Some Manitoba producers in flood-affected areas are still a few weeks away from seeding but specialists say there is no reason for panic assuming weather co-operates through May.
As of May 5, the amount of flooded Manitoba farmland had retreated from its April 24 peak of 86,400 hectares to 64,600 hectares, a Statistics Canada report released May 11 showed.
As of the April 24 peak, the province’s flooded area had covered 61 per cent of the 142,000 hectares of farmland covered by the 1997 Manitoba flood, the government agency said.
“There is still quite a bit of land that is still under water or where the water just came off, so those guys are nowhere near thinking about getting onto the land,” said Ivan Sabourin, president of Roy Legumex in St. Jean Baptiste, Manitoba.
Flood waters in the area are receding more slowly than they have compared with other floods, Sabourin said.
“There might be a few changed decisions as to what the guys are going to plant but as far as yields go, post floods crops always have a decent year that year for whatever reason,” Sabourin said.
There is no reason at this point for the province’s canola producers to worry about seeding, said Anastasia Kubinec, oilseed specialist for Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.
The seeding deadline for canola this spring is June 10 for the northern half of the province and June 15 for the southern section, where flooding was the worst. “If this were June 10, there would be reason to panic, but not yet,” she said.
Bruce Burnett, director of weather and crop surveillance for the Canadian Wheat Board, said spring wheat seeding in the eastern half of Manitoba has been really slow as the soil is still quite wet.