Agriculture and Food Processing - Commodities: Special Crops


About the Industry | Production | Variety | Trade | Contacts

Soy Close-upThe Manitoba Advantage

The agricultural and climatic conditions unique to the Red River Valley and Almassippi Sands regions west to the escarpment provide excellent soybean growing conditions.

The warm, sunny days characteristic of the Canadian prairies and the fertile, loamy clay soil found in and around this area combine to provide the ideal environment to grow high quality soybeans.

About the Industry

Soybeans were first introduced in Manitoba in the early 1900s when they were brought up from the United States.

Due to the soybean's satisfactory palatability and relatively good yields, early production was used both for human consumption and as a fodder crop for livestock.

In the 1950s, research at the University of Manitoba began to develop breeds more suitable to Manitoba's growing conditions.

However, the research achieved limited success due to the emergence of oilseeds and the importance of other crops that competed for acres in Manitoba farmers' fields.


From the 1970s until today, further soybean research and development at the University of Manitoba, eastern Canada and in the United States led to the introduction of early-maturing, high-yielding soybeans with high protein levels that were better suited for Manitoba's climate.

This research, in combination with Manitoba farmers continued search for diversification opportunities, led to a significant increase in soybean acres over the last decade.

In 1996, Manitoba soybean production was less than 800 acres. In 2001, soybeans were seeded in greater than 45,000 acres, and soybean production for 2002 is estimated to nearly double to approximately 90,000 acres.

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As Manitoba's climate suits the early soybean maturity varieties, our soybean producers grow 2350 to 2650 heat unit beans with both dark and yellow (white) hilums.

While the most common variety grown in Manitoba in 2001 was the Gentleman, a 2400 heat unit dark hilum bean, the industry trend is moving toward greater acres of yellow (white) hilum beans for the high value human food market.

Manitoba can also boast that roughly 90 percent of all the soybeans grown in our province are non-GMO, an important point for those markets requiring non-GMO soybeans for import.

Soybean SeedTrade

Currently Manitoba exports to the United States, Japan, and several other countries in both Asia and Europe. Prior to shipping, the beans are cleaned to export standard and either bagged or shipped in bulk via railcar.

Shipments into Japan, Asia and Europe are shipped via Identity Preserved systems for future value added production.

In 2001, the majority of Manitoba's exports went to the non-GMO crush markets in Japan and Europe, with a smaller amount exported to the non-GMO tofu/miso market.

Future expectations of the Manitoba soybean industry include a new sizing and cleaning facility, greater production for the high-value human food market and further value-added bean processing in the province.

Local developments may include Manitoba livestock producers purchasing roasters to roast soybeans for use in their livestock operations.

Contact: Address: Other Links:

Mila Ruiz Turiaf

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Tel:  204-945-2466
Fax: 204-957-1763
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Manitoba Trade & Investment
1100 - 259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada R3B 3P4

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