Crop Report: Issue 3, May 21, 2013

Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Favourable conditions over the past week allowed good seeding progress to be made in all regions of Manitoba. Seeding is estimated to be 40% complete in the Southwest Region, 35 to 40% complete in the Northwest Region, 45% complete in the Central Region, 65% complete in the Eastern Region and 30% complete in the Interlake Region.
  • Greatest progress has been made with spring wheat, oats, grain corn and field peas, followed by barley, soybeans, canola, flax and sunflowers. In some cases, producers are modifying their original seeding plans based on crop type and field availability.
  • Heavy precipitation in some areas will slow seeding operations; heaviest rainfall amounts were reported along the U.S. border. In areas where little rainfall was received, seeding operations will resume with minimal delay.
  • Winter wheat fields are still being assessed for winter survival and establishment with fertilizer applications nearly complete. In the Southwest Region, winterkill, deterioration of un-germinated seeds, and declining populations of over-wintered plants are contributing to stand reductions where reseeding may be necessary.
  • Pasture and hay growth continues to be slow due to the cool spring weather and wet conditions in some areas, but are improving. Many producers have moved cattle to pasture.


Southwest Region

Producers in the Southwest Region made excellent seeding progress over this past week. The largest progress occurred in areas along and north of the Trans-Canada highway. Rainfall over the past week was variable with 5 to 60 mm being reported in southern areas of the region; heaviest amounts were reported along the U.S. border. Areas north of the Trans-Canada highway received smaller amounts of precipitation with no rainfall being reported along the western portion of the Yellowhead highway. Given the dry conditions prior to the rainfall, the recent rainfall is not expected to delay seeding operations for most of the region; the exception being the area along the U.S. border.
Spring wheat is estimated to be 30 to 80% complete, field peas 80 to 90% complete, malt barley 50 to 70% complete, grain corn 40 to 50% complete, soybeans 30 to 40% complete, canola and flax 5 to 20% complete, sunflowers 5 to 20% complete, oats and feed barley being 20 to 30%. The overall percentage of acres seeded in the Southwest Region is estimated to be 40%, with 20 to 40% complete south of the Trans-Canada highway and 40 to 60% complete north of Trans Canada.
Growth of winter wheat and fall rye is relatively slow due to the cool, windy conditions over the past week. Most fall rye is in the 3 to 4 leaf stage and tillering and is generally in good condition. The winter wheat crop continues to struggle however. Winterkill, deterioration of un-germinated winter wheat seed, and declining populations of overwintered plants continues and many fields have below minimal plant stand populations. Initial reports estimate that 75% of the winter wheat acres are likely to be reseeded this spring in the Southwest Region.
Pasture and hay growth continues but is delayed significantly due to the cooler temperatures this spring. This has resulted in a delay of moving cattle to spring pastures. Water levels in sloughs and dugouts are at 75 to 80% capacity in northern areas of the region and 80 to 90% in southern areas.


Northwest Region

Drying weather conditions occurred across most of the Northwest Region over the past week. Soil moisture is excessive in a few small localized spots within the region but mostly adequate moisture combined with warming soil temperatures resulted in excellent seeding progress. The largest progress was made in the Roblin area but on average throughout the region, about 45% of the wheat crop, approximately 15% of the canola crop and around 10% of the soybean crop has been seeded. Most of the soybean acres are in the Dauphin area. The overall percentage of acres seeded in the Northwest Region is estimated to be 35 to 40%. There has been very little crop emerge to date.
Although growing conditions improved considerably over the past week, hay and pastures throughout the region are growing slowly and are reported to be in fair to poor condition. Many producers have moved their herds to pasture.


Central Region

 Warm and dry conditions early in the week allowed for significant acres to be seeded in the Central Region. High winds of 80 to 90 km/hr were reported on Tuesday, with soil moving in a number of areas; some field are being assessed as re-seeding may be required. Temperatures declined throughout the week. Rain started on Friday in most of the region and continued through the weekend. Lower amounts fell in the northern parts of the region with accumulations ranging from 12 to 20 mm in the Gladstone and Portage la Prairie areas, 20 to 35 mm through St. Francois Xavier/Headingley/Elm Creek. Most of the rest of the region received 50 to 75 mm with the highest amounts reported in the Morden/Winkler areas of 60 mm, 90 to 95 mm in Altona and Gretna, and amounts as high as 160 to 200 mm in the Darlingford and Thornhill areas. Highest amounts of rainfall were concentrated near the U.S. border. Significant rainfall south of the U.S. border will also contribute to rising creeks, drains and rivers.

