Crop production going strong in Central Plains

Jordan Maxwell, Central Plains Herald Leader

Crop production is picking up in the Central Plains with the wet weather spurring growth in many fields.

Approximately 95 per cent of canola has been planted in the province and most have been ranked in the two to three leaf stage, according to a new report by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI)

Still, reports have been collected detailing stress symptoms and slow development due to the cool weather over the past week, however they are expected to overcome this factor because of warmer weather forecasted over the next couple of days.

Spring cereal is also nearing completion across Manitoba but some fields still remain unseeded, according to MAFRI. Nevertheless, the numbers are still better than last year as 72 per cent of cereal acres had been planted at this time last year while this year is closer to 90 per cent.

Last year's wet conditions but a hamper on crops but periods of rain, like the precipitation experienced this week in the Central Plains region, is good because most crops can sustain the wet soil for three to seven days, according to MAFRI.

About 98 per cent of planting is complete for edible beans as well while 95 per cent of flax acres have been planted and some plants are already as high was four inches. Grain corn is over 99 per cent complete across the province compared to 95 per cent last year.

Fruit crops have seen some early flowering as most fields are experiencing a 10 to 20 per cent bloom for fruits like strawberries.

Greg Makarchuk, owner of Makarchuk Strawberry Farms, said that crops are good and the heavy rain has helped.

"We have good drainage on our farm," said Makarchuk. "We could use a little more heat and that's supposed to happen this week so they should start to grow."

Lastly, potato crops have been progressing well, according to MAFRI. This year, planting conditions are better than average; according to the report, potatoes are a week ahead of schedule and the downpour has helped them to flourish even more than usual.

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