Soggy weekend welcomed in southern Manitoba

A much-needed rain fell on most of southern Manitoba on Father’s Day weekend.

The rainfall was heaviest in the southwest and central regions of the province. For example, Boissevain, south of Brandon, received 40 millimetres June 15 and another 13 mm on Father’s Day, based on Manitoba Agriculture weather data.

Other communities also recorded more than 25 mm of rain June 15-16:

• Virden – 32 mm

• Hamiota – 31 mm

• McAuley – 45 mm

Less rainfall fell in other regions, like the Parkland.

But many areas had 15 to 25 mm of rain during the weekend.

Government of Manitoba map

The rain was desperately needed, particularly in the western half of the province, where dry conditions have stunted crop development.

Before the rain, many canola fields struggled because of frost damage, flea beetle pressure and lack of moisture. Between Brandon and Minnedosa, in the second week of June, most canola fields had patchy emergence, very small plants or both.

The rainfall should boost crop development and help canola plants grow large enough to withstand flea beetle feeding.

The rainfall is likely more important for livestock producers coping with meagre growth on pasture and hay fields this spring.

“Forages (are) in need of critical regrowth moisture,” the Manitoba Agriculture crop report said June 11. “Grasses are starting to head out because of moisture stress. All the forages require significant rainfall to maintain growth rate.”

More rain is still needed to recharge subsoil moisture in most of Manitoba.

Environment Canada forecasts rain and cool temperatures for later this week in Brandon, Dauphin and other parts of the province.

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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