Agriculture

Crop Report: Issue 21, September 22, 2014

 
 

Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Warmer, drier weather conditions across most of Manitoba allowed for harvest progress. Reported spring wheat yields range from 30 to 90 bushels per acre, barley 70 to 100 bushels per acre, oats 90 to 140 bushels per acre, canola 15 to 60 bushels per acre, and edible beans 1700 to 2100 pounds per acre. The first acres of soybeans were also harvested with early yield reports of 25 to 40 bushels per acre.
  • Many crops are being harvested at tough or damp moisture levels, requiring aeration or artificial drying to achieve safe storage moisture levels.
  • Winter wheat is emerging. Winter wheat acres will decrease from the previous year as a late harvest has resulted in decreased availability of stubble prior to seeding deadlines.

Southwest Region

The Southwest Region received no significant rainfall during the week but the weekend brought 2 to 7 mm of precipitation. Temperatures were near seasonal with no killing frost events reported.

The cereal harvest is estimated 20 to 25% complete as improved weather conditions allowed moisture levels of most cereal crops to reach harvest levels. However, many cereal fields were harvested at tough and damp moisture levels, requiring aeration to bring to safe storage levels. Quality is rated as good as the later crop development in the region allowed harvest to begin after the rain events that impacted quality of the earlier seeded crops in other parts of the province. Spring wheat, barley, and oat yields continue to be at or above long term averages.
 
It is estimated less than 10% of canola acres are harvested north of Highway #1, where progress south of Highway #1 is at 20% complete. Swathing is almost done in most of areas of the region. Yields are reported at above average.
 
Pea harvest is 90% complete. The yield and quality is very poor in most cases. Flax crop is looking very promising and maturing.
 
The soybean crop continues to mature with the return to normal temperatures. Some leaf burn was noted in the upper canopy of most fields due to recent light frost events; however, the lower canopy and pods are generally unaffected. The majority of the soybean crop is in the R6.5 stage to R7 stage of development.
 
There is a below average number of acres planted to winter cereals due to the later harvest. For fields that are seeded, germination is looking very good due to warm temperatures and good soil moisture.
 
The rainfall over the weekend halted or delayed haying and greenfeed operations over much of the region. The majority of the second cut of alfalfa is being harvested and some third cut is waiting for frost prior to harvesting. Silage operations in barley crops are ongoing with average yields reported. Much of the silage corn is in the dough stage of development with only leaf burn being noted as a result of the recent frost. Pastures have rebounded with recent rains and are holding on fairly well, but some cattle are being moved to harvested crop residue for grazing.
 

Northwest Region

Scattered showers were intermittent throughout the Northwest Region, limiting the amount of harvest progress made. The amount of moisture varied across crop districts. Wet field conditions are most troublesome in the Dauphin area where some fields are unable to support harvest equipment. Most harvest progress made over the week was in the Swan Valley where much of the crop harvested was at tough moisture levels and put on aeration to bring it to safe storage levels.
 
Regionally, approximately 95% of the wheat crop is mature. The wheat harvest varies from less than 5% combined in The Pas to 95% complete in Swan Valley, 20 to 30% in the Roblin, SteRose, McCreary areas to less than 20% in the Dauphin area. To date, wheat yields are reported as average and quality is good.
 
About 80% of the canola crop is swathed and 25 to 30% is combined. There are a few reports from producers indicating they are waiting for the green seed count to decrease. Reported canola yields range from 20 bu/acre to over 30 bu/acre. The quality of canola harvested to date is reported as good.
 
Harvest of the field pea crop is complete with average yields and good quality reported. The majority of soybean and flax crops remain standing. Some of the earlier seeded fields of soybeans are drying down.
 
There has been little to no seeding of winter wheat or fall rye in the region due to the late harvest of this year’s crop. At least a couple of weeks of dry warm weather are needed in order for producers get this year’s crop harvested and in the bin.
 
Many producers are beginning to haul hay to winter feeding areas. Native pastures are slowing in growth and soon will need supplemental feeding where continuous grazing has occurred; other pastures are holding on reasonably well. Some cattle are being moved to second cut hay fields for supplemental feeding. Some haying continued in areas dry enough to cut and bale on native hay and second cut alfalfa mixes being harvested as well. Producers continue to wait to harvest late seeded cereals for greenfeed. In areas that received frost, there are some issues reported with nitrates. Water supply on all pastures is good.
 

Central Region

Seasonal temperatures allowed for good harvest progress in the Central Region for much of the week, with some delays due to heavy dews and wet field conditions. Harvest operations slowed on the weekend due to rain, with accumulations in the range of 15 to 40 mm in the eastern and northern parts of the region. Hail was reported in the Halbstadt area; damage to soybeans was noted with seeds visible on the ground. There were isolated reports of light frosts, but most leaf burn in corn and soybeans is due to the previous week’s frost event. Impact to yield and quality, if any, is yet to be determined. Much of the region reports some concerns with quality loss in swathed and standing crops.
 
Harvest is reported as 50 to 80% complete, dependent on field conditions and percentage of longer season crops. Much of the cereal grains harvest is close to done in the Red River Valley, with other areas close behind. Progress is slowest west and north of Portage.
 
