Timing of rain ‘ideal’ for Prairie crops

CNS Canada — Well timed weekend rains across Western Canada have benefited germinating canola crops and soil conditions — but some areas could use more moisture, one weather and crop specialist says.

“In terms of the timing of the rains, they’ve been pretty well ideal,” said Bruce Burnett of G3 Canada.

Showers over the week ending Sunday in Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan added moisture to topsoil, and improved germination conditions for crops in the post-seeding period.

“I think that is probably the best scenario when you have some dry soils,” Burnett said.

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Those rains have improved the likelihood that crops will be able to withstand hot and dry spells, he said.

“You do have some reserves against those periodic spells. You typically receive one or two of them during the year.”

The timing of rains also allowed producers to plant crops without any serious delays, he added.

Areas with drier subsoils, like Alberta and Western Saskatchewan, will need additional moisture throughout the growing season to maintain crop conditions.

“We need to see some timely rainfall as those crops develop, but other than that, most areas in the Prairies have good subsoil conditions,” Burnett said.

So far this year, he said, crop conditions have improved from year-ago levels, especially as drier areas have started to see rain.

Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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