Top Crop Manager

Features Agronomy Cereals
Drought can’t dampen enthusiasm for winter wheat

Canadian weather is less predictable than a two-year-old and just as destructive. Nobody appreciates that more than winter wheat growers in Western Canada in 2017. While they typically rely on good moisture conditions in late April, May and early June, they instead faced the first drought in many years over much of the Prairies. Fortunately, those growers and their winter wheat crops were up to the challenge.

“We didn’t necessarily have ideal conditions for winter wheat this year,” says Paul Thoroughgood, regional agrologist or the Prairie region for Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Western Winter Wheat Initiative. “That said, everyone I spoke to harvested average to above average crops and also saw less disease pressure due to low humidity.”

Given the conditions, the winter wheat results for Western Canada, according to Stats Canada – 535,000 acres seeded in fall 2016 (2017 crop) – represented something that farmers don’t often experience: a pleasant surprise. For the full story, click here.

RELATED: Winter wheat and cover crops for improved soil health