The wet year of 2005 decided to celebrate its fifth anniversary with a repeat in 2010, and the front page of our July 15 issue carried a story on how Ottawa and the provinces had announced a $30-per-acre payment to compensate for an estimated 12 million acres that went unseeded that year. The estimate was for 700,000 acres in Manitoba, and cheques were expected by the end of July.
The accompanying story was on what to do with all those acres. At a tour at the Manitoba Zero Tillage Research Association’s station near Brandon, managers said they had decided to seed a green manure crop of oats and peas, then use a knife roller to work it in before sowing winter wheat that fall. Oats or barley for greenfeed were suggested, and some attendees wondered if an 84-day-to-maturity Polish canola or 86-day barley might yield a crop if there was an open fall. Tour participants also heard that the MZTRA’s decision in 2001 to include alfalfa in the rotation had really paid off in reducing standing water.
However, another story reported that even custom silage operators were having a tough time negotiating fields in western Manitoba, some of which were 15 to 20 per cent drowned out.
BSE was still in the news — farmers selling cull cows were hoping for a price increase following the federal announcement of $25 million or $31.90 to cover the cost of removing specified risk materials — brain and spinal cord material potentially containing the disease.