According to the Manitoba government's weekly Crop Report, the major frost event that lasted several nights during the week ending June 1 was damaging for some producers, although total damage to crops was far less than expected.
While frost hit the entire growing area of the province, there was a wide range of conditions, ranging from a low of minus 0.1 Celsius for a one-hour period at Altona, close to the U.S. border, to a low of minus 8.9 C (16 Fahrenheit) for an 11-hour period at Narcisse, located in the Interlakes Region.
Across the province's cropland, the average temperatures ranged from minus 1 C to minus 3 C, but susceptible crops were viewed as not emerged or barely emerged, which limited the overall damage. Delayed seeding in some areas, along with cool and dry conditions leading up to this event, which slowed emergence and development, may have been a contributing factor in saving crops from more serious damage.
The province estimates 96% of the spring seeding complete, equal to the same week in 2020 and just slightly behind the four-year average of 98%. Progress ranges from 80% to 90% complete in the Southwest Region of the province, to complete in the Eastern Region and 98% complete in the Central Region.
Rainfall was limited during the past week, with just a few locations in the Northwest Region receiving roughly 0.5 inches. Of the 122 locations monitored in the Crop Weather Report, only 20 have received above normal precipitation since May 1, with the highest concentration of these locations found in the Central Region of the province, where 10 of 29 locations have received normal precipitation.
A slightly longer view of these conditions, as reported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada since April 1, shows most of the province receiving below-normal precipitation, with significant areas having received less than 40% of normal along with 40% to 60% of normal.
The Crop Weather Report also shows below-normal Corn Heat Unit accumulation seen since May 1. For example, the CHU calculated for the Central Region ranges from 73% to 92% of normal across the 29 locations monitored. In the Southwest Region, this ranges from 71% of normal to 90% of normal over the 40 locations reported.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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