Manitoba Seeding Nears Halfway Complete

Manitoba seeding is nearing the halfway mark as warmer temperatures over the past week helped to accelerate fieldwork.

The latest weekly crop report on Tuesday pegged seeding in the province at 44% complete, 2 points ahead of last year although still behind the four-year average pace of 51%.

Despite the warmer daytime weather, the report noted that continued freezing overnight conditions have limited growing-degree day and corn heat unit accumulation to less than 50% of normal for the period. Meanwhile, the continued lack of rainfall has many farmers ‘concerned for germination and timely emergence, since seedbed conditions are rapidly drying.’

Dry topsoil has also drifted in some locales, filling in seed row furrows or moving off edges of fields, the report said.


No significant rains fell this week in the Southwest region, and dry conditions persist. Possible showers this weekend in forecast. Cool and calmer conditions have preserved some soil moisture for now. The majority of the region has good seedbed moisture but facing rapid depletion. Many producers are adjusting seeding depths according to the conditions. Nighttime frosts are still an issue so producers are cautious about the seeding of canola and soybeans.

Winter cereals are emerging well but there are some reports of reseeding fields due to winterkill and shortage of moisture in fall-seeded crops. Seeding in full swing on the majority of farms. Field pea seeding is 75 to 85% done, and some early seeded peas have started to emerge, while most are at the imbibition stage. Wheat and barley are the furthest along, at nearly 70% of expected crops are in the ground at this time. Oats seeding is about 30 to 40% done, while corn planting is 25 to 30% complete. Producers started to seed canola, but progress is not widespread yet, with less than 10% complete at this time. Some soybeans were also seeded last week, with 10 to 15% of the crop planted to date.


Seeding operations progressed rapidly in the Northwest region last week. Cool temperatures continued with highs not exceeding 13 degrees C while overnight lows dipped to -10 C in some areas. In spite of the cooler weather, soil temperatures are warming allowing producers to begin seeding operations in earnest. There was no rainfall last week in the region and winds were light which has helped retain topsoil moisture. Soil moisture is currently adequate, although drier than average for this time of year which is a concern for growth of annual crops, pastures and hayfields.

With the exception of The Pas, spring operations are well underway and producers are making rapid progress. Seeding is pegged at 30% complete in the region to date with continued progress expected this week. Approximately 75% of the peas are in the ground and rolled in the Roblin, Swan River and Dauphin areas. Peas are expected to be all in the ground in the next few days. Wheat acres are going in quickly and are estimated at 65% complete in the region. The warmer temperatures and good seeding conditions in the forecast should result in completion this week. Barley seeding is underway and 30% complete. Crops are being seeded into adequate moisture for germination but more will be needed for continued growth.


Steady moderate northerly winds kept the daytime temperatures below normal all last week with freezing overnight Precipitation is needed to replenish surface soil moisture for uniform seed germination, dissolve and incorporate fertilizer and soil active herbicides. Topsoil conditions were somewhat damp and sticky the first couple of days of the week from the last weekend rainfall delaying return to field operations until later Tuesday. From then on, field access was good and field operations resumed. Seeding progressed well this week, once topsoil dried. Soil temperatures at seeding depth currently ranging from 7 to 10°C, warming from last week, but remaining somewhat cool resulting in slow crop emergence. Forecast this week is for sunny conditions and warming temperatures allowing continued seeding operations.

Field preparation has been limited to date in an attempt to preserve topsoil moisture ahead of seeding. Wheat, oats and barley seeding progressed rapidly with many growers reporting being done their wheat and oats acreage already. Some early seeded cereals are emerging where there was more moisture. Field peas progressed well and considered almost done. Earliest canola fields are starting to emerge while most of the canola acreage remains to be seeded with about 15 to 20% in the ground. Flax seeding has started in the region. Corn planting is also progressing with an estimated 60 to 70% completed. Soybeans seeding started slow but are picking up this week as temperatures rise. About 10 to 15% of soybean crops are planted to date. Dry bean seeding is expected to start next week.


No precipitation accumulation was recorded over the last week in the region. Overall, this week has again been cooler than producers would like with daytime and nighttime temperatures below normal with frost every night. Daily soil temperatures at seeding depth ranged from 10 to 14°C once warmed and cooled to 3 to 5°C overnight. Average soil temperatures at seeding depth are still just below the 10°C mark. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region were rated as adequate. Soil moisture at planting depth continues to be adequate but any rain would be welcome.

Field access has been good however, producers are still being careful about drying out the seedbed especially in cases where shallow seeded crops are going into lighter soils. Topsoil moisture has become much more of a concern this last week with producers feeling rain will be needed for even crop germination and emergence.

Rapid seeding progress on cereals, peas, sunflowers and corn with attention shifting to canola and soybeans as the week progressed. Spring wheat seeding is estimated at 90% complete for the region with a many producers reporting that all their spring wheat is now planted. Earliest planted fields are beginning to emerge across the region. Oat planting is nearing completion with an estimated 90% of acres in the ground. The remaining spring cereal acres should finished up soon. Corn acres were the main crop being sown this past week, corn planting is estimated at 75% complete. Field pea planting is estimated 100% complete. Sunflowers are estimated at 50% complete with the remaining acres likely going in this week. Canola is estimated at 15% complete while Soybean is estimated at 30% complete. Canola and soybeans planting will become more general this week.


Dry conditions continue, with no measurable precipitation. Highs ranged from 12 to 14°C, and overnight lows down to -10.7°C. Scattered showers earlier have allowed some to seed into moisture at 1.25 to 1.5 inches. Others report no moisture at all down to 5 cm and deeper, particularly on lighter textured soils. Topsoil moisture is still adequate on most acres but declining across the region and significant precipitation will be necessary for recharge.

Seeding is expected to ramp up with increasing temperatures and a warmer trending forecast. Significant fertilizer applications and tillage operations last fall have allowed for the slower pace, coupled with an early start date. Soils are very slowly warming. Field conditions are much improved as compared to spring 2020. Progress is more advanced in the south Interlake. Overall, seeding completed for the region ranges up to 50% or higher.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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