Frost damage in Manitoba drives up canola prices

Mon Jun 1, 2015 4:42pm EDT
 
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By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Frost late last week in the Canadian Prairie province of Manitoba wiped out many canola fields, driving up the oilseed's price and generating hundreds of insurance claims from farmers.

The damage from unseasonable freezing temperatures on Friday and early Saturday was worst in western Manitoba, Angela Brackenreed, agronomy specialist in Manitoba for the Canola Council of Canada, said on Monday.

"There's a lot of fields that are completely written off, that need to be re-seeded," she said.

Brackenreed said it is too early to estimate the number of acres lost as damage varied widely from one field to another.

ICE Canada November canola futures jumped 3.4 percent on Monday.

The frost compounded worries about the size of the crop in Canada, the biggest producer and exporter of canola, a futures trader said. Some crops on Western Canada's Prairies have struggled with too little moisture, and the number of acres planted was already smaller than expected.

Canola is crushed to produce vegetable oil, used in foods such as margarine and salad dressings.

Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp, the provincial government corporation that sells crop insurance to farmers, recorded 700 claims on Monday, nearly doubling the total for the whole year, said David Van Deynze, manager of claims.   Continued...