Manitoba farm seeding off to a slow start, but getting back on track

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Farmers in Manitoba are a little behind in seeding operations for the spring, according to Dane Froese of Manitoba Agriculture.

Crop planting got off to a slow start this season because of the abnormal weather, said Froese, but things seem to be back on track now that temperatures have warmed up.

READ MORE: Snowfall warnings, special weather statements across Manitoba

“Current seeding progress across Manitoba is, on average, about 42 per cent [at this time of the spring],” said Froese.  “Now there are certain pockets in the southwest that are just getting started, at about 5 per cent, and moving upward from there.”
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According to Mike Koncan, Global News weather specialist, the province saw lower than normal temperatures this spring.

In Winnipeg, the daily mean average temperature was 4 degrees C below normal for April. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, the daily mean average temperature typically averages out to 4.4 C — this April, Winnipeg’s daily mean temperature was 0.4 C.

READ MORE: Mike’s Monday Outlook: Warmer weather in April finally showing up for Winnipeg

Froese said strong winds have also been a welcome change to the weather. The winds have dried soils and helped farmers access their fields so they can start putting the crop in the ground.

However, the slow start has compelled some farmers to consider a different approach to their seasonal work, according to Froese.

“They are thinking of switching out of longer season corn crops, in favour of either a shorter season variety of corn,” said Froese, “or even switching it to a serial crop, which takes less time to mature.”

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