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Warm Weather Allows Early Planting, but Moisture Needed

13 April 2012
University of Manitoba

CANADA - A plant science instructor with the University of Manitoba reports unusually warm spring weather is offering an early start to planting but moisture will be needed.

This spring has been characterised by unusually warm temperatures.

Gary Martens, a plant science instructor with the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, says we've seen so many growing degree days that stinkweed and dandelion are flowering which is unusually early and winter wheat fields are greening up and appear to have survived well.

Gary Martens-University of Manitoba:

Usually the advice most farmers follow is plant as soon as you can and as quickly as you can.

However this year farmers could have been planting for the last month already but they haven't been, or not many.

There's a few people that are starting to plant and I've noticed there's a number of people that are putting on some fertiliser now.

They're fertilising their winter wheat of course but they're also maybe incorporating fertiliser for their spring crops right now.

What's been interesting for the last couple of weeks is the temperatures have been cooler.

We had a start but now it's sort of on pause and I think farmers are going to start going very soon now.

Temperature now is supposed to go to eight and 14 degrees so I think the end of this weeks there's going to be lots of activity on fields.

If farmers can plant right now it's going to be an early start compared to normal however it is very dry out there now.

You look at the Red River, it's very low, there's no run-off from the fields, the ditches are dry so it's good news for planting but we will be needing some rains to get a really good yield this year I would think.

Martens says farmers are mechanically equipped, barring mechanical breakdown, where they can get their planting done in ten days to two weeks but that ten days is usually interrupted by rains and spread out over a month or more.

For UniversityNews.Org, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

TheCropSite News Desk

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