A local spokesperson for Manitoba Agriculture says it is still too early to know what sort of impact this winter's lack of snow might have on fields in the area. Snowfall is well below normal and without much of a snow base, it is clear that some fields in the southeast have lost some topsoil on windy days.
Earl Bargen is Farm Production Extension Specialist out of the Steinbach office. He says when it comes to winter wheat, you want snow cover. But right now they are taking a wait and see approach. Lots of snow doesn't guarantee a good crop. Bargen says even with a lot of snow, a heavy rain event in spring that ends up freezing could damage the crop too.
Bargen says the land was obviously dry heading into winter and even though snowfall amounts are below normal, it remains to be seen how this might impact spring moisture conditions.
"That's a wait and see because we can get a bunch of rain and then we are too wet," he says.
And though he would like to see more snow, Bargen says he is not sure if this might limit seeding this spring.
He adds there is soil temperature testing going on right now, with the results available on the Manitoba Agriculture website. Bargen notes he has yet to see any red flags from those results.
Meanwhile, a crowd of approximately 65 gathered in Steinbach last week for the annual Crop Day at the Legion Hall. One of the presenters was Anne Kirk, an Industry Development Specialist for Feed Grains with Manitoba Agriculture. She spoke on management practices for high yielding spring wheat.
Cassandra Tkachuk, is a Production Specialist with Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers. Her topic was on lessons learned from soybean production in 2017.
Harley Siemens is an Exhibit Coordinator for University of Manitoba Farm and Food Discovery Centre. His topic was called, "Real Dirt on Farming." Bargen says he spoke on how to talk with your non-farming family or neighbours about challenges in the industry.
Dr. Paul Bullock is Professor and Head of the Department of Soil Science at University of Manitoba. He spoke on climate change and the implications for prairie crops.
And finally, Mike Jubinville, President of ProFarmer Canada was there to speak on the market outlook for 2018.
Source : Steinbachonline