The executive director of Winter Cereals Canada and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereal Development Commission reports, despite the recent cold snap, the majority of winter cereal crops planted last fall remain well protected by snow cover.
Members of the Saskatchewan Winter Cereal Development Commission met yesterday in Saskatoon for their 2014 annual general meeting.
Jake Davidson, the executive director of Winter Cereals Canada and the Saskatchewan Winter Cereal Development Commission, reports this is the time of year when winter cereal growers start to worry about the potential for winter kill.
Jake Davidson-Winter Cereals Canada:
It’s kind of interesting. In Manitoba we’ve got a lot more snow than in Saskatchewan. As I went to my meeting in Saskatoon, driving from north of Brandon through to Saskatoon the snow cover gets less as we go along.
Generally speaking we will tell people if you’ve got four inches of snow on the ground you’re doing OK. That’s enough to keep the soil temperature from getting too bad. Even with all the winds we’ve had this year, we’ve had some pretty bad winds, we’re basically holding that snow cover level on the crop and at this point nobody is too worried.
Even though we had that really cold weather, under the snow it isn’t that bad so so far so good. We have these warming trends, now they’re talking even going above zero later this week. If that was to go on for a long time and we get melt, it would freeze on the ground.
That would cause us some trouble but I don’t think these short term up and downs are going to do us much harm because in most places there’s enough snow that’s going to buffer between the outside and under the ground where the crop is.
Mr Davidson says the crop is quite resilient and if it’s under the snow it’s well protected from the cold.
He notes he talked to one grower who this past year had considered ploughing up the crop but ended up harvesting 70 bushels to the acre.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/novosti/canada-winter-cereal-crops-well-protected-by-snow-cover)