Crop Report: Issue 2, May 8, 2017

 
 

Weekly Provincial Summary 

  •  Warm, dry and windy weather conditions prevailed across the province allowing for favourable drying of soil surface.
  • More and more fields are accessible for field work and seeding operations to progress. Planting of cereal grains advanced the most. Field peas, canola and corn are also being planted.
  • Many areas continue to report soil conditions too wet to allow access with field machinery. Soil surfaces have dried nicely but lighter textured soils are getting too dry and could use some rain.
  • Seeding progress varies across the Province with the most seeding reported in the South Central region. It is estimated that 20 to 25% of seeding is completed across the province.
  • Many winter wheat acres in the Eastern and Interlake regions suffered winter damage requiring re-seeding.
 

Southwest Region

Water levels in waterways continue to recede in most of the southwest part of the province. Moisture conditions are variable from one area to another. Warm weather and high winds over the past week in the region assisted in the dry down process. Provincial and municipal road segments that closed due to high water levels continue to be repaired and are reopened as the water levels drop. Topsoil temperature is increasing continuously with the above normal temperatures experienced last week.
 
Rain on the weekend in parts of the region brought 5 to 25 mm with most of it falling in the northern areas of the region. Highest amount of precipitation received was recorded in the Minnedosa, Forest, Rossburn, and St.Rose areas. Very little precipitation was received south of Highway#1 during the week. Field activities will be impacted with this recent rain in some areas.
 
Seeding is progressing with 10 to 15% done in the Southwest Region. Most seeded acres are cereals field peas and and some canola. In areas North of Highway #1 only 5 to 10% seeding is completed. There are some areas close to Brandon which have higher percentages of acres seeded.
 
Winter wheat and fall rye are regrowing well in most areas. Producers are planning for fertilizer and herbicide applications as conditions allow.
 
Weeds are growing well under the recent warm weather conditions. Pre-seed burn off treatments are being applied to control weed growth.
 
Harrowing and field cultivation is taking place in most areas this past week. Parts of fields remain too wet to do field work. Warmer weather has accelerated forage growth over the last week. Sunday night rains over parts of the Southwest Region will help to stimulate growth on pastures and hay fields.
 

Northwest Region

The Northwest Region experienced warmer weather throughout the week with temperatures turning cooler by the weekend. There were high winds and showers over the weekend, with precipitation ranging from 13 to 22 mm in the Dauphin/Sifton area. This brought a temporary halt to most field operations. Generally, soil moisture is rated as surplus to adequate throughout the region. .Only well drained sandy soils are rated as drier.
 
Field operations are just beginning throughout most of the region as producers are challenged with determining which fields are dry enough to enter in. Fields in The Pas remain wet with limited spring activity occurring. Many producers throughout the region are also challenged with management of unharvested acres of canola, peas and corn. Generally, field activity includes harrowing, fertilizer application, and pre-seed herbicide applications. So far the majority of seeded acres have been field peas and a good start of seeding spring wheat. Relatively mild winter temperatures and adequate snow cover resulted in excellent overwintering of winter cereals.
 
Weed growth including stinkweed, dandelions and wild oats is general throughout the area. Volunteer grain including cereals and canola are evident in many fields. There is minimal insect activity to date.
 
Forages have just begun to green up benefitting from last week’s warmer temperatures although growth is limited to date. Good progress was made last week fertilizing forage stands on drier fields. The significant rainfall in some areas has saturated pastures and ceased all field work likely for the remaining part of the week. Some producers have moved cows out to dryer pastures but continue to supplemental feed.
 

Central Region

Much change was seen in the last week. Weather conditions improved significantly, and warm sunny weather with drying winds rapidly improved seedbed conditions. Daytime highs have been in the mid twenties, with overnight temperatures staying above freezing throughout the week; daily air temperature averages moved into the 10°C range and soils are warming. Seeding continues, with significant progress made in southern parts of the region. Minimal if any precipitation received during the week.
 
Much of the region reports wet conditions as a carryover from last fall precipitation. As a result, a higher than average number of fields required heavy harrowing or cultivating prior to seeding More spring fertilizer is being applied, as producers were unable to get on to fields in the fall. Normal fall cultivation wasn’t possible, and in many cases, rutted fields need to be worked and prepared for seeding. The wettest areas are seeing more than one harrow pass to improve seedbed conditions. Some have seeded shallow into dry soil, due to extremely wet conditions below the soil surface, and are hoping for rain to aid germination.
 
