After a year of unprecedented challenges, it looks like the hard work done by Manitoba’s farmers might pay off.
Farm Link Marketing Solutions, a Winnipeg-based farmer advisory service, toured farms across western Canada, and their analysis is that with favourable weather, we could see 39 million tonnes of wheat this year — smashing a 2013 record.
And wheat’s not alone — Farm Link’s projections are calling for banner years for canola and oat as well, depending on the weather.
Farm Link’s Neil Townsend told 680 CJOB that current seed technology, which works well in Manitoba’s soil may have a lot to do with the success.
“If you get timely rain and generally good weather, we’re going to have yields today, which you really wouldn’t have seen 10, 15, 20 years ago,” he said.
“We expected a big crop and we saw a big crop.”
“We found that conditions were generally quite good — there wasn’t as much evidence of the hardships that maybe southwestern Manitoba faced during the early part of the year.
“Crops have rebounded and look pretty good.”
Some areas, like Westman, that dealt with a drier-than-hoped-for season, were saved thanks to the excess moisture from last Thanksgiving’s record-setting storm, he said.
Manitoba agriculture writer Harry Siemens told 680 CJOB that Farm Link’s projections are in line with what he’s seen first-hand in the region.
“I’ve actually flown and looked at the crops from above, I’ve toured, I’ve talked to so many farmers… and when everything is said and done, we’ve got an above average crop overall… if everything stays fair game until the crop comes off.
“We’re already combining and we’re starting to see some of those yields. It’s an absolutely wonderful time of year.”
Both Townsend and Siemens said the good news doesn’t apply to all farmers. There are definitely some producers in Manitoba and on the prairies who have struggled mightily, but on average, it’s a positive sign.
“My hat’s off to the guys and gals who are out there farming. We have the best farmers in the world,” said Siemens.