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Manitoba farmers deal with just about everything Mother Nature could throw at them this spring

From a drought last year to flooding this spring, Manitoban farmers have dealt with just about everything Mother Nature could throw at them.

Despite many farmers getting their seeds in the ground later than anticipated, about 93% of the province’s farmland has been seeded, Manitoba Agriculture Minister Derek Johnson says.

“As for predictions for the crop outlook, it’s pretty tough to tell what it’s going to be like now but as farmers are, we are very optimistic for a great growing season,” Johnson said in a phone interview.

What farmers need now is some sun.

“What we need is some 28-degree days with moderate breeze,” said Keystone Agricultural Producers president Bill Campbell. “And no rain for a while. We need the crop to get growing and going.”

Flooding posed some problems for farmers. Many central regions of Manitoba received more than 100% of the usual rainfall since May 1 with some areas in western parts of the province getting in even more, according to the provincial crop report.

In some cases, Campbell said, there have been erosion and germination problems on Manitoba farmlands due to excess water. In the coming weeks, farmers will be looking to spray herbicides and there is still too much water on the land to carry sprayers, Campbell added.

“We’ve seen about every scenario that could present a challenge to the ag industry throughout Manitoba presenting itself,” he said.

However, on a positive note, Campbell said that a lot of pastures and grasslands have now turned green, resulting in livestock being able to be out in the pasture.

“There seems to be a level of contentment for the livestock out on the pastures,” he said. “They seem to be much happier eating grass and away from the yard and us looking at them every day.”

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