many field needing to be completely re-seeded, however it is too early to estimate the number of acres lost.

Canada is the world’s biggest canola producing and exporting country and this damage has compounded concerns over the size of the country’s pending canola crop. The number of acres planted was already lower than expected and some areas of Canada’s Western Prairies have been dealing with low moisture.

By Monday June 1, the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. had already recorded 700 claims of damage by farmers – almost double the total for the whole year to date, and more are expected to be filed, according to manager of claims, David Van Deynze.

Luckily, the frost occurred early enough in the season that farmers can replant if they choose, but sourcing adequate seed may prove difficult. To qualify for insurance, farmers in the southern half of the region must plant by June 20 and farmers in the northern regions must plant by June 15.

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