Crop Report: Issue 12, July 22, 2013


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • The Southwest Region experienced another strong weather system containing winds, heavy rains and hail. To date, impact to crops includes lodging and some hail damage with assessments on-going.  Damage to shelterbelts and farm infrastructure has also been reported. 
  • Hail, strong winds, and heavy rains were also reported in the southern areas of the Central Region; crop damage reported to date includes lodging and leaf defoliation.
  • Favourable weather conditions in other areas of Manitoba are advancing crops, as well as allowing crops impacted by earlier excess moisture to continue their recovery.
  • Insect activity, including grasshoppers, green cloverworm, bertha armyworm and diamondback moth, continues to be monitored in several crop types with control measures taking place where required.


Southwest Region

The Southwest Region experienced another week of warm, humid conditions that were followed by another round of severe thunderstorms, hail and damaging winds. Rainfall amounts across the region varied from 30 to 45 mm in northwestern, central and eastern regions to as much as 75 to 160 mm with hail and damaging winds in the more southern areas of the region. Damage to shelterbelts and yard sites occurred in the areas of Hamiota, Sioux Valley, Brandon, Shilo, Goodlands, Waskada, Deloraine and Boissevain areas.
Crop lodging in cereals, and to a more minor extent in canola, has become more pronounced throughout the region with some yield and quality loss now expected in many cereal crops. Moisture levels continue to be surplus with localized flooding occurring across most of the southern and central portions of the region and adequate to surplus in northern regions. The wet humid conditions have increased disease pressure across all crops with fungicide control measures now ranging from 90 to 100% complete.

Most cereal crops are headed and flowered with some of the earliest seeded fields now in the milk to soft dough stage of development. Canola crops continue to experience excellent flowering conditions with the majority of the crop now in full flower with some of the earliest fields now coming out of flower. Fungicide applications for sclerotinia management in canola are now at 90 to 95% complete. Concerns regarding blackleg lesions are being reported, especially in areas damaged by recent hail storms. Field peas are now coming out of flower with some lodging being reported due to recent winds, excessive growth and heavy pod development. Flax fields are now in full flower with fungicide applications for pasmo at 90 to 95% complete.
Corn and soybean crops continue to benefit from the increasing temperatures and frequent rainfall with soybeans continuing to perform well under some of the excess moisture conditions found throughout the southern portions of the region. The majority of soybeans are now flowering while some of the earlier seeded corn crops now beginning to tassel. Sunflowers have also benefitted from the excellent growing conditions and are now primarily budded with some early fields beginning to flower.

Wheat crops continued to see increased wheat midge activity over this past week; most fields have now advanced beyond the need for control measures. Bertha armyworm monitoring in canola saw increased moth counts continue in the Minnedosa, Wawanesa, Miniota, Deloraine, Boissevain and Killarney areas with relatively low numbers across much of the remaining portion of the region. Some diamondback larvae were found in canola with no significant damage at this point. Alfalfa weevil feeding saw decreasing numbers over this past week. Grasshopper damage in pasture and hayland is being noted in eastern and central portions of the region, especially in areas west of Highway #10 from Minnedosa to Gladstone.

Pasture conditions continue to improve over this past week due to the warmer temperatures and frequent rainfall. Most hay crops are now fully in reproductive stages of development with haying progress once again slowed by the high humidity and frequent showers.  Only 35 to 40% of the first cut reported has beem completed. Yield estimates of first cut alfalfa stands now range only at 75 to 80% of normal across the Southwest Region, or 1 to 1.25 tonnes per acre, due to early season dryness, frost, alfalfa weevil feeding, excess moisture and now hail damage with localized flooding. Water levels in sloughs and dugouts are 95 to 100% of capacity in northern regions and 100% to overflowing in southwestern areas.  There is little to no chance of slough or marsh hay being harvested this year.

