Crop Report: Issue 16, August 19, 2013


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Above normal temperatures resulted in an improvement in crop development throughout
  • Harvest of spring wheat, oats and barley has started in the Central and Eastern
    Regions. Early reports indicate good yields and quality. Harvest is progressing in winter
    wheat with good quality and yields still being reported.
  • Swathing of canola continues, as well as swathing and preharvest applications in
    spring cereals.
  • Strong thunderstorms passed through various areas of Manitoba over the weekend. Heavy
    rain, strong winds and hail resulted in limited crop damage and lodging.


Southwest Region

Warmer, above normal temperatures resulted in a significant improvement in crop ripening
throughout much of the Southwest region over this past week. Accompanying the above normal
temperatures were some isolated thunderstorms that produced heavy rain with small hail.
Rainfall amounts were variable with accumulations ranging from less than 5 to 20 to 30 mm.
Most cereal crops are in the soft to firm dough stage of development, with some of the
earliest fields receiving preharvest desiccation applications. Disease pressure and lodging
continues to increase across all cereal crops as the crop begins to mature. Fusarium head
blight symptoms continue to be found at low to moderate levels. The warmer temperatures help
canola complete flowering; the earliest seeded fields are starting to change seed color.
Sclerotinia continues to be found at low to moderate levels. Field peas are fully podded with
crops beginning to turn and preharvest desiccation being applied.
Corn and soybeans benefited from the warmer temperatures and have seen crop maturities
advance over this past week. The majority of soybeans have pod development occurring within
the top portion of the plant; some seed development has been noted in the more southern
portion of the region. There are reports of bacterial brown spot, Septoria and sunburn being
noted in soybeans. The earliest planted corn crops are entering the blister stage of
development. Sunflowers are fully flowered with some early seeded fields entering the R6
stage of development. 
Insect activity in the region continues to see limited bertha armyworm control measures being
taken in the Wawanesa, Killarney, Boissevain and Deloraine areas. Grasshopper activity
continues to be the major insect pest being reported in eastern and central portions of the
Most first cut hay is complete with second cut alfalfa at 30 to 40% complete. Several
producers have begun silaging with cereal silage yielding average to above average. Some
slough and marsh hay has been harvested in the northwestern portion of the region. Pasture
conditions began to deteriorate over this past week, especially in continuously grazed
systems. Water level in sloughs and dugouts dropped over this past week in the northwestern
part of the region and continues to be at or near capacity in southwestern regions. 

Northwest Region

Towards the weekend, sunny and above seasonal average temperatures were general throughout
the Northwest Region. Minimal accumulation of precipitation was recorded for the week. On
Sunday in the central sector, a few isolated thunderstorms with some hail caused limited crop
damage and lodging. However, up to 100% crop damage has been confirmed in the Minitonas area
from a localized hail storm on August 6. 
The warm temperatures under adequate moisture have increased crop development and onset of
cereal crop ripening stages. Overall crop conditions are rated at 85% good to fair; early
season excess moisture impacted areas are rated fair to poor. Approximately 60% of barley and
oats acres are at dough stages while 85% of spring wheat acres are at the dough stage with 5%
rated as mature. Combining of winter wheat and fall rye has just begun and general harvest is
expected next week. Canola acres are 85% fully podded, 5% is ripe and the remaining acres are
at various stages of flowering. Soybeans development is variable; the Ste. Rose area is
generally more advanced with good pod set and seed fill. Some soybean fields through the
Grandview area are showing good stand length but pod set and seed development is poor and at
earlier reproductive stages. Combining of forage seed perennial rye grass has been general.
Sclerotinia is becoming visually evident in fields as the canola crop matures. Insect
pressure remains low and generally is not a major concern in the area. Early season herbicide
application challenges, including moisture, weather, field access, and timing issues, has
resulted in higher weed pressure in more fields than normally seen. In addition to more wild
oats and a variety of broadleaf weeds, high populations and frequency of barnyard grass is
especially evident.
First cut haying operations are mostly complete. Yields are average to below average and
forage quality has remained variable. A limited amount of second cut forage harvest is
underway. The native hay harvest continues as more fields become accessible; yields are
average to below average. Wet and inaccessible native hay lands remain through the Westlake
area, as well as other pockets throughout the northernmost sectors of the region. Pastures
are rated as fair to good in most areas. Dugout water levels are full in all areas.

