Spring seeding has been substantially slowed in Westman due to Mother Nature.
According to the crop report prepared by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives on May 7, seeding was 20 to 25 per cent complete in the southwest region of the province.
The Melita area reported the lowest level of seeding completed, according to the report, at just 10 per cent. Tom Campbell, reeve of the RM of Albert located just north of Melita, said that number might even be lower in his RM.
“It’s been pretty slow ... there isn’t much seeding done,” Campbell said. “I don’t think there would be five per cent done yet.”
Rain over the weekend forced many farmers to abandon plans to seed over the past week, but farmers began to get going again Tuesday in the RM of Arthur, said Reeve Jim Trewin.
“It’s going,” Trewin said.
“Everyone really only got going again today after the wet weather. It’s held us up for a week, it hasn’t made it impassable yet, but if we got a heavy rain it wouldn’t be good. This year, it looked like we were going to be in real early, then we go some backward weather and you can lose a week pretty fast.”
The Trewin family, which farms about 4,000 acres southwest of Goodlands, only seeded 800 acres last year due to the flood. And what they were able to seed, probably would have been better off left unseeded, Trewin said.
“Everyone still has last year in the back of their mind and nobody can seem to forget that, so they’re thinking whenever we can get some crop in, we better,” Trewin said.
Another issue is the water table remains high, making it doubly important to get some weather ideal for seeding.
“It takes a lot of drying, a couple of tenths of rain can make it quite wet and usually a couple of tenths would barely settle the dust,” Trewin said.
In other areas of the region, seeding is moving at a quicker pace.
The Killarney area reported the highest progress, reporting that 80 per cent of seeding of cereal crops was completed. North of Souris to the Trans-Canada Highway is 20 per cent complete, while Shoal Lake and Hamiota areas reported 40-50 per cent of seeding complete, according to the MAFRI report.
The report also says winter wheat and fall rye crops are doing well in the Southwest Region.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 10, 2012