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Western Canadian Winter Wheat Crops Looking Good

Western Canadian Winter Wheat Crops Looking Good

18 April 2014

CANADA - The executive director of Winter Cereals Canada says weather over the next two weeks will play a key role in determining the condition of this year's winter wheat crop coming out of the winter.

Last fall winter wheat growers in Manitoba planted an estimated 435 thousand acres of winter wheat while growers in Saskatchewan planted an estimated 525 thousand acres.

Jake Davidson, the executive director of Winter Cereals Canada, says we had a good fall where the plants were able to go dormant in good shape and, as the winter progressed, most fields were well protected by snow.

Jake Davidson, Winter Cereals Canada:

Right now is the hard part because the plant has its least cold resistance.
It's kind of used it up.

It's like coal in a furnace and sooner or later the coal runs out and things get cold.
The plant doesn't have that cold resistance right now so how things happen right now as we're going on, where we're getting these warmer days, colder days, warmer days, colder days.

As the plants start to come out of dormancy, what's going to happen now if we get a cold snap, if it gets hit hard that will hurt it more than actually a cold snap in the fall.
The slow warming we're getting is good.

We're going to have a little more snow supposedly over this weekend and then back up.
They're talking temperatures in the double digits.

If we get into the double digits, the dirt starts to warm up, the plants are going to take off.
That's good as long as we don't snap down into the minus tens and elevens again.

A lot of winter kill is actually spring kill because of the great fluctuations and most soil freezing and cramping in the cold frozen dirt around the crown and killing off the plant.

Davidson says, at this point, the situation is encouraging.
He says there's plenty of soil moisture and, if the plants can get a good start, things should be pretty good this year.

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