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Up to 250,000 Manitoba Acres May Go Unplanted

A quarter of a million Manitoba acres are likely to be unplanted by the final crop insurance seeding deadline of June 20, according to the latest weekly provincial crop report. 

Released Tuesday, the report suggested the bulk of the potentially 250,000 unplanted acres will be concentrated near Lake Dauphin, the northern Interlake, and adjacent to the Red River where fields have only recently seen standing water drain away.    

Ag retailers are dealing with inventories of returned corn seed, cancelled soybean orders, and either a tight supply or surplus of canola seed, depending on location, the report said. There are a few crops where seeding deadlines can still be met, “and farmers will attempt to plant as soon as fields dry out after the most recent rains.” 

Overall seeding in the province is now estimated at 87% complete, up 22 points from the previous week but still behind the average of 97%. Many farmers in the Eastern, Central, and Southwest regions have now finished, and are lending a hand to help other producers get caught up. 

As farmers shift focus from planting to crop management, herbicide application is becoming widespread, and calm conditions last week saw many spring cereal and corn fields see their first herbicide application, together with numerous applications of insecticide for flea beetles and cutworms and young grasshoppers in localized areas. 

Spring cereal seeding is nearly complete in all regions, and earliest seeded crops are now at the 3 to 4-leaf stage and covering ground quickly. Later seeded cereals are emerging well. Most barley crops are just emerging, while oats are at emergence to 3-leaf stage.  

Emerged canola ranges from cotyledon to 4-leaf, with many fields reaching 2-leaf early this week. Soybeans have been planted on about 70 to 80% of intended acres, and any remaining acres have been switched to canola or wheat, with some growers choosing barley or oats as a crop or greenfeed alternative to fewer silage corn acres.  

Pea crops range from emergence to 5th node stage. Pea acres are expected to be between 140,000 to 160,000 acres, down from 220,000 acres in 2021 as a result of changing cropping plans due to wet fields. Dry edible bean planting rapidly increased last week, with 100,000 to 110,000 acres now planted, but still down approximately 20% from the initial intended acreage in Manitoba. 

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