By Top Crop Manager
The second batch of crop reports from the Prairie provinces have been published – and all three show that despite persisting challenges, some progress is being made. The biggest area of concern is Manitoba; after the challenges of last year’s drought, many growers in the region are now dealing with slowed planting due to too much precipitation, as well as low temperatures.
Seeding in the province continues to cause issues, slowing seeding efforts. Heaviest rainfall concentrations occurred in western regions, between 30 and 70 mm in most locations. Additionally, multiple highway closures are ongoing, impacting movement of commodities and inputs. As a result, provincial feedback is significantly behind the five-year average of 50 per cent completion for the week ending May 17 – at only four per cent. Farmers report being “extremely concerned” about these delays.
Some regions are further ahead, such as several in the central and southwest regions, while the Interlake and northwest regions, as well as the Red River Valley near the river remain underwater. On the plus side, winter cereal survivability appears good, with some smaller spots in the areas with ponding water. However, growth remains slower than usual due to current weather conditions. Fall rye has good root development, and top-dress fertilizer application has occurred on some fields.
Spring wheat seeding was more widespread over the weekend in areas missed by rain. Corn planting has begun in the Red River Valley, with around 10 per cent of intended acres in the ground. |READ MORE
In the first report, cool temperatures were reported to have delayed seeding for many producers. While more producers were able to get out during the seven-day period ending May 9, only 14 per cent of crops are now seeded, well behind the five-year average of 23 per cent. Crops that were seeded over the past week should be emerging if moisture conditions are favourable. The most active region for seeding is the southwest (34 per cent), followed by west central (20 per cent), while southeast (seven per cent), northwest (five per cent), east central (three per cent) and northeast (one per cent) remain below average. Many fields in the eastern half of the provinces are too wet to allow significant seeding.
While precipitation increased across the province, slightly improving topsoil moisture from last week’s report, the latest report states that rain is still “needed badly in some areas.” The most rain reported was in the Pelly area with 49 mm, followed by 46 mm in the Bienfait area. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as six per cent surplus, 58 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and 10 per cent very short. Hay and pastureland moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 56 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and 13 per cent very short. This increase in moisture will help pastures grow rapidly. |READ MORE
Dry conditions and cold temperatures continue to be a focal point for growers in the province, with only modest and localized rains being reported for the seven-day period ending May 10. Of particular concern is poor surface soil moisture in the South, whereas central and northern regions have maintained near-normal precipitation levels.
Seeding progress continues for major crops, at an estimated 20 per cent completion for the province, up nine per cent from one week previous. Seeding is reported as being generally ahead of the five-year average in the south and central regions, but behind in the north east, north west and peace regions. Spring wheat, barley and peas are reported as having more timely seeding progress and are in one with five-year averages, while oats and canola have lower completion rates.
Haylands are also a point of concern, rated at 71 per cent poor or fair. With very low feed reserves reported throughout the province, there is a significant need for precipitation and heat in order to meet this winter’s feed supply and herd retention. |READ MORE