What is ‘normal’ seeding progress for this time of year?

Continuing cold temperatures (both air and soil) and wet conditions are impacting seeding operations across Manitoba, and in other parts of Canada and the Northern United States.  So what is ‘normal’ seeding progress for this time of year, early May?”

Producers who participate in AgriInsurance provides seeding date information to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).  This dataset provides us a historical perspective of when seeding has taken place in the past.  Seeding date data information is broken down into a week:month format, i.e. 1:05 is Week 1 in the 5th Month (May).  So 2:05 is Week 2 in May, and so on.

Each week is then categorized dependent on the day of the week in which the month starts.  So if Week 1 starts on a Sunday, there will be 7 days of seeding captured in Week 1.  However, if Week 1 starts on Thursday (like we have in 2014), there are 10 days captured in Week 1.  Confused yet?  Essentially, each year will have a different number of days captured in each weekly timeframe, varying from 5 days up to 12 days.  However, the data still provides good reference points to seeding progress in Manitoba.

In Table 1, cumulative seeding progress to the end of Week 1 in May for six crop types is provided.  The last five year (2008-2012) average cumulative seeding progress is noted, along with what was seeded in the same timeframe in 2013.   Please note that data is for final insured crop in the ground.

 Table 1:  Seeding progress in Manitoba by end of Week 1 in May (1:05).

Crop Cumulative 5 yr  (2008-2012) (%) Cumulative 2013 (%)
Red Spring Wheat 50.0 7.4
Barley 41.3 6.8
Oats 43.4 5.3
Argentine Canola 16.7 1.9
Grain Corn 44.9 12.2
Soybeans 2.4 0.2


So, is it time to worry?  I think many are aware of the ability of producers to seed a large amount of acres in a short time frame, as witnessed in 2013.  All we need is Mother Nature to send warm, dry weather our way!

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist

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