Seeding time is just about over for farmers at this point in the season. Local producers took advantage of the moment when wetter conditions were just right for this time of year. 

Brady Moxham farms near Oakville and says it's been quite good so far. 

"We've got most of our cereal crops in, a little bit of soybeans, but you know, the rain is definitely welcome, even though it's going to push things back a little bit more," says Moxham. "We definitely needed it. So, things are looking up right now. I'd say probably in that 30 to 40 per cent range right now for us. We don't farm a ton of acres. So, a few good days get us through a lot of ground."

He explains they saw a few instances of rain before seeding time, and notes that definitely helps. 

"Another week would have really helped us catch up and it would have been perfect, but you can't always have everything the way you want it. So, that's okay. But another good week of no rain would have been great. We do need the rain, so it's definitely welcome,  but if we could hold off for a few more days and then dry up, I think by probably mid-next-week, we could probably get going again. Then we could finish out without too much delay. After that, it can rain all that it wants for a while."

Moxham says there is some soil moisture left, but none was provided from the winter, making more rain at the moment definitely better.

A new venture that Moxham initiated last year was Cooley Ridge Farms a strawberry U-pick just south of Oakville. 

"My partner and I, Morgan Cormack, we're putting in some strawberries. We put them in last year. They take about a year to kind of establish. But we're hoping to have a good crop this year and have everybody out to the farm, probably around the start of July for pre-picks and u-pick strawberries. But yeah, we're super excited. We're just two miles south of Oakville, right on 13 Hwy. We're hoping to put the signs up this week. So, if you're driving by, you'll be able to see our signs up there. It should be a fun and interesting new venture for us." 

Moxham says he's unsure if the weather conditions that are ideal for regular crops do the same for strawberries, noting it's a learning curve they're currently experiencing. 

"Right now, the rain isn't a bad thing. We got them uncovered last week, so they're airing out and stretching their legs. They really shot up in the first two days of having good heat and sun. So, the rain is not a bad thing for them. They'll get going and grow up here pretty soon. They don't want things to be super hot. Last year, the season wasn't too great because it was so hot in June and July. But we're hoping this year, for our first, year, hopefully, sees the weather turns for the better and it should be a good year." 

Brian Case farms his fields to the south and southwest of Portage la Prairie. He notes they're finished with plants and soybeans and completed seeding all of their wheat, putting them in great shape.

"All that we have to do now is the edible beans. And that's probably about a week's break before we get at those. So, we've had a very good run. It looked like we're going to get started really early. I like starting in April, but we didn't get that done. We went hard for a week, I think, and stuff went pretty good." 

Case adds they've had enough rain for the time being, and notes it's a million-dollar rain immediately after seeding is completed. 

"We had enough seeding that it's made a big difference for us. Last year, we didn't have that rain, and we had different time periods when stuff germinated, and it was a nightmare trying to look after that crop for the whole season, when you have a bunch of different stages. But this rain right after seeding, everything comes up even. It's much easier to get it to compete against weeds and to get it to produce like you'd like it to produce."

He says it's been better this year so far than the past couple of years, condition-wise.  He adds it looks excellent and they're hoping that they keep seeing rain but not excessively. 

"So, we're cautiously optimistic, as usual."