Little to no seeding has occurred in the Southwest Region. Some sandy, well-drained fields were planted. Most producers estimate a week to 10 days before starting seeding operations, depending on weather conditions. Several areas are reporting pasture acres under water which will impact grazing capability for the start of the season.
Crop, pasture and forage land is wet with some localized flooding. The southeastern sector of the region, from Ethelbert through Ste. Rose, is most affected. Cooler temperatures and rainshowers prevailed in the Swan River/The Pas areas. Through the general Roblin area, better-drained soil has allowed some field activities to occur. Limited wheat acres have been seeded, with fertilizer application more extensive on pasture and forages.
Across the region delays in general seeding operations are expected due to the wet conditions. Pastures and forages are developing very slowly as a result of the cool temperatures. Increasing lake levels on Lakes Winnipegosis and Dauphin are beginning to flood some low-lying adjacent land which is further delaying pasture development and availability for grazing and forage.
Seeding had started on a number of fields by week’s end but was halted when May 7 and 8 saw scattered showers with amounts ranging from 10 to 25 mm. Producers are seeding fields selectively because in certain cases heavy land is drier than lighter soils. The crops seeded last week include cereals, canola, corn and potatoes.
A number of growers in the Lowe Farm to Sperling area have seeded a good portion of their planned cereal acres but general seeding has not taken place across the region. Fertilizer was applied to winter cereals and perennial rye grass which survived the winter well. Some winter wheat fields with poor growth are being assessed prior to application of nitrogen fertilizer.
Winter annual, perennial weeds and volunteer canola are growing well and few weeds have reached flowering stage. A small number of fields received a pre-seed herbicide application and more is planned when fields dry.
Pasture and hayfields are growing slow given cooler temperatures this spring. Given the adequate moisture, pastures will grow well with warmer temperatures. Producers running low on feed are starting to move animals to pasture.
Seeding had resumed May 5 last week for some producers; however rainshowers halted all field operations by the evening of May 6. Producers were trying to accelerate field drying using light cultivation and heavy harrows. Very limited acres of wheat, canola, and flax were planted. Fertilization of winter wheat stands and hayfields continued for part of the week.
Although winter wheat stands look promising for many areas, some concern exists in low-lying areas of fields that have reduced plant stands due to prolonged excess moisture. Winter wheat crop conditions are rated as good across the region. Soil moisture conditions are rated as full across the region.
Hayfield condition is rated as fair to good with little evidence of significant growth thus far. Pasture land condition is rated as fair.
Weekend showers resulted in accumulations ranging between four to 25 mm with higher amounts reported in the western portion of the south Interlake. Soil conditions during the past week were too wet for any seeding to occur. Fertilizing of winter wheat continued prior to the weekend rains. Herbicide application on alfalfa seed fields was reported in the south Interlake.
Temperatures have improved with warmer nights resulting in improved growth of grasses and forages. Grasses on pastures are growing nicely with cattle being turned out on the drier areas. Feedyards are very wet making hay and cattle movement difficult. Localized flooding has necessitated the relocation of several herds in the Interlake. Alternate sites for feeding and summer grazing will be required.
GrowersintheLowe FarmtoSperling areahaveseededa goodportionoftheir plannedcerealacres butgeneralseeding hasnottakenplace.