Seed World

Spring Deluge Delays Seeding on the Prairies, Spills Over into Harvest

In no particular order, we present the Top 10 Stories of 2022. Here’s the second.

Sandbags — and lots of volunteers to fill and sling them — came in handy for Manitoba’s seed community as Mother Nature dumped two Colorado lows on the region two weekends in a row in the spring.

“Unfortunately, the culverts did not clear in time and the field runoff just accumulated and backed up. Some years we’ll get some backup for sure, but this time, it backed up right into the yard. We’ve had at least six inches of water in the yard, which we’ve never had before ever,” said Kevin McCallum, general manager of DL Seeds in Manitoba, in April.

“It was just a perfect storm where you’ve got a large amount of rainfall in a very short time and the culverts are not completely dug out and working properly.”

Southern Manitoba was hit with a double whammy of rain and snow, with some parts of the province receiving well over 50 mm of precipitation. The weekend prior, a storm system brought as much as 80 mm of precipitation to some parts of the province.

The result was power outages, flooding and dangerous highway conditions across the province. Planting was delayed in much of Manitoba.

The late seeding spilled over into harvest; fast-forward to Sept. 20 and harvest progress sat at 40% completed across the province, approximately three weeks behind the five-year average of 71% complete by week 38. Steady rainfall across the province stalled harvest progress. Farmers anxiously awaited drier weather to return to straight-cutting cereal and canola crops, and for breezy days to dry down damp swaths.