Field work is currently halted, waiting for drier conditions. Slower progress is being made in areas to the west and north where conditions were initially wetter; acres seeded in these areas range from 25 to 40%. Areas to the south and east of the region range from 40 to 60% seeded. Some farmers have finished seeding. Cereals range from 25 to 99% complete; corn just starting to 100% with an average of 40 to 60% complete; canola just starting to 80% complete. Soybeans are just starting to 40% complete. Overall, seeding in the Central Region is estimated to be 45% complete. Some cropping plans may now change, dependent on when producers are able to get back into the fields.
Some winterkill is seen in winter wheat and fall rye crops; field by field evaluation will be necessary, especially as growth has been slow. Injury is most evident in areas of poor snow catch where stubble had been damaged or was of poor quality. Areas above the escarpment report higher levels of winter injury. Fertilizer applications continue, but most are complete.
Perennial weeds are growing rapidly, and annual weeds are germinating. Preseed weed control will be done as conditions allow; pre-emergent burn-off is planned if fields dry sufficiently.

Forage fields are greening up. Pastures are rated as very poor to fair, either due to slow growth with cool conditions, or in some cases excess moisture. Rainfall has improved conditions in the driest areas and timely rains through the season will be required for adequate growth. Some cattle have been moved to pasture with supplemental feeding. Alfalfa has put on good growth with warmer temperatures and moisture. Tame hay growth has started. Dugouts are full or close to full in much of the region with the recent rains.


Eastern Region

Rainfall amounts over the long weekend were quite varied across the Eastern Region. In northern areas of the region, reports of no rain 10 miles north of Beausejour to 6 mm at Lac du Bonnet; Elma/Haddishville reported 32 to 38 mm, areas around Steinbach reported 25 to 38 mm and southern areas of the region reported 38 to 89 mm of rain. Crop land moisture is rated at 30 to 40% surplus and 60 to 70% adequate in the Eastern Region. 


In northern areas of the region, seeding progress was rapid and is estimated at 50% complete. Producers are modifying their initial seeding plans based on crop type and field availability; grain corn acres, followed by soybean, wheat and oat acres were given priority. In many fields, canola is being floated on and harrowed in to save time. Seeding progress by crop type in the northern areas of the region is: spring wheat 80%, oat 60%, canola 25%, soybean 50%, sunflower 50%, field pea 100% and corn 80%.

In the central part of the region, rapid seeding progress was also made with many producers taking advantage of the good conditions and to beat the rain. Seeding progress is estimated at 85% complete in the central areas of the region with many producers nearing completion. Seeding progress by crop type is: spring wheat 95%, barley 95%, oat 95%, canola 85%, soybean 95% and corn 95%.
In the southern parts of the Eastern Region, seeding is estimated to be 50% complete. Seeding progress by crop type is: spring wheat 70%, barley 40%, oat 40% and canola 10%.
Fertilizer spreading on winter wheat acres was completed over the past week. Field assessments continue for thinner stands; to date there has not been a winter wheat field terminated and reseeded in the region.
Hay conditions in the region are rated as 60 to 75% good and 25 to 40% fair. The condition of the pasturelands in the northern areas of the region are rated as 60% good and 40% fair. Pasturelands in the southern areas are rated as 75% good and 25% fair. Availability of livestock water, including dugouts, is rated as 100% adequate in the region.

Most livestock in the northern part of the region are on pasture and continue to be supplemented with hay. In southern areas, 50% of cattle are on pasture. This week’s rain in the area was welcome

Interlake Region

Scattered showers were reported in the South Interlake, with 3 to 10 mm of precipitation accumulated; North Interlake received little to no precipitation throughout the week. Warm temperatures are improving soil moisture and soil temperature conditions.

Seeding is approximately 30% complete in the Interlake Region. The majority of corn and cereal crops were seeded in South Interlake. In the North Interlake, the majority of producers were able to start cultivating or seeding their fields last week. Soybeans and canola were also seeded throughout the region. Fertilizer application is mostly complete on winter wheat fields.

Pasture conditions are slowly starting to improve throughout the region. Producers in the Ashern area are starting to move their livestock onto pastures for the grazing season. Dugout conditions are good.