Weekend rainfall overloads some Man. fields

Heavy rainfall over the weekend have led to standing water and overland flooding in eastern and central Manitoba cropland.

According to Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives’ weekly crop report Monday, storms Friday and Saturday dropped between 12 and 130 millimetres of precipitation across the south-central region, from Portage la Prairie down through the western half of the Red River Valley.

Communities including Somerset, Pilot Mound, Notre Dame, Carman, Altona, Letellier, St. Jean Baptiste and areas east received 75 to 130 mm, the province said.

“As a result of the precipitation, combined with high rainfall amounts south of the U.S. border, coulees, creeks and rivers are rising and drains are full,” the province said. “Water is moving off fields slowly; however, in some cases water is currently unable to drain. Standing water in low areas of fields and areas adjacent to rivers may result in some crop damage.”

Generally, however, the province noted that warmer temperatures in the region last week have resulted in “improved growth of all crops.”

East of the Red River, however, the weekend’s heavy rainfall left fields “saturated and/or flooded” with rainfall amounts over four inches reported in some areas.

Here as well, the rain followed five days of sunny, warm weather which accelerated crop development and allowed for “significant” spraying progress, the province said.

About 50 per cent of first-cut hay in the east has been baled, the province said, while the remaining first cut will have “reduced feed value because of the weekend rains.”

In the Interlake region between Lakes Manitoba and Winnipeg, 12 to 90 mm of rain fell over the weekend, with southeastern areas seeing the most precipitation. “Many soils were already saturated and the heavy rain resulted in overland flooding,” the province said.

But in the northern Interlake, where overland flooding last year significantly cut into yields and soil crusting is still causing some crop emergence problems, the recent rainfall has resulted in improved emergence, the province said.

Thundershowers late last week dropped 20 to 25 mm of precipitation in the province’s southwestern corner, MAFRI said, and although some areas of the broader southwest region are still rated as dry, “overall crop conditions are good.”

The province’s northwest, meanwhile, saw “isolated showers” over the past week, and the Roblin, Swan River and Grandview areas are rated “dry” due to below-normal precipitation to date. In the Swan Valley area, the province said, crop injury has been reported due to “heavy winds combined with high temperatures.”

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