Shawn Cabak is a specialist with Manitoba Agriculture Livestock and Forage and gave us a breakdown as far as what we're seeing for some of the weather information regarding moisture in the ground, which is a concern for producers. He notes the Central region has accumulated the most precipitation so far this season.

“All regions of the province have accumulated over 100 percent of normal precipitation since May 1st. Many areas have exceeded 150 per cent normal precipitation with the highest at Jordan at 225 percent of normal or 214 millimeters. Portage is at 183 per cent of normal precipitation for a total of 169 Mills.”

He explains last year, Portage had 23 mils of precipitation on June 18th, which was 24 per cent of normal, where most of central Manitoba last year was well below 50 per cent normal.

“This is weather information as of June 16th. When we look at corn heat units, more than 580 corn heat units have accumulated in the majority of the Southwest Central and Eastern regions since May 1st. And corn heat unit accumulation is below normal for the season with the majority of ag regions in the province less than 100 percent, with most in the 90s. When we look at Portage, we're sitting at 97 per cent normal corn heat units for this year. And this compares to 134 per cent last year on June 18th.”

He notes this means last year was the complete opposite of 2024. Cabak adds last year was hot and dry from Portage south in the central region. This year, it has been cooler than normal with considerably more precipitation.

“So, that's affecting our crop development and our forage development accordingly. Forages are very good users of moisture. They like wetter conditions. So, we're seeing some excellent forage growth on both hay and pasture. Our grasses are heading out and alfalfa is starting to flower. Because of that growth, hanging has begun, which is difficult with the wet conditions. So, silage is a good option to shorten up that drying and harvest period.”

He explains that a look at crop conditions, there was some significantly early seeding due to the dry conditions.

“We had seeding start in April, so with some of those early crops, the cereals in particular are doing quite well. Some of those earlier wheat fields are even starting to head out. The canola is starting to cabbage and because of the cool wet conditions that we've seen this year so far, our corn and soybeans are a bit behind. They've been slower to grow. They like the heat and they like it a little drier.”

This year, our corn is considerably lower or shorter in height.

“Last year, we had corn already at the end of June that was chest height and even above your head. Last year, the corn was quite a bit more advanced because of that heat compared to this year.”

Cabak adds there is still a lot of growing season to go and the crops will still catch up once more normal conditions start affecting us.

Generally speaking he notes the more wet conditions are seeing a bit of water damage in the low-lying areas of their fields.

“We have seen some yellowing in those low areas and even some drop drown -outs where the moisture is excessive so conditions are more variable. It is good that we do have optimal moisture or even above normal moisture and, ‘we need rain to make grain,’ as the saying goes. There's a lot of variability out in the fields and I think the potential does look pretty good yet, but we will need better weather at the end to ensure that all the crops that were seeded later will reach maturity.”

He says Mantoba’s Ag Weather program measures and records data year round from over 100 weather stations across Agro Manitoba, and the stations monitor air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, precipitation, wind speed directions, solar radiation, soil temperature, and soil moisture.

“All of this information is available live on Manitoba Agriculture’s website. Anybody can go and look at the weather information at any time. It's free of charge and they can monitor the stations that are closest to their location.”