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Farmers working around wet spring weather

The on and off rain this spring has been a real challenge for farmers looking for a period of dry conditions to get their fields seeded.

This week’s forecast looks favorable for producers wanting back out on their land.

Justin knight farms in the Hamiota region and he says they’ve been fairly fortunate when it comes to avoid major rainfall events when compared to other parts of the province. “I’d say we are maybe 40% done at this point. We have a little bit more wheat to do but the peas are all done. We’re a bit behind where we normally are but we’re not too worried because we usually put our canola in around this time.”

He estimates they are two weeks behind their normal seeding schedule.

“We’ve maybe had an inch and three quarters over the past few days but you look at places like Morden where they’ve had three to four inches of rain we can’t complain too loudly. We should be back on the field today or tomorrow.”

Manitoba Agriculture’s weekly crop report indicates across the province seeding progress sits at 40 per cent and that’s behind the 5-year average of 91% for this time of the year.

A small seeding window arrived mid last week until Friday evening, allowing approximately 30-35% of the region to be seeded. Producers were focused on the mid-slope fields, avoiding wet spots wherever possible, focused on seeding wheat and canola for the most part. Farmers that grow corn and soybeans were also prioritizing those crops. The recent Colorado Low missed parts of the region west of the Souris River, and seeding should resume within a day or two.

Justin Knight says the weeds are starting to become an issue. He adds as much as they want to keep the drills moving they’re going to have to start spraying especially the fall rye crop.

“The one thing that has caught us a few times is people changing their seed orders on us. A lot of pea orders got changed at the last minute but guys just can’t get into their fields and we’re seeing a shift in acres and what will be planted. Guys are a little uneasy about what to plant and what fertility rate they should be using” said Justin Knight

Knight says a good eight or nine days of decent weather would allow them to finish seeding on his farm.

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