Favourable weather and field conditions have allowed seeding operations to get underway in many areas of Manitoba.
Provincially, it is estimated 10 per cent of the 2016 crop has been seeded. Most seeding progress is reported in the Southwest and Central Regions.
A range of soil moisture conditions exists across the province. There are localized areas throughout the regions still experiencing wet conditions and need continued warm dry weather to dry out fields, with other areas noting drier topsoil conditions.
Winter cereal crops overwintered very well with crop conditions rated as good to excellent.
Pasture and hay fields have resumed growth.
In the Southwest Region, weather conditions over the past week were good allowing for some producers to start seeding. Several producers have also started preparing fields for seeding. Soil moisture levels are good and most crops have been seeded into moisture.
Seeding progress in the region is estimated at 10 per cent complete. Approximately 20 per cent of the wheat acres are seeded south of Highway #1, while north of Highway #1 producers are just starting their seeding operations with progress at less than 10 per cent complete. In areas north and south of Highway #1, an estimated 35 per cent of the pea acres have been planted.
Winter wheat and fall rye survived the winter with few issues and the crops are rated as good.
Weed growth has just started and some burn-off herbicide applications started on the weekend.
Hay land and pastures are starting to resume growth and some producers have been fertilizing. Dugouts are 70 to 80 per cent full.
There were light showers on Sunday through the northern parts of the Northwest Region. Soil moisture conditions vary over the region with drier areas and localized ponding in Swan River and The Pas. Soil moisture is rated as adequate to good in the areas of Roblin, Dauphin and Ste Rose. Snow remains in some treed areas and along ditches and fence lines.
Field operations have just begun in some fields in the southern part of the region, including pre-seed herbicides and fertilizer application. Some seeding of spring wheat has occurred. Weed and volunteer crop growth is negligible in most fields.
Forages are just beginning to grow in the region as cooler temperatures in April delayed forage growth. Light showers overnight and forecasted warmer temperatures this week will be of benefit to forages and pastures.
Livestock water supplies are adequate.
In the Central Region, spring melt was early with runoff lower than normal following a winter of lower than normal snow accumulation. In April, a lengthy stretch of cold temperatures and rain delayed the anticipated early start to seeding. Recent weather conditions have been variable, but the recent warmer temperatures allowed many producers in the region to start field activities. Rainfall accumulations in the past week have been minimal, if any.
In the Central Region, seeding is estimated at 15 per cent of total acres complete, with progress ranging from just starting up to 40 to 50 per cent complete in a few local areas where conditions have allowed. Some producers have all their cereal crops seeded, while others are just getting started. Some corn, canola and sunflower acres have also been seeded, but overall acres are low. Some soybeans may be seeded this week, but soil conditions are still relatively cool. The majority of pea acres are seeded. Many producers are being selective as to which fields are seeded as wet areas are common. In general, southern areas of the region are the most advanced; however, areas that received more rain are just getting started. Progress is slower in the northwest part of the region. Weather forecasts for the coming week are good and should allow for rapid seeding progress across the region.
Excellent winter survival is noted in winter wheat and fall rye. Most fields are reported to be in good to excellent condition. Most fields have had nitrogen fertilizer applied. Crop staging is up to the four leaves and tillering.
Winter annual and perennial weeds are growing, and some spring annual weed growth is reported. Minimal pre-seed burn-off has been done as producers focus on seeding.
Perennial forages, pastures and hay fields have new spring growth, but it has been slow due to cool temperatures.
Livestock water supply is adequate.
Only trace amounts of rainfall were noted across the Eastern Region last week. Soil temperatures in worked fields continued to rise throughout last week with peak daily temperatures at seeding depth approaching 100C by the weekend. Soil temperatures on fields with heavier trash cover were lower.
Seeding began over the weekend and is expected to become more general this week. Fields are drying up rapidly but wet areas are still prevalent with producers often choosing to wait rather than to drive around potholes or make ruts. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region are rated as adequate to surplus and varying substantially from field to field. Application of fertilizer in advance of seeding is occurring.
In the Eastern Region, seeding progress is estimated at less than 5 per cent. Approximately 2 per cent of spring wheat, 10 per cent of field peas and 5 per cent of corn acres were planted by the end of last week. Producers are expected to make rapid seeding progress later this week if favourable weather occurs.
The majority of winter wheat acres are rated in good to excellent condition. Across the region, 5 per cent or less of winter wheat acres were impacted by winterkill. Spring fertilizer applications are nearly complete.
Across the region, the majority of hay and pasture lands are in good condition. Grass is starting to grow on pasture land. Some producers moved livestock to drier pastures. Wildlife (deer and geese) is causing some damage by grazing new seeded forage crops, as well as fall rye fields.
Availability of livestock water is adequate.
In the Interlake Region, cool temperatures with precipitation in the form of snow and rain in April slowed producers from getting onto the fields. Seeding progress across the region is estimated at less than 1 per cent complete, with some seeding of peas and spring wheat reported in South Interlake around the Winnipeg area. With the weather forecast of rising temperatures, most producers are looking at starting seeding later in the week. Currently, many producers are getting equipment ready as fields dry.
Winter cereals are rated in good condition. Progress of fertilizer application varies throughout the region.
There has been limited growth on native and tame pastures so far this growing season as grasses and legumes are just breaking dormancy. Most hay fields and pastures are at or near field capacity for soil moisture. Generally, there is less standing water on fields than in recent past springs due to less snowfall and a relatively slow spring melt.