Wet, cool spring delaying Canadian planting

Details in Ag Week

“A wet, cool spring is delaying planting on the Canadian prairie, but farmers and others generally say they aren’t terribly concerned yet,” says this article in Ag Week.

“We’re a week or 10 days behind normal,” says Mike Jubinville, president of Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Pro Canada Farmer, noting that some areas received double their normal snowfall this year.

“But I don’t want to get overly worked up about this. We’ve seen stressed springtime conditions many, many times over the years. Generally speaking, the crop gets in,” he says. “One way or another, the ingenuity of the producer will get the crop in.”

“Canada traditionally is the world’s leading exporter of spring wheat, durum, canola and malting barley — all of which are prominent crops on the Northern Plains of the United States, too. What happens on the Canadian prairie affects U.S. crop prices, and vice versa.”

In a normal year, William Nicholson, who farms near Shoal Lake, Manitoba, is planting by May 1. This year, because of heavy, slow-to-melt snow, he doesn’t expect to be planting until mid- or late May.

“The immediate concern, however, is the persistent snow cover that blocks planting.”

“Everybody would love to have it melted already,” says James Loewen, grain manager with Bunge Canada in Altona, Manitoba.

This is weather. However, if it starts happening year over year it will be climate change.


Author: Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

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