Canola replanting may hinder winter wheat seeding

CNS Canada — With canola as the preferred stubble choice into which to seed winter wheat in Western Canada, it’s possible farmers will run into problems seeding this fall due to vast canola reseeding in early June.

“The crop insurance said there was over a million acres reseeded (in Manitoba), and when you reseed, unless you were very early when you started, that’s going to put the crop back,” said Jake Davidson, executive director of Winter Cereals Canada.

“If the canola is not off in time, it’s going to get in our way a bit as far as the seeding of the winter wheat goes.”

Soil moisture conditions could also be a problem this fall for farmers in Saskatchewan and Alberta unless they get some more rain in the next couple of months.

Davidson said some farmers in dry regions are considering seeding rye instead, to see if it’s a hardier crop when it comes to a lack of soil moisture.

This year’s crop is also suffering amid the dry conditions in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“Saskatchewan is so dry, my guys there are telling me they hardly have crop,” said Davidson.

In Manitoba, some farmers are hoping for some of that drier weather, after recent storms likely caused damage to fields south of the Trans-Canada Highway.

There have also been some issues with fusarium harming Prairie crops, though there are tools to combat the disease, such as fungicides.

“Fusarium is going to become a problem that’s going to become controllable,” said Davidson. “It’s just that farmers are going to have to switch their variety and they’re going to have to go to something like Emerson that is fusarium-resistant.”

Crops in the Red River Valley and other parts of Manitoba are looking good, with few weather problems harming fields so far. Harvest should begin around early August, according to Davidson.

— Terryn Shiells writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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