Seeding overall ranges from 30 to 60% complete, with most progress made in eastern and southern parts of the region. A few producers have wrapped up seeding operations.
 
In areas where field conditions allow, the majority of cereals are planted. The earliest seeded fields are starting to emerge. There are some indications of lower than average cereal acres expected.
 
Canola acres range from 10 to 65% seeded, with progress most advanced in areas to the east and south. A few flea beetles, both striped and crucifer, have been spotted during warmer periods, but no feeding evidence on volunteer canola to date.
 
The majority of field pea acres have been seeded. Corn continues to go in, ranging from 10 to 90% complete, and sunflowers and flax are being seeded. Soybeans are at greater risk of frost damage once emerged. Soil temperatures are slowing increasing. Soybean acres range from 10 to 30% complete, although some areas report higher numbers.
 
Winter wheat, fall rye and perennial ryegrass fields have been fertilized where possible. Winter damage is a concern in some winter wheat and perennial ryegrass fields, ranging from minimal in the west and northwest, to 30 to 80% in eastern areas. Hybrid fall rye has generally fared better. More snow mould reported, but at moderate levels.
 
Higher than normal level of winter annual and annual weeds are noted, including chickweed, shepherds purse, volunteer canola, along with dandelion. This may warrant either more cultivation or pre-seed burnoff treatment. Annual weeds including wild oats, smartweed and wild buckwheat are emerging. Post-seed and pre-emergent herbicide applications are planned, but windy conditions are delaying spraying operations.
 
Pasture conditions are rated as fair; but range from poor to good. Excess moisture is a concern for some pasture and forages. Forage growth in pasture and hay fields progressed well last week with the warmer temperatures and adequate moisture.
 
Livestock water supply is adequate.
 

Eastern Region

Precipitation received across the region this past week was minimal ranging from 0 to 1.5 mm. Soil temps at 5 cm depth ranged from about 8 to 10°C. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region are rated as adequate to a slight surplus and varying from field to field. Soil moisture conditions on the majority of hay and pasture land are rated as adequate to surplus.

Winter wheat field assessments are nearing completion, it has been determined that very little of the crop has survived. Across the region, 75 to 95% of winter wheat acres appear to be winterkilled. Some producers are trying to get enough field area together to grow seed for next year. Most fields are being worked under and will be reseeded to another crop.

Weather last week was favourable for drying of field surfaces. Some fields are still too wet but many are accessible allowing producers to keep busy. Soil moisture is excellent underneath the dryer crust on top.. Seeding progress throughout the region is rapid.

Across the region it is estimated that 30% of spring seeding is complete. Spring wheat and corn is nearing completion in the region with the remaining acres likely being planted this week. Planting for other spring cereals, canola and soybean has also begun, more acres will continue to go into the ground as weather and field conditions allow. Producers are expected to make rapid seeding progress throughout this week if favourable weather continues.
Producers are fertilizing hay fields and evaluating pastures for regrowth. Hog operations are applying their stored manure on pastures, hay fields and some crop land. Across the region the majority of hay and pasture lands were in good to fair condition. Availability of livestock water was adequate.
 

Interlake Region

Mild temperatures enabled producers to get a good start on seeding operations this past week due to drying conditions and less than 2.5 mm of precipitation throughout the region. Soil temperatures are warming up and are in the 5 to 9°C range at 5 cm.
 
Seeding progress in south Interlake is 30 to 40% complete with spring cereals over 50% seeded. About 20 to 30% of the canola is seeded and a small amount of soybeans are already planted.
 
Seeding progress in the north Interlake is 2 to 7% complete with primarily just cereals in the ground so far. Fertilizing and field preparation are well underway. Some pre-seed burn off applications of glyphosate on annual crop land and Velpar on alfalfa seed fields.
 
Winter cereal re-growth is patchy and many fields are being taken out of production and reseeded to spring crops.
Native and tame pastures are providing very little feed from new growth so far this growing season. it is best to hold off putting cattle on pastures for a couple more weeks. Grazing other than stockpiled grass would hinder forage production going forward.
 
Tame forages are growing actively; grasses are 5 to 10 cm tall and alfalfa is 1 to 5 cm tall.
 
Most hayfields and pastures are at or near field capacity for soil moisture. Dugouts are at or near full and there is adequate water for livestock consumption.