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2014 spring seeding off to a slow start

The first above normal temperature day this season sees farmers take to the fields

Miami farmer Wes Hill was seeding spring wheat May 10 trying to get as much done ahead of the rain and cool weather that arrived May 11.

Hill has been planting for a week, but lots of other Manitoba farmers haven’t been as lucky. Some south-central Manitoba farmers were taking the fields for the first time Saturday.

Spring seeding in Manitoba and across the West is behind normal, says CWB weather and crop specialist Bruce Burnett. On Average Western Canadian farmers have 25 per cent of their crop seeded by May 12; this year only six to seven per cent of the crop is in the ground, he said. Much of it is west of Regina and in Alberta.

Western Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan are the most behind, Burnett said.

Parts of the the northwest, including Dauphin and Clear Lake, received snow May 11.

Meanwhile, the Red River Valley could get 20 to 40 mm of rain May 12 and 13.

With today’s modern seeing equipment farmers can get a lot seeded in a short time when conditions allow.

Seeding was delayed last year too, but it didn’t hurt yields for the most part. Western farmers harvested a record crop thanks largely to a warmer than normal August and September.

About the author

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Reporter

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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