With warmer temperatures on the way, farmers will be focusing on getting crops into the ground.
Laura Schmidt is a production specialist with Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers.
"It's really nice that we've got some moisture to work with this year, but it will be a little while before we're able to start seeding in full force. Something to keep in mind is that soybeans tolerate excess moisture well but since we've had more acres slotted for peas, it is important to remember that peas do not tolerate...water logged soils. Since they do thrive in relatively dry soils, field selection is going to be really important this year for peas. If possible, choose well drained course textured soils."
Schmidt commented on seeding dates.
"Seed peas early if possible. Peas tolerate cold temperatures really well, so if you can get out there, start seeding when soils warm up to five degrees at depth if the field is travelable. According to long term crop insurance data, pea yields do drop off to about 80 per cent relative yield if seeding in the third week of May or later. Delayed pea seeding just means that that crop is going to flower during the heat of summer, so that will result in the loss of flowers and impact yields."
She noted seeding dates for soybeans are quite flexible in Manitoba.
"Seeding in the first three weeks of May has been shown to maximize yields and cold soils will generally delay emergence, so wait to seed until soils there have warmed up to at least eight degrees. Delaying seeding for soybeans until June has generally reduced yields by about 15 per cent on average...Do double check your variety's days to maturity and that they will mature before your average fall frost date."
Schmidt notes fungicide treatments will generally help protect seedlings as they establish from root rot, however it only provides protection for about two to three weeks after seeding. Diseases may occur later in the season.
Soil testing is also being recommended for this spring, as the moisture may have affected residual nitrates from last fall.