Hurry up and wait might be the theme of this year’s spring for Manitoba producers eager to start working their land.
"Patience is the key," said Elmer Kaskiw, a farm production adviser with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development in Minnedosa.
Cold weather coupled with extended bouts of precipitation have left fields a cold and muddy mess.
Most producers, according to Kaskiw, haven’t changed their cropping rotations and plans yet, although if the cool temperatures persist, it may force some farmers to re-evaluate what crop they are seeding.
"The important thing for producers is that they don’t want to compromise the seeding operation by getting in the fields too early and seeding when it is too wet or too cold," he said.
"You’ll often end up paying for those compromises down the road with poor emergence and problems that will persist throughout the growing season and result in lower yields."
Kaskiw expects fields to dry up quickly once the frost comes out of the ground.
He said frost from an unseasonably cold winter is keeping soil temperatures low.
Corn may be the first crop on the chopping block if the cool temperatures persists.
As a large grain, corn requires a high number of heat units with an extended growing season compared to other crops.
According to meteorologists with AccuWeather.com, the cool weather pattern will dominate Westman throughout the summer.
The below seasonal normal temperatures are a result of a dip in the jetstream across Central and Eastern Canada.
One plus for producers is the patterns are supposed to result in less severe weather throughout the summer.
Kaskiw said most producers like to have corn planted by May 18, while soybeans follow, usually planted the next week.
"There’s not a lot of panic setting in yet for producers," Kaskiw said. "Most producers are well equipped and prepared that they can get the crop seeded in a relatively short period of time."
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 15, 2014