Manitoba seed too cold, too wet

Manitoba is having problems as a result of spring flooding and cool, wet weather at planting time. This has caused 420,000 acres of Manitoba farmland to go unseeded this year. The result is $21.5 million in insurance payments to farmers.

The grain producers filed 1,675 claims for unseeded acres with the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. Manitoba has about 12 million acres of cropland.

2005 set the record for the wettest Spring when 1.4 million acres went unseeded because of the soggy conditions. More then 4,400 farmers made excess-moisture claims which paid $58.3 million in insurance.

Insurance claims from the northern Interlake region were a result when few muddy fields were seeded. Alberta and Saskatchewan have had drought claims.

The Canadian Wheat Board has predicted that Prairie wheat production will fall 20% from last year.

An unusually cold spring and summer has meant that crop development throughout the Prairies is 10 days to two weeks behind normal. This increases the changes of a late harvest and increases the possibiity of frost damage.

It is hoped that with ample rain falling on other areas that Manitoba may still harvest an average crop.

The insurance answer for farmers has always been crop insurance.