Focus on winter wheat crops

Shawn Cabak, Farm Report

The fall of 2011 was extremely dry in many areas of Manitoba. Winter wheat germination and establishment ranged from very good to very poor, depending on soil moisture conditions and rainfall received after seeding. The ability of the winter wheat plant to survive the winter often depends on its ability to withstand low temperatures. Cold acclimation of winter wheat plants begins once fall temperatures drop below 9°C.

During the period of cold acclimation, the low temperatures also initiate a physiological response called vernalization. During vernalization, the plant converts from vegetative to reproductive growth and the plant's reproductive components are developed.

Neither fall seedling growth nor tillering is required for vernalization to occur. This process can begin in seeds as soon as they absorb water and swell. Hence, late planted wheat that had not emerged prior to winter should be adequately vernalized.

Vernalization may also occur under cool spring conditions.

It is very rare for a fall seeded winter wheat crop not to head the next year. This includes situations where the seed supposedly did not germinate in the fall. In Manitoba, the long spring we have had with the periods of cool weather (average daily temperature 10°C or lower) is ideal for vernalization. However no guarantees can be made in regards to spring germinated winter wheat and adequate vernalization occurring.

There are a few key points to keep in mind when managing a crop that only germinated in the spring. The crop may not be as competitive so early weed control and nitrogen fertilizer application will be very important. Maturity may also be delayed so scout for disease pressure, including rust and fusarium head blight.

Community Pastures are Open this

Season but will Transition over Next Six Years

The Federal Community Pasture Program is a land-management service provided on 85 pastures in the Prairie Provinces. It was created in the 1930's to reclaim land that was badly eroded during Prairie droughts. Announced in the latest Federal budget, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) will be phasing out of the Community Pasture program over the next six years.

This transition will not affect pastures in the upcoming season;

Pastures will be transitioned out of federal management gradually over six years, allowing time for provinces, municipalities, users and other stakeholders to help manage the transition;

AAFC will divest 10 pastures in 2013, followed by additional pastures each year until full divestiture is achieved in 2018;

Grazing and breeding services on remaining pastures will be maintained throughout this period; and Pasture patrons will receive as much notice as possible.

AAFC has begun discussions with governments of Manitoba and Saskatchewan (who own 90 per cent of the pasture land) to ensure that the divestiture of the land and the phasing out of the pasture program is undertaken in a manner that optimizes future economic and employment opportunities for the rural communities affected.

AAFC will also work with the provinces, municipalities and the livestock industry to transition the pastures to those with the capacity and expertise to manage them efficiently. AAFC will begin discussions with patrons in the near future.

What's New on the Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Website

If you haven't been to MAFRI's website recently there are a number of new announcements, reports, events, fact sheets, newsletters and more you can check out by going to .

Some of what you can find there includes:

Agriculture Environment Services Branch (formerly PFRA) is the traditional source for free tree stock for eligible landowners. Please note, that due to the recent federal budget, the spring of 2013 will be the last year of free trees for shelterbelts. If you are interested in placing an order AESB will start taking orders in June 2012 using the application form available.

CMCDC Annual Reports for 2009, 2010, 2011- Canada Manitoba Crop Diversification Centre value-added and diversified research and demonstration projects.

Growing Forward 2? The aim of GF 2 is to build on our progress and respond to new needs and opportunities, today and in the years ahead. Tell us how we can assist the current and future generations of farmers and entrepreneurs as they move the industry forward. Please respond by June 30, 2012.

SAFEty and Health Responsibilities on the Farm : New brochure outlining the Responsibilities of Farm Owners, Safe Work Procedures and Prevention Services. SAFE Farms is an initiative of SAFE Manitoba, supported by Workplace Safety and Health and the Worker's Compensation Board of Manitoba. SAFE Farms aims to help farmers and those who work in agricultural operations protect the safety and health of everyone at the workplace.

Manitoba Crop Report is once again available. If you are not yet on our distribution list but would like to be, please email crops@gov.mb.cawith your request.

New Brochures & FactSheets

A Legal Guide to Farm Estate Planning

A Legal Guide to Plan Farmland Ownership

The Basic Good Manufacturing Practices Program Guidebook and Templates

Forage Establishment and Restoration: Post Flooding Concerns and Solutions

Fair Guide 2012 A vast array of talent is presented through entertainment and crafts, while agricultural displays bring urban and rural people together to learn about the importance of agriculture.

For more information contact the Portage MAFRI office at 239-3352.

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