With the warmer temperatures, some Manitoba farmers will be looking to scratch the surface in the coming days.
Anne Kirk is a cereal specialist with Manitoba Agriculture.
"Seeding the last few years has been pretty early. By this time last year we had a significant number of acres seeded as of May 1. In the last couple of years, when it's dry, people have been seeding the last week of April...Generally, we are seeing quite a bit of seeding done by the second week of May. We are delayed in terms of what we've seen the last few years. We definitely know the yield potential for most cereal crops is higher with earlier seeding dates."
She commented further on the delay in seeding.
"We still have a bit of a window. There's a concern because of lower yield potential with later seeding dates. Using MASC seeded acreage report and harvest production report data, we do look at yield potential with each seeding date going later into May and June. We do know that for most spring cereal crops, they have the highest yield potential planted the first week of May and as you go into the second and third week of May, we do see lower yield potential. Depending on the crops, anywhere from say 80 per cent of the yield potential, if you're planting the third week of May versus the first week of May."
Kirk also gave thoughts soil conditions.
"Many areas of the province are still quite wet and it's been so cool so we haven't had a lot for fields to dry out and and culverts to even open up and drain some of that water away. With some warmer temperatures that we're expecting at the end of the week, we should start to see quite a bit of drying."
She noted the winter wheat crop is doing fairly well.
"Throughout the winter we did see good snow cover throughout the province and based on the soil monitoring that we do to asses winter wheat, I wouldn't be expecting any winterkill days throughout the winter. I think some people were concerned because in the last few weeks, we did have some fairly cold overnight temperatures...Winter cereals are most winter hardy early on in the season. In December they're more winter hardy than they are in March or April. Because they're coming out of dormancy, there was some concern but we didn't have a lot of warm temperatures before we had those cool temperatures. The winter crops I've seen are looking good and do have some new roots coming."
Kirk said with the warmer temperatures, top growth on the winter wheat should begin shortly.