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Warm Prairie soils delay fertilizing ban, winter weights

(Manitoba Co-operator file photo by Laura Rance)

Manitoba’s winter ban on nutrient application has been postponed, again, while Saskatchewan has postponed its move to winter weights on its highways, due to warmer-than-average soil temperatures.

Manitoba’s water stewardship department announced Friday it will further extend its nutrient application window until midnight, Nov. 19.

Variances to Manitoba’s winter fertilizing ban — which typically runs Nov. 10 to April 10 — are granted for forms of nutrients such as livestock manure and inorganic fertilizer, based on actual soil temperatures, the presence of snow cover and the long-term weather forecast.

The province on Monday had already extended the window, to Saturday (Nov. 14).

During the extension period, however, nutrients can only be surface-applied if immediately incorporated, and shouldn’t be applied if the weather outlook indicates snow or an “appreciable amount of rainfall” that would result in fertilizer runoff into watercourses or lakes.

Saskatchewan’s highways and infrastructure ministry, also on Friday, said that due to the “unseasonably warm fall,” its winter weight allowances will not come into effect until Dec. 1 or “until the roadbeds are sufficiently frozen.”

Road structures will be monitored throughout the province on an ongoing basis to determine when winter weights can be implemented, the ministry said.

Colder temperatures freeze and strengthen road structures and allow for heavier loads on the highway network. Until the roads are frozen, however, the extra weight from fully-loaded grain trucks and other heavy loads can damage pavement and road structures. — AGCanada.com Network

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