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Wet weather puts Westman producers behind schedule

Water in areas on fields where water has never been before finally dried up this week, according to Roland Peloquin, who farms 22 kilometres west of Souris near Highway 2.

The moisture has set producers back weeks in the area.

Peloquin said he drove by what looked like a good, healthy corn crop yesterday, if it was the start of July.

“The crop has picked up in the last two weeks to where it looks like we might get something, but now it’s a matter of getting a long enough season to get a crop,” Peloquin said.

As expected, acres that were in early are doing the best.

In a normal year, Peloquin crops approximately 2,600 acres.

He estimates only 70 per cent were seeded this year, another 100 wiped out by further flooding.

“The first crop we got in looks good compared to other crops around here,” Peloquin said.

“The later stuff is struggling though. Wheat is just coming into head now, and that’s the big question mark now: How long is the season going to be?”

Peloquin said he got insurance for his unseeded acres, but the money was only enough to cover the chemical bill for the acres they did seed.

“That’s where the problem is. It doesn’t matter if you have a good crop or a poor crop, the inputs are the same cost.”

He hopes to get on some of the unseeded acres next week, provided it continues to dry up.

“It’s busy around here,” Peloquin said, adding they are planning a wedding for this weekend for the family’s youngest son.

Farmers will be begging for a warm fall, he said.

According to the latest Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiative Crop Report, crops throughout most of the Southwest Region continue to show significant improvement as a result of the mild and drier weather experienced recently.

“Temperatures in particular were ideal for crops that are now into the critical reproductive stage of development,” the report states.

“Although the potential for above-average yields is reduced due to the excess moisture and flooded acres, those with crops remaining and who continue to manage disease through the use of fungicides are anticipating at least long-term average yields.”

It’s a far cry from last year, when ideal conditions led to one of the biggest harvests ever on record.

Disease levels across most crops are low to moderate, while fusarium head blight in winter wheat is variable due to the uneven development of the crop.

There is some root rot in field peas and brown gridling root rot in canola, both due to excess moisture.

Wheat midge numbers increased over last week, but the vast majority of fields are flowering and should be beyond the stage for concern.

Corn, one of the crops that needs more heat units than traditional wheat or barley crops, and soybeans continue to respond favourably to the drier, warmer conditions.

A few corn fields are starting to initiate tassel development.

» ctweed@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @CharlesTweed

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 30, 2014

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Water in areas on fields where water has never been before finally dried up this week, according to Roland Peloquin, who farms 22 kilometres west of Souris near Highway 2.

The moisture has set producers back weeks in the area.

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Water in areas on fields where water has never been before finally dried up this week, according to Roland Peloquin, who farms 22 kilometres west of Souris near Highway 2.

The moisture has set producers back weeks in the area.

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