‘Off to a good start’: Seeding delayed slightly but Manitoba farmers optimistic about upcoming season

The first crop report of the year was released by the province Tuesday and it shows that while farmers may be a bit behind, they are rapidly getting seeds in the ground.

The report shows seed progression is sitting at 25 per cent in Manitoba, which is below the five year average rate of 63 per cent but up from the 10 per cent seen at this time last year.

“Seeding progress across the province is moving at a rapid pace with the recent warm weather. Producers are able to seed most fields, unlike the previous week where producers were more selective on which field to plant due to wet soil conditions,” the report said.

Tom Greaves, the president of Pitura Seeds – which provides seeds for farmers across Manitoba and Saskatchewan – said they’re in the beginning stages of seeding, about a week later than normal because of the late snow going into spring.

“Moisture conditions are great in the soil right now. I think that we’re off to a good start,” said Greaves. “We’re having some great weather right now; the soil’s warming up. So things are looking pretty optimistic at this point.”

He said their cereal grains such as wheat, barley and oats were finished up on Monday and they have now started canola and soybeans.

Charles Fossay, the president of the Manitoba Canola Growers Association, said the outlook for producers is very positive at the moment.

“I am feeling fairly optimistic at this time. Grain prices were at record highs last year. I don’t expect that to continue but I think prices will be well above say the 10-year average or even the five-year average,” said Fossay.

Greaves said they are also optimistic they will have a successful year, but notes it all depends on the weather.

“We’re all focused for a positive result at the end of the day, But, you know, the weather has a lot to do with it through the summer. So we try to manage our risks and hope for the best,” said Greaves.

While both are optimistic, Fossay warns there are costs that are up from last year.

“Cost of repairs, cost of fertilizer. A lot of those costs have gone up from a year ago. So that takes some of the shine off of the good prices,” said Fossay.

The province said the weather is “looking favorable” during the seeding process over the next week and expects crops will be “emerging rapidly in the coming days and weeks.”

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