Some fields in southeastern Manitoba still have standing water following heavy rain earlier in the week. Reg Friesen, owner of Prairie Sky Crop Solutions south of Niverville, says most farmers from here to the Interlake would agree, that "the tap could get turned off."
Friesen says rain amounts on Tuesday varied quite a bit from one mile to the next. For example, their shop registered 1.3 inches of rain, while farmers a few miles to the south received 2.5 inches and by the time you got to St. Pierre, gauges were registering three inches. And, all of this on top of what has already been a wet summer.
Just like rain amounts have varied, so too have the look of crops in the southeast. Friesen says we have everything from the most beautiful lush crops, to ones that are stressed out because of all the precipitation.
"But all in all, considering the lateness of the year, the amount of rain that we've had, things are looking very good considering all of that," says Friesen.
According to Friesen, canola fields have probably been hit hardest by this summer's rain, noting there are pockets of water stress. However, he says some canola fields are doing okay, noting where they are good, they are really good.
Friesen explains what the wet summer is doing to crops is producing plants with shallow roots. Even with all of the rain on Tuesday, Friesen says as long as the crops are not standing in water, they should do just fine. But, because most crops are currently in the reproductive stage, if they are in water, they tend to abort seed production, which Friesen says is problematic.
Another concern brought about by the wet conditions is that disease becomes more prevalent. He notes the disease factor is very relevant, especially considering the high commodity prices. Friesen adds canola fields had horrible flea beetles this spring. And now, even with all the rain, Friesen says they are finding a lot of grasshopper nymphs all over the place.
In terms of winter wheat, Friesen notes there are very few of those fields this year in the southeast. He says those fields that did not drown in spring are actually doing quite well. But, he doubts those fields will be harvested before September, noting all around it will be a late harvest in 2022.
Looking ahead to the next few weeks, Friesen says in a perfect world, we would receive about half an inch of rain per week, with daytime highs between 24 and 27 degrees. He notes when it gets too hot, the wheat and canola push through the flowering stage too quickly.