Northwest Region

Weather conditions in the Northwest Region consisted mostly of seasonal temperatures, occasional strong winds, moderate humidity levels and several periods of scattered light rain showers and thunderstorms. Accumulations of precipitation ranged from 6 to 33 mm with higher amounts where thunderstorms occurred. Improving field conditions continue with soil moisture generally at adequate levels. Higher surplus moisture conditions still exist around Fork River, The Pas and some flat or poorly drained sectors around Dauphin, Ethelbert, and McCreary.
Crop development, stand consistency and crop conditions are improving but still range from good to fair. Most variability exists in those areas more greatly affected by earlier excess moisture. However, most sectors do have some excellent stands of all crops. Overall, up to 60% of cereals are into early milk stage, with canola at 45% flowering and up to 45% podding. Corn and peas are also showing good development. Approximately 40% of soybeans acres are into R1 and 50% are into advanced vegetative stages. Soybeans in the Ste. Rose area are the most advanced with some excellent stands. A limited amount of late seeded crops have not yet headed or reached bloom stages.
Fungicide applications are mostly complete on the later seeded cereals, canola and soybeans. Not all fields were treated due to timing issues, wet field conditions, and management decisions. Where earlier excess rains and wet fields caused application challenges for producers, weed escapes are evident.
Grasshoppers continue to require control on some younger crops. With the exception of high risk numbers in the San Clara area and parts of the Swan River Valley, bertha armyworm moth trap counts in the remainder of the Northwest Region remain at low risk levels.

Hay harvest has advanced with the more favourable weather and field conditions early in the week. Some weathering and higher humidity delayed drying times and affected quality. Overall, approximately 30 to 40% of tame forages remain standing and 25 to 35% is baled. Northwest Region hay yields and quality are average or below average. Pastures and native hay lands in the Westlake sector continue to improve from previous surplus moisture conditions. Dugout water levels are full in all areas.

Central Region

In the Central Region, warm weather through the week continued to advance crops; cooler temperatures were seen over the weekend. Rain fell in all areas, with thundershowers responsible for a wide range in amounts. Most of the region received amounts in the 10 to 50 mm range, with most rain falling on Thursday and Sunday evenings. The highest amounts were along the Canada/US border, with the Snowflake area receiving upwards of 125 mm.  Drains are full and the Buffalo Channel is over its banks.

Water is pooling in the low areas of fields that received the highest rainfall. Crop yellowing is evident in low lying areas and drown out areas are evident. Areas north of Gladstone and Westbourne/Bagot areas suffer the most from excess moisture damage. Some lodging is reported in cereal crops in areas that saw heavy rain and wind. Localized reports of hail in the Mather and Clearwater areas with minimal damage; Emerson area saw some shattering in barley and leaf damage in soybeans.

Growth continues to improve in most crops. However, many fields are uneven in both crop development and plant stands; crop is also shorter in height in some fields. Late germinating wild oats are now evident in some winter wheat crops, which are not as aggressively competitive as in most years. Late germinating wild oats are also showing up in some spring cereals.
Most cereal crops are in full head and the later seeded fields are advancing rapidly. Fungicide applications for fusarium head blight continue; timing continues to be a challenge due to uneven fields. Aerial applications are being made where field conditions are too wet for ground applicators. Winter wheat fields are turning; most are in the soft dough stage. Preharvest applications may be made as early as late this week or into next week. Many of the spring cereals are in the milk stage, some soft dough. Leaf diseases are evident.

Canola continues to flower as cooler temperatures and rains are extending the flowering period. In localized areas, an extended dry period with hot temperatures did result in some fields with a shorter flowering length. The earliest seeded fields are podded. Fungicide applications for sclerotinia management continue where staging and moisture conditions warrant. More blackleg leaf lesions are being reported throughout the region, along with some basal cankering.

Corn crops are growing rapidly. Tasseling has started. Soybeans are flowering and podding has begun.  Fungicide application on edible beans has begun as most row crop beans are approaching row closure. First application of fungicide has been completed on early types such as light red kidney beans.  Podding is at the pin bean to two inches long; flowering continues.

