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Delayed germination last fall expected to push back winter cereal crop harvest

The executive manager of Winter Cereals Canada says dry planting conditions last fall will likely delay the development of this year’s winter cereal crops.

Members of Winter Cereals Canada and Winter Cereals Manitoba will meet tomorrow in Portage La Prairie for their annual general meetings.

Winter Cereals Canada executive manager Jake Davidson reports the number of acres seeded to winter cereals last fall in Manitoba fell from about 600 thousand to about 560 thousand while the number of acres in Saskatchewan fell from about 600 thousand to about 400 thousand, due primarily to the dry planting conditions.

I haven’t talked to anybody this year that’s gone out yet and dug up seedlings.

A lot of people will dig up a few seedlings, take them in the house, put them between wet paper towels and just see if they come back to life.

I don’t know anybody that’s done that yet.

We did have a pretty good cold snap there in January but snow cover is extremely deep any place I’ve been this winter and I think that there’s pretty good insulation value there so I think anything that went into the winter alive is doing well at this point.

I think there’s more winter kill, unless your snow blows away and the topsoil just gets frozen solid that way, there’s more damage done with the spring thaw that is uneven where we get warm weather and then snap back and into cold weather and so on so probably the next month may be more critical than the past couple of months.

Davidson says the fall seeded crop harvest typically gets underway in Manitoba in the first week of August but the late germination last fall and the fact that the crop was not as advanced as normal going into the winter means the crop won’t be as strong in the spring and that could move the harvest a week or two later than we experienced last year.

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