First crop reports of the season out for Prairie provinces
By Top Crop Manager
The first Prairie province crop reports of the 2022 growing season have been released. Moisture – whether far too much or not enough – seems to be the major factor in season prep and planting progress, though cool temperatures across much of the Prairies is also playing a part.
The crop year for Manitoba farmers begins with extremely challenging spring conditions, moving from a very dry 2021 to high overwinter snowfall accumulation, followed by a very wet April. The Petersfield weather station recorded the highest overwinter (Nov. 1 to May 1) precipitation, at 218 per cent of normal, while Laurier in the Northwest was the driest, with only 41 per cent of normal precipitation levels during that time period.
Twenty-six rural municipalities and communities have declared local States of Emergency over the last two weeks in order to fight floodwaters, which has led to infrastructure damage and road washouts. Overland flooding has impacted major transportation routes, delaying shipment of agricultural commodities and inputs. Soils have been left saturated across much of Manitoba’s agricultural land, with regular rains rewetting soils.
As of May 10, seeding operations have been very limited. Standing water is common in fields across the province. A few scattered fields were planted in the Brandon to Rivers area during the May 7 weekend. Overnight freezing temperatures continue in all regions, with daytime highs reaching the low 20s. |READ MORE
Cool temperatures and early spring snowstorms have delayed seeding for many producers across Saskatchewan. As of May 2, one per cent of the 2022 crop is in the ground, well behind the five-year (2017-2021) average of five per cent. Very little precipitation was reported in the week prior to April 26-May 2, which will allow fields to dry up enough for seeding to begin in regions where it was previously too wet.
Topsoil moisture for cropland, hay and pastureland is still less than ideal for proper seed germination and pasture growth. Pasture conditions across the province did not fare well throughout the drought of 2021 and they did not have the rain they needed in the fall for adequate regrowth before winter arrived, which has resulted in less than desirable pasture conditions to start the year.
There have been reports of winterkill on winter wheat, fall rye and other fall seeded crops; producers are busy assessing the damage and determining whether to reseed. The hardest-hit areas are in the southwest, where snow cover was not adequate to protect the crop. |READ MORE
Spring moisture accumulations have been variable throughout the province. As of May 3, a large part of southern Alberta has received low amounts of precipitation in the last 30 days. Central and Northern regions have received normal precipitation, while many parts of the Peace region have received above-normal accumulations.
The moisture conditions are reflected in the planting progress. Provincially, 12 per cent of the spring crop is in the ground, two points ahead of the previous five-year average. Regionally, the south region has 37 per cent of the crop in the ground, the central region has planted six per cent of acres, while the northwest, northeast and Peace regions all have less than one per cent of the crop in the ground.
The lack of moisture and accompanying cool temperatures have resulted in generally poor pasture and tame hay growth. Forage and feed grain reserves feedback indicates that approximately 52 per cent of producers have adequate or surplus forage and 60 per cent have adequate or surplus feed grain reserves to get them through until grazing begins. |READ MORE
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