Potatoes and buckwheat are flowering. Vegetables and potatoes in the Portage area were being irrigated last week.
Some diamondback larvae have been found in canola with no significant damage at this point. Higher bertha armyworm trap counts are being seen, with numbers in the low to uncertain risk range. Trap counts are starting to decline. Numbers warrant ongoing monitoring for crop damage. Grasshopper activity continues to increase in some areas. Spraying has occurred in a number of cereal and canola field headlands, entire fields, roadsides, drains and other hot spots throughout the region. In some instances, a second application was required.

Showery weather and high humidity has made haying a challenge. First cut dairy hay is complete, while baling of first cut beef quality hay continues with average yields expected for most areas. Early second cut dairy hay has begun. Cut hay is losing quality. Most pastures are growing rapidly and are in good to excellent condition, although some still suffer due adverse conditions. Dugouts are full.

Eastern Region

Rainfall amounts from 0 to 30 mm fell this past week in the Eastern Region as a result of spotty showers. Rainfall would be welcomed in northern parts of the region; however, there are no signs of moisture stress in the crop yet.
Generally, crops are doing well across the Eastern Region. Crop stages are as follows: winter wheat is in the dough stage, cereal crops are in the milk stage, canola is mostly finished flowering with many fields fully podded, soybeans are 100% flowering to very early pod development and corn is 20% in the V6 to V13 to 80% at the VT (tasseling) stage.
Fungicide spraying on the spring wheat and canola crops will be finishing soon.

The biggest concern in the region remains the insect pressure. Grasshoppers in cereals, canola and soybean crops, along with green cloverworm in soybeans, have received the most attention. While grasshoppers are found in every field to some extent, only certain locations have levels above thresholds and causing significant damage. As the cereal crops mature, concern is shifting from defoliation to head clipping and head damage. 
Green cloverworm is also present in all soybean fields but defoliation levels have been well below threshold in the vast majority of cases with only a few fields being sprayed. Cereal armyworm has been found in the Beausejour and Lac du Bonnet areas. Most worms found are small and most fields are below threshold levels so far but a few are above. Actual feeding damage has not been apparent yet. Lygus and diamondback moth have been noted in canola but the earliest seeded crop is only now coming into the stage where it is vulnerable. Numbers of these pests has been low so far. 

Fusarium head blight infected heads in winter and spring wheat has been noted but at low levels thus far.
Hay conditions in the Eastern Region are rated as 80% good, 15% fair and 5% poor. Haying continues in the region with progress varying across the region from 25% standing, 25% cut and 50% baled or silage in the southern areas of the region. In Northern areas of the region, the harvest of alfalfa and alfalfa/grass fields for use as dairy feed is complete. Regrowth of these fields is looking good and a second cut can be expected any day. Roughly 90% of alfalfa, alfalfa/grass and tame hay fields intended for beef cattle feed have been harvested as first cut hay/silage. Native grasses remain standing as growth has been slow and yields are expected to be low.  Average percent of normal yields are reported as: alfalfa 95%, grass/alfalfa 100%, other tame hay 75% and wild hay 50%. Second cut alfalfa is rated at 80% of normal.  Pasture conditions in the region are rated as 50 to 75% good to 25% fair and 0 to 25% poor.  Livestock water, including dugouts, is rated at 100% adequate. 

Interlake Region

Cooler temperatures along with scattered showers were experienced throughout the week in the Interlake Region. Precipitation amounted to 5 to 35 mm.
Winter wheat crops are ripening with the chance of some desiccation occurring later in the week. Most spring seeded cereals have finished flowering and are either in the milk or soft dough stages. Canola has finished flowering and fully podded in the South Interlake region while in the North Interlake canola is still flowering with some early signs of fields starting to show pods. Soybeans are flowering and plant growth has picked up with the recent rains and warm weather. Soybean defoliation is starting to occur due to green cloverworms; monitoring is on-going.

Haying continues with weather delays due to scattered showers. First cut is 95% complete in the region with cutting of native hay to begin soon. Pastures and dugout conditions are good.