Canola seeding is still a couple of weeks away in most parts of the province.
Justine Cornelsen is agronomic and regulatory services manager with BrettYoung Seeds.
"For what we would consider somewhat normal for here in Manitoba would be kind of that middle of May to the end of May is when we see the bulk of canola acres go in. It is something that typically kind of follows after any of our cereals that go into the ground. Canola needs a nice warm, moist, seed bed. This year, we are still dealing with some pretty cool temperatures and obviously large amounts of precipitation are making it difficult to get into the field."
Cornelsen commented on soil conditions.
"Acres are just going to go in when you can get out into the field. For canola we like to see a warmer seed bed. So typically seeing soil temperatures up over that five degrees even closer to ten degrees. It looks like the forecast is supposed to warm up and then those soil temperatures will come quite quickly. The main reason for that is when you get it into a warm seed bed it's going to allow for a really quick germination. It doesn't leave the seed stranded there, which we saw last year in our cool, dry soils. A lot of seed just sat there dormant and actually never did germinate. This year we've got the moisture, so that limiting factor will be the heat. When we can get out there, that the crop is going to hopefully grow fairly quick into those warm soils. With that quick growth period, hopefully we can avoid a lot of flee beetle damage and feeding at that particular time."
She was asked about the impact on yields.
"Yield-wise, you don't really start to see any sort of yield decreases until you get later into June. Going into May and late-May will be OK, even that first week of June and lots of reseed acres usually go in at that time. Thankfully, we should be OK on the yield perspective and really it comes down to those environmental conditions. Our biggest canola pest being flea beetles. They are going to be coming out and they're going to be active and ready to go here soon. We just want that crop to really grow through that period. Typically we see the early seeded crops get damaged by flea beetles. Pushing everything later might be a good thing and we might be able to really beat that bad window for damage."
Cornelsen is hoping it's not too long before Manitoba farmers get going.
"Out on the western side of the province, we missed that last chunk of rain...hopefully maybe by next week, some growers are able to get out there. Parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta are already going. Warm temperatures this week that should help dry out a few acres and get some growers out into some of those high grounds. As for the Red River Valley, it's going to be a few weeks more by the looks of it. It's going to be condensed but I think everyone's ready to go. Supplies are coming in and when it is 'go time', it will be everyone on board."
She also commented on seed supplies.
"This year, seed supplies in general are restricted, so you want to do it properly the first time around and hope mother nature works in our favour because there's not a lot of leftover seed this year, just given the production issues from the last few years."