A favourable winter has fruit growers in Manitoba berry excited.

Anthony Mintenko, a fruit crop specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, says things are just about to get going growing-wise for the province's fruit crops. 

"By next week, we will probably start seeing some of the fruit trees starting to bud out."

He explains that while it may be early spring, things are looking optimistic as long as we get some showers, unlike last year.

"Last year was just hard on the plants to come out of dormancy and start growing without that good precipitation. Growers do have irrigation, especially all strawberry growers irrigate. But irrigation isn't the same as a good rain," he continues. "As long as we get the rain this spring, we'll be in good shape because it was such a mild winter, which is good for a lot of the fruit crops, especially strawberry growers. They are quite hopeful for at least average yields this year, given the mild temperatures we had this winter." 

He reiterated that fruit crop producers are overall content with the current conditions, setting the stage for what he hopes will be a promising season ahead.

"We're in good shape, moisture-wise, as long as we get some rain this spring."