Warm, windy days are starting to dry out fields in the Red River Valley, and Dennis Lange with Manitoba Agriculture expects seeding to get going in the next 10 days or so.
He says the season is starting out similar to last year with seeding pushed back a week or two.
"Last year there was a little bit of seeding done in and around that May 10th period on some of the earliest fields in Manitoba. I think a lot got going right around the May long weekend in this zone here. The crop went in quite later than when we would normally get started," said Lange. "But in the end, soil temperatures were much warmer once we actually did get into the field so the crop actually came up relatively quickly. A lot of times, within the week the crop was up."
This year, however, he says we're in a situation where it's been cool.
"Personally, I haven't done any soil tests but we're still getting down to zero the last couple of mornings, so I wouldn't expect it to be terribly warm yet with the cold, wet soil."
The big thing in the coming days, added Lange, will be good drying conditions so the fields can firm up.
As for what he's expecting to go in the ground when the time comes, Lange says soybean acres are definitely going to be up following record-setting yields in 2022. Wheat acres are also anticipated to be up.
Remaining relatively flat, according to Lange, will be dry beans and sunflowers.
Oats are expected to decline. As is canola, noted Lange.
"And that's, I think, mainly because of the fact that last year a lot of the late crops that went in, growers had switched over to canola from the longer-season crops like dry beans and soybeans."
Is he expecting this year's later start to change growers' minds? Not yet, he said.
Closer to Portage, producer Blye Sissons commented that farmers are almost ready to go.
"It's drying up nicely, we will be scratching some soil this week and I know others that are just starting here this week"