Conditions for the winter wheat crops across Western Canada are variable, but relatively decent overall, according to industry sources.
Western Canadian farmers in the three Prairie provinces planted 650,000 acres of winter wheat this past fall, according to Statistics Canada data. That compares with 1.21 million acres the previous year. Due to the late harvest farmers ran out of time to plant winter wheat before crop insurance deadlines.
“We’ve had some cold temperatures, but we’ve also had reasonably adequate snow cover across most of the eastern growing areas,” said Bruce Burnett, director of weather and market analysis with the Canadian Wheat Board.
Snow cover has been more variable in the western Prairies.
“In north-central Saskatchewan and over into north-central Alberta there hasn’t been as much snow as we’d typically get,” said Burnett.
However, those are not large winter wheat-producing areas.
As far as the temperatures are concerned, the winter wheat-growing areas have gone through a couple of freeze-thaw cycles, which is not great for the wheat, said Burnett, but “it wouldn’t have been enough to cause a lot of damage.”
Jake Davidson, executive manager of Winter Cereals Canada, said in his area of western Manitoba there has been a lot of snow this winter, which is good for the winter wheat. However, the snow has often been followed by strong winds that blew all of the beneficial snow cover away.
Winter Cereals Manitoba and Winter Cereals Canada will be holding their annual general meeting and conference in Winkler March 10.