Agriculture

Crop Report: Issue 17, August 26, 2013

  

Weekly Provincial Summary

 
  • Crops are maturing rapidly across Manitoba due to the continuing, above normal
    temperatures. Weather conditions also allowed excellent harvest progress to be made.
  • To date, yields of spring wheat, barley, oats and canola are generally above average.
    Good quality is also noted.
 

Southwest Region

The continuation of above normal temperatures and only spotty precipitation resulted in
significant crop ripening and maturity throughout the Southwest Region.
 
Most cereal crops are in the firm to hard dough stage of development with preharvest
desiccation and swathing general throughout the region. Winter cereals are harvested with
yields and quality generally reported as average to slightly above average. Regrowth of
tillers in lodged crops is problematic for many producers and will necessitate swathing.
Fusarium levels continue to be found at low levels.
 
The majority of the canola crop is beginning to show seed color change as the crop ripened
rapidly last week. Swathing of canola is general across the region with the greatest progress
noted in southern regions. Sclerotinia continues to be found at low to moderate levels. Much
of the premature ripening noted is due to blackleg. Flax fields also ripened rapidly with
some seed color change noted in earlier seeded fields. Desiccation and swathing of field peas
continues with some early fields being harvested with well above average yields and quality
reported.
 
Corn and soybeans continue to benefit from the warmer temperatures and have seen crop
maturities advance. The majority of soybeans have seed development occurring within the top
portion of the plant (R5) with some fields in more southern portions of the region reaching
full seed development (R6). There are reports of bacterial brown spot, septoria and sunburn
in soybeans. Most corn crops are in the blister stage of development with some of the earlier
seeded fields entering the milk stage. Sunflowers are coming out of flower with the majority
of the crop in the R6 stage of development.
 
Insect activity continues to see limited bertha armyworm numbers in canola with most crops
being swathed. Grasshopper activity is reported throughout the region with the highest
numbers in eastern and central areas.
 
Most first cut hay is complete with second cut alfalfa 50 to 60% complete. Greenfeed and
silage continue to be harvested and are at 50 to 60% complete. Slough and marsh hay continue
to be harvested to supplement winter feed supplies. Pasture conditions continue to
deteriorate due to the lack of precipitation last week, especially in continuously grazed
systems. Water levels in sloughs and dugouts dropped throughout the region with the largest
declines noted in northern and central regions.
 

Northwest Region

Above seasonal daytime temperatures, higher humidity levels and moderate winds prevailed
across the Northwest Region. Friday night saw a few isolated, unstable weather conditions
with stronger winds; minimal precipitation amounts ended the week.
 
Crops are maturing and cereal crops are ripening rapidly. Overall crop conditions remain
rated at 85% good to fair. Due to early season excess moisture impacts, the remaining 15% is
rated as fair to poor. Lower yield potentials exist at The Pas, Ethelbert and Fork River
sectors. Preharvest herbicide treatments are underway.
 
Winter cereals harvest is 40% complete with initial yields reported to be average. In spring
wheat, 55% of acres are at dough stage with 40% mature and 5% combined. Initial spring wheat
yields are reported from 60 to 65 bu/acre. Sixty percent of the barley and oats acres are
into dough stages of development and 20% is mature. In canola, 30% of acres are mature and 5%
is swathed. Soybeans and corn is responding favourably to the higher temperatures and mostly
adequate moisture.
 
The native hay harvest continues as more fields are drying; yields are average to below.
Currently, supplies of hay and greenfeed are expected to be approximately 25% short at The
Pas and other moisture impacted sectors. Non-forage plant succession is widely evident in
native hay lands and fields through the Westlake area where prolonged and frequent flooding,
wet and inaccessible conditions have prevailed. Pastures are drying with poor areas beginning
to exist. Dugout water levels are adequate in all areas.
 
 

Central Region

Sunny conditions and above normal temperatures has allowed for rapid growth in later maturing
crops, as well as for excellent harvest progress. Much of the area saw minimal rain this past
week, but thunderstorms over the weekend saw accumulations of 20 to 50 mm in the Morris,
Emerson, Altona, Winkler and Morden areas; highest amounts recorded in Winkler. Hail caused
minimal damage, but accompanying winds resulted in crop lodging and moved swaths around in
the southeast corner of the region.
 
Crop damage due to September frosts remains a concern for later maturing crop, especially
those delayed by the extended period of below normal temperatures. However, the recent
excellent growing conditions have somewhat eased the concern.
 
Most cereal crops are in dough stages of development to mature. Preharvest applications
continue in spring cereals, especially where stands are variable in maturity.
 
Winter wheat harvest continues with both swathing and straight combining taking place. Good
quality is reported. Yields range from 50 bu/acre through to 90 bu/acre. Good protein in
general, ranging upwards to 13% in the lower yielding fields, and 10.5% to 11% in the higher
yielding fields. Low fusarium and minimal sprouting reported to date. Harvest ranges from 10%
complete in western areas to almost complete in eastern areas, including as far west as
Portage. Baling of straw is being done with little to no crop residue burning reported. Fall
rye harvest complete; no yield reports to date.
 
