Weather conditions have allowed fields to dry up quickly in the southwest region, permitting some producers to start seeding over the past weekend. Seeding operations are expected to continue into this week. Seeding in the region is approximately one to two weeks earlier than normal. Producers have also been fertilizing winter wheat, fall rye and forage stands. Winter annuals and spring weeds are germinating and producers will be focusing on spring burn-off applications. Pastures are starting to green up and most dugouts are three-quarters full to completely full. Sloughs are drying up, a potential concern for some producers about moisture and pasturing cattle.
Above-normal spring temperatures resulted in hastened snowmelt throughout the northwest region, but spring run-off levels were lower in most areas. Spring soil moisture capacity is slightly lower in all areas. Low humidity and moderate winds are drying soil surfaces and potholes. Reported soil temperatures are cold at around 2 C.
Some initial seeding of wheat and canola has taken place on limited acres in the Robl in, Ste. Rose and Dauphin areas where soils are lighter and well drained. Winter annuals are growing. Some flea beetle activity was observed on emerging weeds. Pastures and forages are beginning to develop.
The 2010 c rop-growing season is off to an early start with above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation providing for earlier-than-normal conditions for growers to access fields and initiate seeding operations. All areas of the central region report good soil moisture conditions. Most potholes and lower areas of fields have no standing water, but are wet.
Flood waters in the Morris area are receding, although land along the Red River and adjacent tributaries will be affected for some time yet. Fertilizer applications have been made to several fields. Some spring cereals have been planted in the Morden and Carman areas. Producers in most of the region are ready to get started and are expected to head to the field this week.
However, wet soil conditions will limit full-scale seeding operations. High winds have caused some soil blowing in the lighter/sandier soils and on some fields with reduced crop residue. Although acreage is reduced for 2010, winter cereals have survived the winter well and have started to regrow. Fertilizing of winter cereals progressed well in the last week given the favourable field conditions. Winter annuals are growing rapidly. Volunteer grain and weed growth have just starting growing. Hayfields and pastures are starting to green up.
Lack of precipitation last week in the Eastman region helped reduce excess moisture in low areas of fields. Soil seedbed conditions are rated as good to excellent as a result of last week’s exceptional drying weather and strong winds. Soil moisture conditions are rated as ideal to good throughout the region with reported soil temperatures of 4 to 5 C.
Spring seeding of wheat and oats started over the weekend and producers are optimistic with the early start to seeding. Winter wheat acres are limited given the wet fall and delayed harvest in 2009, but plant populations are very good to excellent with limited winter damage.
Fertilizing winter wheat is well underway in some areas. Weeds are not an issue with very little vegetative growth to date. Some wild oats, volunteer canola, dandelions and stinkweed are growing but are not yet a concern. Hayfield and pasture conditions are rated as fair to good with little evidence of significant growth thus far.
Warm, dry conditions have allowed soils to warm. Some seeding has taken place in the south Inter lake on select fields. With favourable weather conditions, general seeding activity is expected to increase over the coming weeks. Winter wheat survival is sufficient across the region. Fertilizing of winter wheat and fall rye is ongoing.
Most activity is in the south Interlake, with only limited activity in the north Interlake area. Early grass growth is not iceable on many pastures and forage crops.