By Shaun Haney
I spent the day in the Winnipeg area today and it is quite clear that Manitoba is closer to Ontario in the crop cycle than it’s western province neighbours. In my opinion the crops that I saw are a good two and maybe three weeks ahead of Alberta. I saw many canola fields swathed and when I talked to a few farmers they said they were already done combining their winter wheat. One farmer told me his winter wheat yielded 55 bushels with some hail damage.
As I made the drive from Winnipeg to Carman, I made the following mental notes and thought I would share them with you.
- I really got a great picture of just how advanced the crops are in comparison to Alberta and how much of a difference a decent spring makes on harvest timing.
- A couple different ag-retails and farmers commented to me that they feel bad for what has happened in the rest of the west but in reality this is the kind of adversity they usually face in the Red River Valley regularly.
- Soybeans are the real growth story in Manitoba with a reported 530,000 acres being planted this year. This is the first time the half million mark has been broke.
- Silage corn acres appear to be down. This probably has a lot to do with the horrid corn harvest last year in Manitoba.
- I did not hear if canola acres are down but it just seems in listening to farmers that the bloom is on soybeans right now instead of canola.
- The biggest agronomic concern in Manitoba continues to be trying to control RR volunteers with RR corn, canola and soybeans in many rotations.
- Spring wheat harvest is just beginning and yields should be strong. Much of the feedback I have received from Ontario sources is that the spring wheat is loaded with fusarium so it will be interesting to see if the Manitoba crop shows the same issues.
- I was in some soybean and corn plots with some people from Ontario and they commented that the Manitoba corn is at the same stage as the Ontario corn.
It just continues to amaze me how each province in this country has its own issues and trends which really makes Canadian agriculture diverse.