Difficult Manitoba harvest nearing its end

An unharvested crop lies under a blanket of snow near Somerset, Man., the weekend of Nov. 2, 2019.  Photo: Alexis Stockford

MarketsFarm – In the latest and last weekly crop report for 2019 from Manitoba Agriculture, issued Nov. 5, the overall harvest reached 89 per cent complete province-wide

However, it has continued to be a very tough slog for farmers as they contend with muddy fields, in which equipment has left deep ruts. In some areas, farmers will wait for the ground to freeze over before trying to finish as much as they can. Other farmers are looking to leaving some fields until the spring.

There were reports of combines freezing up overnight after ingesting snow. Some producers indicated it’s no longer worth the time and expense to use dryers or aeration.

Crops still left in the fields were especially muddy in low laying areas. There were numerous reports of snow accumulating in swaths or lodged/flattened crops that weren’t swathed.

The spring wheat harvest was 97 per cent complete across the province, with southwest Manitoba at 92 per cent with the rest of the province at 98-99 per cent finished.

The canola harvest was at 91 per cent finished across the province. In southwest Manitoba, farmers were at 80 per cent complete whereas growers elsewhere ranged from 90 to 98 per cent done.

The three-year average for spring wheat and canola is 100 per cent complete.

Soybeans reached 75 per cent done, with the least amount in the eastern Manitoba at 60 per cent. The northwest was furthest along at 95 per cent. The province-wide three-year average is 94 per cent complete.

Corn for grain was at 44 per cent harvested and ahead of the average of 38 per cent. Silage corn was at 81 per cent finished, and behind the average of 100 per cent.

Cattle ranchers reported difficulties in bringing or going out to feed cattle due the wet conditions. Many sloughs and dugouts have frozen over.

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