The front page of our May 19, 2011 issue reminds of how different springs can be in Manitoba. It featured an aerial photo of the controlled release on the Hoop and Holler bend on the Assiniboine River near Portage la Prairie. The water was released onto neighbouring farmland to reduce pressure on riverbank properties farther east.
Excess moisture was causing trouble in much of the province. Seeding was only 10 per cent complete compared to 60 per cent normal that week. In the southwest, seeding had only started. However, an article from Manitoba Agriculture said that it was too soon to panic and that broadcast seeding by air or by floater was still not recommended. For anyone looking for positive news, we reported that grasshopper risk would be low.
Another story that week carried advice to cattle producers looking to find alternative pastures and feed for livestock that needed to be moved to higher ground. Thousands of cattle had already been moved from around Lake Manitoba and the province had opened Crown lands and wildlife refuges for emergency grazing.
Some areas of the U.S. had similar problems — three million acres of farmland were under water in three southern states.