Winter wheat harvest is complete, with yields averaging 50 to 70 bu/ acre, ranging from 40 to 80 bu/acre. Quality is below average, mainly due to fusarium damaged kernels. Fall rye is harvested, with yield reports of 50 to 60 bu/acre.
Spring wheat harvest continues, with yields in the 45 to 80 bu/acre range. Early reports indicate protein levels are generally higher than last year. General purpose wheat is yielding in the 80 bu/acre range and higher. Most barley is harvested, with yields ranging from 70 to 100 bu/acre. Oats is harvested with yield reports of 90 to 140 bu/acre, and good test weight. Most fields are averaging 120 to 140 bu/acre. Many cereals are, or were, being harvested at tough or damp moisture levels that required aeration or drying for longer term storage. Quality has declined, with downgrading factors including sprouting, mildew, fusarium damaged kernels and ergot.
 
Canola is swathed, or left standing for straight cut. Harvest continues with good yields and quality reported. Yields are in the 40 to 45 bu/acre range, with a number of fields at 50 to 60 bu/acre. Where heavy rains caused the most damage, yields are lower at 15 to 20 bu/acre.
 
The majority of soybean fields are seeing colour change and leaf drop. Early harvest reports in the eastern part of the region range from 25 to 40 bu/acre. Frost damage is more evident on the western side of the region; yield should not be impacted greatly but quality will depend on plant stage at time of frost.
 
Edible bean harvest continues with quality in the south reported as good. Seed size of kidney and cranberry beans are reported to be large. Undercutting operations continue. Early yield reports include pintos at 2100 lbs/acre and navies at 1700 to 2100 lbs/acre; good quality is reported. Some early desiccation of sunflowers was done; the majority of the acres will be treated this week and into next. Potatoes are being dug with yields and quality very good. Grain corn harvest is at least ten days to two weeks away. Yields are expected to be average to below average.
 
Fall field work is progressing. Early soil test reports indicate low nitrate levels and declining phosphorous levels. Fewer acres of winter cereals appear to be going in, in part due to the later harvest. Acres that were seeded are emerging well with excellent soil moisture conditions.
 
Haying and straw baling continues across the region. Frost did impact some corn silage acres; processing should start this week. Pastures are in good shape. Hay and pasture remain flooded along Lake Manitoba; wild hay in the area will be unharvestable in 2014. Most producers in southern areas expect to have adequate hay supplies for the winter, with some small surplus amounts reported. In the northwest areas of the region, some producers have less than adequate supplies at this time.
 

 

Eastern Region

The weather was generally cooler in the Eastern Region, with rain showers on Friday and Saturday resulting in 10 to 35 mm of precipitation. Harvest continued to move slowly due to below seasonal temperatures, rainy weather combined with heavy morning dews, and higher cereal grain moisture levels. However, harvest progress was made in spring wheat and canola. Aeration is used by producers harvesting crop above safe storage moisture levels, while other producers wait for crops to dry down in the field. Quality losses continue to be seen in cereals due to the delay in harvest and poor weather conditions. 

There were some isolated frost events early in the week, but most were light frosts that caused minimal damage to crops. However, there were isolated areas where the frost was heavier and caused some crop damage. In some cases, producers were swathing canola to try and mitigate the impacts of those frost events.
 
Spring wheat yields range from 60 to 80 bu/acre and canola 30 to 50 bu/acre. Soybeans are in the R7 to R8 stage with leaves dropping and pods starting to turn. Corn is in the dent stage, with approximately 50% of the acres at ¾ milk line. Sunflowers are in the R7 stage with the back of the head starting to yellow.
 
Winter wheat began to germinate over the weekend with fields in the 1 leaf stage.
 
With light frosts in the region, producers are checking for nitrates in greenfeed. Haying progress is slow due to the light rains. Pastures are doing well with the recent rains. Feed supplies are rated as adequate to a slight surplus. Availability of livestock water is rated as 100% adequate.
  

Interlake Region

Seasonal temperatures, along with showers resulting in 10 to 15 mm of precipitation, were received throughout most of the Interlake Region. Light frosts occurred with temperatures just below 0oC for only 1 to 1.5 hours. Minimal frost damage was reported for most crop types, but damage to leaves in soybeans and corn fields were noted. Warmer temperatures are forecasted for this week, which are welcomed so remaining crops can be harvested. 

Harvest is estimated to be 45% complete. Fields of spring cereals, canola, soybeans, grain corn, sunflowers, and forage seeds are still waiting to be harvested. South Interlake has completed more acres of spring cereals and canola than the northern Interlake due to environmental conditions and crop maturity. North Interlake is still dealing with moisture issues that make harvesting difficult. Crops continue to be harvested at tough moisture levels as producers manage the time of year and the amount of acres that are still left to be harvested. Soybean maturity ranges from R6.5 to R8 throughout the region. Field tillage is scattered throughout the area as many fields are too wet to travel.
 
Some second cut haying and ensiling occurred during the week. Pasture conditions are holding up quite well due to no killing frosts and the recent rains.