Agriculture

Crop Report: Issue 15, August 12, 2013

  

Weekly Provincial Summary

 
  • Spring crop development, along with winter wheat and forage crop harvest, continues
    to be slowed by the continuing cool and wet weather in Manitoba. 
  • The majority of crops are either grain-filling or podding, with some of the later
    seeded crops finishing up flowering.  Swathing of earliest-seeded canola has started.
  • Winter wheat harvest continues in the Central, Eastern and Interlake Regions with
    yields ranging from 55 to 80 bushels per acre, with good quality and protein levels.
  • A return to warmer and drier weather conditions would be welcome to aid in ripening
    of spring crops, continued growth in the warm season crops such as grain corn, sunflowers,
    edible beans and soybeans, and harvest operations.

Southwest Region

Cooler temperatures and light to moderate rainfall over the past week continued to slow crop
development throughout much of the Southwest Region. Rainfall amounts were variable with
accumulations ranging from less than 5 to 25 mm with higher amounts being reported in more
southern regions.
 
Most cereal crops are in the soft dough stage of development with some of the earliest fields
beginning to turn. Disease pressure and lodging increased across all cereal crops as the crop
begins to mature. Fusarium head blight levels continue to be found at low to moderate levels.
The cooler moderate temperatures continue to favour canola development; however, there is
some concern regarding the delayed maturity of the crop. Only some of the earliest seeded
fields are done flowering with the majority of the crop still coming out of flower.
 
Sclerotinia pressure is limited due to the slow maturation of the crop.
Field peas are fully podded with some crops beginning to turn. More lodging is reported due
to recent rains, excessive growth and heavy pod development. Flax fields also benefit from
the moderate temperatures and continue to experience an extended flowering period with some
of the earliest fields coming out of flower.
 
Corn and soybeans have seen crop maturities continue to slow over this past week with the
cooler temperatures. The majority of soybeans are flowering with some fields beginning pod
fill. Most corn crops have tasselled with some cob development now occurring. Sunflowers
maturity also slowed over this past week with most crops now flowering.
 
Insect activity over the past week saw limited bertha armyworm control measures being taken
in the Wawanesa, Killarney, Boissevain and Delorainre areas. Grasshopper activity continues
to be the major insect pest being reported in eastern and central portions of the region.
 
Most hay crops are now fully in their reproductive stages of development with haying progress
continuing to be slowed by the high humidity, frequent showers and cool daytime temperatures.
First cut hay is 75 to 80% complete with yields at 75 to 80% of normal, although there are
areas producing yields at or near long term averages. Several producers have begun silaging
with cereal silage yielding average to above average. Little slough or marsh hay has been
harvested to date. Pasture conditions continue to benefit from the frequent showers and
moderate temperatures, although some pastures are beginning to show grazing pressure. Water
levels in sloughs and dugouts are 95 to 100% of capacity in northern regions and at capacity
in southwestern regions.
 

Northwest Region

The Northwest Region saw very little precipitation with total accumulations of up to 5 mm for
the week. Cloudy and windy weather conditions, and the below seasonal average temperatures,
continue to persist.
 
The cool conditions and adequate moisture are favouring good development for canola and
coarse grains. Pod fill of canola and grain fill of cereal crops is good as crop matures.
Canola acres are 75% fully podded with the remaining acres at various stages of podding and
flowering. Winter wheat is ripening slowly with no reports of fields ready for harvest
operations. Hemp is flowering and the corn is beginning to tassel. Soybeans are developing
slowly into initial stages of reproductive growth. Some perennial rye grass is combined and
much of the remainder in swath.
 
Disease pressure on canola appears average based on the incidence levels of sclerotinia being
reported. Insect pressure is low on all crops; however, some light grasshopper activity is
reported on pastures especially on lighter soils and ridges.
 
First cut haying operations are reaching completion in many areas. Forage quality has
remained variable. Under fair harvest weather conditions, barley silage is reported to have
above average yield and quality. The native hay harvest is proceeding where more accessible
drier fields allow. Wet and inaccessible native hay lands remain through the Westlake area,
as well as other pockets throughout the northern sectors of the region. Pastures are rated as
fair to good in most areas. Dugout water levels are at 100% capacity all areas.
 

Central Region

Cooler temperatures and cloudy conditions continued in the Central Region, along with
scattered showers in many areas. Rainfall amounts range from 5 to 20 mm, although as much as
40 mm fell north of Portage over the weekend. Soil moisture is at capacity in many fields and
most areas could use a break from continued rainfall.
 
Crop growth continues to be slow with the cooler temperatures. The flowering period has been
extended in some canola, flax and pea fields, allowing for a longer fill period in these, as
well as cereal crops.  Some areas are expressing concern of increased risk of crop damage due
to fall frost as a result of the extended period of cooler temperatures. The forecast for
hotter, drier conditions this week is welcome.
 