Spring wheat, barley and oats continue to be harvested, with good to excellent yields
reported to date. Much of the barley acres are harvested in the eastern areas of the region,
with yields ranging from 80 to over 110 bu/acre and good quality. Spring wheat yields are 50
to 80 bu/acre in eastern parts of the region. Protein is variable, ranging from 10.5 to 15%.
Spring wheat harvest progress is 40 to 50% complete in the eastern areas and 10 to 25% in the
western areas. Oat harvest is just starting, with eastern areas reporting 100 to 140 bu/acre.
 
The last seeded canola fields continue to flower but should complete flowering shortly with
the hot temperatures. Pod fill looks good in most fields. Swathing continues and harvest has
begun. As much as 20% of the canola is harvested in eastern areas, with good to excellent
yields; early reports are 35 bu/acre to over 60 bu/acre. All parts of the region report
blackleg basal and stem cankers. Sclerotinia is reported, particularly in some lodged stands,
in western areas.
 
The majority of corn is at R2 to R3 stage, with some at R4, as a result of the current
weather conditions. Sunflowers are flowering. Fields are being monitored for insects and
diseases.
 
Soybeans are podding and filling, and edible beans are podded. Colour change is evident in
early soybean varieties; some cases may be due to lack of moisture in isolated fields. White
mould is showing up in edible beans and in some soybean fields. Progress of the disease in
edible beans has slowed with warmer weather; levels in soybeans are not economic.
Monitoring continues for insects in later maturing canola. Grasshopper activity continues in
much of the region, but is declining. Monitoring and spraying is being done where population
levels require.
 
Haying continues but has been a challenge, due to earlier adverse weather conditions. Average
yields are expected for most areas. Due to the late or extended first hay cut in northwest
parts of the region, regrowth has been delayed and little second cut hay has been put up.
There appears to be an increase in greenfeed harvesting, including cutting and baling of
oats. Current conditions are allowing livestock producers to work on both greenfeed and
cereal silage. Winter feed supplies may be inadequate for some producers.
 
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 on sandy soils. The area west of Portage is looking for rain
for pasture. Dugouts are full.
 

Eastern Region

Rainfall amounts ranged from 0 to 14 mm this past week in the Eastern Region. However, a
severe hailstorm passed though some of the northern districts of the region on the night of
August 20. Hail damage associated with the storm was severe with some crops badly damaged.
Assessments are on-going but significant losses are expected. Relatively little rain
accompanied the storm. Other than the storm, weather was hot, sunny and humid for the most
part and rapid plant growth occurred.
 
Harvesting is well underway across the region. Winter wheat harvest is wrapping up with many
producers making headway with spring cereals and canola. Initial average yields for the
region are as follows: winter wheat 70 to 80 bu/acre, spring wheat 45 to 60 bu/acre, barley
85 bu/acre, oats 100 to 125 bu/ac, and canola 40 bu/acre.
 
Corn is in milk stage (R3) and soybeans are in full R6 with some showing the start of leaf
drop or leaf yellowing. Sunflowers are in R6 with the occasional R7 plant found.
 
Some areas in the northern part of the region started to see moisture stress symptoms in
crops such as soybeans, particularly in areas that have seen minimal rainfall.
 
Currently, winter feed supply status is as follows: hay at 5 to 10% surplus, 80 to 90%
adequate, and 5 to10% inadequate; straw at 100% adequate or surplus; greenfeed at 100%
adequate and feed grains at 5 to 10% surplus, 80 to 90% adequate and 5 to 10% inadequate.
Pasture conditions in the region are rated as 50 to 70% good, 25% fair and 5 to 25% poor in
the region. Livestock water is rated at 100% adequate.
 
 

Interlake Region

The Interlake Region saw scattered showers, along with hot humid temperatures, throughout
last week. A large thunderstorm went through parts of the Interlake Region on the weekend,
resulting in 5 to 35 mm of precipitation.
 
Minimal acres of winter wheat remain to be harvested. Average yields are ranging from 60 to
70 bu/acre with high protein levels of 11.5 to 12.5%. Spring seeded crops are being
desiccated. Spring wheat yields are good, ranging from 60 to 75 bu/acre. However, protein
levels are lower, ranging from 12 to 13.5%. Oat yields range from 120 to 130 bu/acre with
heavy test weights reported to date. Barley yields are 70 to 80 bu/acre. Canola harvest has
also started and reports have yields ranging from 38 to 50 bu/acre.
 
Corn and soybeans are advancing with the warm weather along with precipitation. Most forage
grasses are harvested throughout the Interlake Region.
 
Pasture conditions are improving with the recent rains. Greenfeed volumes are good with good
quality as well. Native hay harvest is on going with good success. North of Gypsumville,
producers are making only small progress.