According to Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, April 2019 brought above-average precipitation to most of the province.
- Despite several thaws, forages seem to have overwintered better than expected in most of the region. See Check Alfalfa Stands This Spring and Make a Plan for scouting information.
- There are some reports of alfalfa heaving. The freeze/thaw cycles can “jack” the plants out of the ground, drying out crowns or breaking taproots. Heaving is most likely to occur on heavy soils.
- Red clover acres may be down this year. Those still planning to plant clover into wheat should consider single-cut (or “mammoth”) varieties, as they are slower growing and therefore less aggressive than double-cut varieties.
Central and Eastern
- Estimates suggest 60-80% of alfalfa fields in these regions are suffering some level of winter-kill.
- Growers should do plant counts as alfalfa greens up, and stem counts when new regrowth is about 15 cm (6 in.) tall. See Check Alfalfa Stands This Spring and Make a Plan for more information.
- Alfalfa is auto-toxic and cannot be used to patch stands over a year old. Red clover or grasses can be used to patch fields instead. Fields with severe winter-kill should be terminated. These could be planted to silage corn, cereals or cereal/pea mixtures, Italian ryegrass, or sorghum-sudangrass.
- Snow melt is a slow and steady process in much of the region.
- Many areas are having or will soon have conditions suitable for frost seeding. However, some areas received snow before frost entered the ground last fall and these fields may not be fit to carry equipment at normal frost-seeding time.
- In contrast to the rest of the province, Agriculture and Agrifood Canada maps show Rainy River District received 60-85% of average precipitation during April.
- Many areas are having or will soon have conditions suitable for frost seeding.