Cooler temperatures have pushed back harvest timing. Winter wheat harvest continues, with
both swathing and straight combining taking place. Early reports of yields in the 60 to high
70 bu/acre range, with good quality and good protein levels. Perennial ryegrass harvest also
continues with no yield reports to date.
 
Cereal crops are in the late milk and dough stages. Preharvest applications are starting in
spring wheat. Lodging in cereal crops throughout the region is prevalent in areas of heavy
rain and wind. Some of the crop has recovered.
 
Canola continues to flower, with cooler temperatures and rains extending the flowering
period. Pod fill looks good in most fields. The earliest seeded fields are podded, with
flowering complete. Swathing has begun in a few of the most advanced fields. More blackleg
leaf lesions are reported throughout the region, along with some basal and stem cankers.
 
The majority of corn is at the silking stage. Ray flowers are visible in all sunflower fields
and most fields are in the R5.1 stage or more advanced. Fields are being monitored for
insects and diseases. Soybeans and edible beans are flowering, and podding and filling
continues. Bacterial blight is evident in most soybean fields and some edible bean fields. 
Root rots are evident in many soybean fields. White mould is showing up in edible beans due
to the cooler wet conditions.
 
Diamondback larvae are found in canola  but with no significant damage at this point.  Higher
bertha armyworm trap counts are seen, with numbers in the low to uncertain risk range.  Trap
counts are starting to decline. Grasshopper activity continues in the region but is on the
decline.  Clipping of bolls in flax fields has also warranted control measures.  Evidence of
the fungal infections that attack grasshoppers has been noted. 
 
Showery weather and high humidity continue to make haying a challenge; progress is very
intermittent.  Alfalfa crop is good but harvesting it in good condition is a challenge. 
Second cut dairy hay continues.  Baling of first cut beef quality hay is mostly done,
although some producers in the northwest area of the region are still trying to finish up. 
There hasn’t been much progress on second cut as producers wait for better weather
conditions.  Average yields are expected for most areas.  Some silage is being done.
 
Most pastures are growing rapidly and are in good to excellent condition; although some still
suffer due adverse conditions, primarily excess moisture.  Rainfall has been welcomed for
second cut and pasture regrowth.  Dugouts are full. 
 

Eastern Region

Rainfall amounts in the Eastern Region were around 5 mm over this past week, with variable
accumulation as a result of spotty showers.
 
Crops in general appear to be doing well.  However, there are concerns about the on-going
pace of crop maturity, particularly for corn and soybeans given the below normal temperatures
and cloudy, rainy weather experienced over the past few weeks. Weather has also delayed
progress in the forage seed and winter wheat harvests.
 
Winter wheat is ripening with harvest beginning. Initial harvest reports indicate 80 bu/acre
with average quality. Canola is podded with bottom seeds beginning to change colour; some
swathing has occurred. Cereal crops are in the late dough to ripe stages with a few early
seeded fields being almost mature enough to straight cut. Soybeans are pod filling and the
corn is either at the end of the silking stage or at early blister stage. Sunflowers are
flowering.
 
A few soybean aphid and spider mite reports have been received, along with some below
threshold diamondback larvae counts. Producers also continue to monitor green cloverworm and
grasshopper damage levels but spraying for insect control lessened significantly over last
week.
 
Winter feed supply status in southern districts of the Eastern Region is currently: hay at
10% surplus, 80% adequate and 10% inadequate, straw at 100% surplus, greenfeed at 100%
adequate and feed grain at 10% surplus, 80% adequate and 10% inadequate.  Livestock water
(including dugouts) is rated at 100% adequate.
 
 

Interlake Region

Scattered showers resulting in 5 to 10 mm fell throughout the Interlake Region, slowing down
harvest in crops such as winter wheat and timothy. Cooler temperatures persisted during the
week delaying crop maturity in most crops. Warmer temperatures are in the future forecast
which will hopefully speed maturity in most spring seeded crops.
 
Winter wheat fields are harvested throughout the region with progress at 25 to 30% completed.
Most winter wheat is still standing (desiccated) or swathed waiting to be harvested.
Producers are estimating yields at 55 to 65 bu/acre where there was a lack of rainfall
earlier in the year; otherwise, most other fields are averaging 65 to 75 bu/acre. Quality and
protein are good with protein levels at 11.5 to 12%.
 
Spring cereals continue to mature slowly.  Swathing of canola acres is slowing starting in
the South Interlake and is still a week or two away in the North Interlake.  Corn and
soybeans need warm temperatures to continue with crop development. Forage grasses continue to
be harvested and swathed with yield estimates being below average to average compared to
other years.
 
Greenfeed silage harvesting began last week on earlier seeded fields; reports of yields range
from good to very good. Some hay fields in Ashern, Moosehorn and Gypsumville are still
waiting for first cut due to excess moisture. The Gypsumville area has been especially wet
this year making it difficult to do field work. Pasture conditions are doing well in areas
where higher levels of precipitation occurred. Dugout conditions are good.