Despite this year’s delayed start to planting and extremely variable moisture, Manitoba Agriculture reports crop yields and quality for the 2023 growing season have been average.
Dennis Lange, a pulse and soybean specialist with Manitoba Agriculture and editor of the provincial crop report, says this year’s harvest is very close to complete, with 96 percent of the crop now in the bin.
The biggest challenge initially in what we were seeing is that everybody was a little concerned about when we would get into the fields but those concerns were alleviated as we started to seed because soil conditions dried up quite nicely and growers we able continue seeding. Over the growing season there were isolated storms that went through the various areas of the province, relatively small areas. There wasn’t anything major that hit most of the crops.
Probably the biggest concern this year was the dryness. Some of the early crops that were harvested, some of the early spring wheats for example that were harvested before the end of July or early August, those first fields coming off were in that 30 to 35 bushel per acre range but, as we got into the lions share of the harvest, yields improved. Variability was probably the big key word this year when it came to moisture because some areas needed to get a nice rain right at the right time and then a few miles away you would miss it and that seemed to be pretty consistent over the season.
When we look at all the crops and the yields I think we’re going to be somewhere around average on most crops. There were some highs on some of the soybean fields that ended up getting those timely rains and there were some 50-to-60-bushel yields being reported but there were some 20-to-25-bushel soybeans on those early harvested beans that were harvested in early September and that was related to lack of moisture.
~ Dennis Lange, Manitoba Agriculture
Lange says, overall growers will likely be fairly pleased with what they had this year. He acknowledges it won’t be a bumper crop but, considering all things, yields should still be close to average.