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Fall-Seeded Cereals Looking Better than Ever in Manitoba

21 May 2012

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CANADA - A plant science instructor with the University of Manitoba reports fall-seeded cereal crops have never looked better in Manitoba.

The 2012 growing season has been characterised by an unusually early spring melt followed by higher than normal heat units and lower than normal amounts of rainfall.

Gary Martens, a plant science instructor with the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, observes we've had more heat accumulation than normal - 580 growing degree days to date - which typically happens by the first of June so we're close to two weeks ahead in terms of heat units.

Mr Martens said: "I have never seen winter wheat look so good. It is uniform, it is dark green, it's beautiful so if the moisture is going to be there then we could have a really good winter wheat crop. I have some fall rye on my own farm and I just noticed yesterday it's starting to head."

"That's is the earliest I've ever seen fall rye heading on May the 17th. I think probably there's more than average numbers of winter wheat seeded last fall. One of the reasons for that was, especially in the south west, they could not put a crop in in 2011 because it was so wet so then to salvage the year they put in a fall crop in the fall of 2011 so it's there now."

Mr Martens acknowledges right now the soil throughout southern and central Manitoba is dry so moisture will be the biggest factor impacting yield potentials this year but if we have adequate moisture, yield potentials could be realised.

Mr Martens says if the weather continues nice and warm like it is and especially if we have a little bit of a moisture deficit, then by the middle of July we would be into harvesting our winter wheat.

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