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Man. farmers (kind of) welcome April blizzard

Man. farmers (kind of) welcome April blizzard

The storm will help the soil but delay planting

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Some Manitoba farmers aren’t bothered by the recent blizzard.

Multiple weather forecasts predict by the time the storm ends, which could be Friday, some areas will have received 60 or more centimetres of snow.

For context, the city of Winnipeg on average receives about 127 cm of snow.

But farmers welcome the added moisture.

As of March 31, multiple communities in the southern half of Manitoba were experiencing abnormally dry conditions, Canada’s Drought Montor says.

This storm is likely what the soil needs before planting season, said Chuck Fossay, who farms about 3,600 acres of canola, red spring wheat and other crops near Starbuck, Man.

“The storm is a good thing and bad thing at the same time,” he told Farms.com. “The good thing is that it brings additional moisture that we need. Our last two growing seasons have been very dry, so this will help recharge our soils, ponds and aquifers.”

On the other hand, however, the spring snowstorm likely means a delay to the start of planting season.

For Fossay, it’ll be about a week or 10 days later than usual before he’s able to begin planting.

“We’d typically start seeding between May 1 and May 10, but now we’re looking to be out there maybe May 15 or even May 18,” he said. “It’s getting a little bit late, but not unusually late. If we weren’t able to start seeding until June, then we’d be talking about a bigger issue because that would affect yields.”

While Fossay and other cash crop producers may be delayed in planting, Manitoba livestock are doing what they can to protect their young from the storm.

A video on social media from Cameron Kykoliation, owner and operator of NYK Cattle Company near Douglas, Man., shows multiple cows huddled together to protect their calves.

“What it does is it blocks the wind for the majority of the group and they can shuffle around from the outside back to the inside and change positions,” he told CTV News.


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