Still Battling Mother Nature

Still Battling Mother Nature

Excess moisture continues to impede seeding in parts of the northern Interlake Region of Manitoba where it is estimated that only about 25% of the crop is planted. Some seeding and re-seeding also continues in parts of the northwest, central and eastern regions. In the Red River Valley, it is now estimated that as little as approximately 1 to 2% of acres may remain too wet to seed, but crop development is generally quite delayed with late seeding and frost setbacks.

In eastern Saskatchewan, soil moisture is adequate and canola development was accelerated recently with the arrival of seasonal temperatures (high 20’s to low 30’s). Canola is in the 2- to 4-leaf stage. Much needed rainfall (about 25 mm) fell in the extreme southwest (south of Highway 1 between Maple Creek and Swift Current) but apart from this area, western Saskatchewan continues to be dry. Soil moisture is rated as inadequate in approximately 60 to 80% of west Central and northwestern Saskatchewan. Emergence in these areas is patchy and the dry conditions are starting to dictate how producers are managing their crops.

In Alberta, the rain stayed west of Highway 2 between Lethbridge and Olds and so central and northeastern regions continue to be extremely dry. Some areas have had very little rainfall (less than 25 mm) since May 1. Some producers comment that the last significant rainfall came in June 2008. Many seeded fields continue to have seeds stranded in dry soil. Across the rest of the province, where moisture was adequate for germination, canola ranges from cotyledon to 6-leaf stage (with 2- to 4-leaf stage being the average). Very little precipitation has been received in the southern Peace and BC Peace Region recently and soil moisture is quickly becoming inadequate. Rainfall was received in the northern Peace and canola is at the 4-leaf stage.

The latest crop report from Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is available at:

The latest crop report from Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development is available at:$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/sdd4191#2009

Maps of current moisture conditions in western Canada from PFRA are available at: