Extent of flood damage to winter wheat not yet known

CNS Canada — While many crops in southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan are considered a write-off this year due to excessive precipitation and flooding, winter wheat is sitting in an area of uncertainty.

“We’re not doing worse than anybody else, let’s put it that way,” said Jake Davidson, executive director of Winter Cereals Canada at Minnedosa, Man. “Winter wheat is not going to do any better under four inches of rain than any other crop.

“We’re never given the information as to exactly where we are and where the crop is versus moisture problems. But if the other crops are flooded, ours are flooded. We just don’t know what we’ve got left out of last year’s seeding.”

Eventually, he said, crop insurance brokers will have more answers as to the outcome of the crop, but that won’t be for a while yet. Some producers are still hopeful to start harvest on time.

“I actually talked to a couple guys and their plan is to be in combines after the sixth or seventh of August,” said Davidson. “(In) certain areas of the province, quite likely, they will be (harvesting). The problem is at this point we just don’t really know.”

Prior to the excessive rainfall in western Manitoba at the beginning of the month, winter wheat’s potential looked good.

“I just came back from Glenboro (about 80 km southeast of Brandon, Man.) and there’s some nice-looking crops up and down Highway 2,” said Davidson. “As you get east of Brandon, they didn’t get as much rain and there are some crops that are coming along pretty good.”

Sporadic rain has made for winter wheat crops in a wide array of condition.

“We’re kind of in a great sense of the unknown right now,” said Davidson. “We just don’t know what got wiped out and what didn’t.”

— Marney Blunt writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.


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