Central Region

Warm, sunny and above normal temperatures made a welcome return in the Central Region. The
weather conditions allowed good progress for the start of harvest, as well as accelerating
growth in later maturing crops. Much of the region saw minimal rain this past week, but
thunderstorms over the weekend saw accumulations of 25 to 50 mm in the LaSalle, Starbuck,
Headingley and Elm Creek areas, 20 to 25 mm in Portage, and 20 mm in the south and west areas
of the region. Pea-sized hail was reported in the storm that passed through Portage,
Headingley, Starbuck and Winnipeg, resulting in some crop damage. Heavy rain and strong winds
did lodge crops in a number of areas. Lodging will make harvest a challenge in some fields.
Risk of damage due to frosts remains a concern for later maturing crops, especially those
delayed by the extended period of below normal temperatures. However, current growing
conditions have eased the concern somewhat.
Winter wheat harvest continues with both swathing and straight combining taking place. Yields
range from 50 to 90 bu/acre. Yields are variable, typically dependent on conditions last fall
as fields that received timely rains allowing for good germination are the highest yielding.
Poor stubble conditions last fall also contributed to higher winterkill and subsequently
lower yields. Harvest progress ranges from 5% complete in western areas to 50% complete in
eastern areas. Good quality is reported; protein levels are up to 13% in the lower-yielding
fields and 10.5 to 11% in the higher yielding fields. Low fusarium head blight levels are
reported to date. Baling of straw is being done with little to no crop residue burning
Majority of cereal crops ranges from dough stage of development to mature. Preharvest
applications continue in spring cereals, especially where stands are variable in maturity.
Some spring wheat, barley and oats have been harvested. Early yield reports indicate 80 to100
bu/acre for barley and 100 bu/acre or higher in oats.
The later-seeded canola continues to flower, but most fields should complete flowering
shortly with the hotter temperatures. Pod fill looks good in most fields. Swathing continues
in the most advanced fields. Sunburn has caused colour change to pods so producers are
checking for seed colour change to optimize timing of swathing. All areas of the region
report blackleg basal and stem cankers, and minimal sclerotinia, except in some lodged
The majority of corn is at R2 (blister) to R3 (milk) stages of development. Isolated plants
affected with crazy top (downy mildew) have been found in a few fields. Sunflowers are
flowering. Fields are being monitored for insects and diseases.
Soybeans are podding and filling, and edible beans are podded with some of the earliest
varieties maturing. Bacterial blight is evident in most soybean fields and some edible bean
fields, as is sunburn or ozone burn. Root rots are evident in many soybean fields. White
mould is showing up in edible beans and in some soybean fields. Progress of the disease in
edible beans is slowed by warmer weather; levels in soybeans are not economic.
Monitoring continues for diamondback and bertha armyworm larvae in canola. Grasshopper
activity continues in much of the region, and monitoring and spraying of hotspots is being
Showery weather and high humidity continue to make haying a challenge in some areas,
especially in the critical fall harvest period. Some concerns of cut hay moulding in swath
and general loss of quality. Average yields are expected for most areas.
Most pastures are growing rapidly and are in good to excellent condition, although some still
suffer due adverse conditions such as excess moisture. Rainfall has been welcomed for second
cut and pasture regrowth on sandy soils. Dugouts are full.

Eastern Region

The Eastern Region experienced warmer, sunny weather over the past week, which made for good
harvest conditions. Some northern areas received rainfall in a storm system that passed
through on Sunday. Rainfall amounts were generally in the 6 to 13 mm range. A line of strong
thunderstorms passed through the Beausejour area bringing rainfall levels in the 31 to 64 mm
range. Isolated hailstorms also occurred with damage symptoms evident in some corn and
sunflower fields.
Winter wheat harvest in the Eastern Region is about 75% complete. Overall average yield is
estimated at 70 bu/acre and average quality. Low fusarium head blight levels and higher than
expected protein levels are noted.
About 75% of spring cereals acres are mature. Preharvest glyphosate is being applied or
swathing is occurring and a few fields of red spring wheat have already been harvested.
Initial yield reports are in the 60 bu/acre range with good quality. More general harvesting
could occur by the end of the week if weather conditions are favourable.
About 25% of the canola crop is mature with swathing continuing. Soybeans are pod filling and
in the early R6 growth stage. Corn is in the blister to milk stages. Sunflowers are at the
late stages of flowering. Some sunflower rust was discovered last week and fields in the
region are being monitored to assess incidence and severity.
Currently, winter feed supply status is: hay at 5 to 10% surplus, 80 to 90% adequate, and 5
to 10% inadequate; straw at 100% adequate or surplus, greenfeed at 100% adequate and feed
grains at 5 to10% surplus, 80 to 90% adequate and 5 to10% inadequate. Pasture conditions are
rated as 75% good and 25% fair. Livestock water supply, including dugouts, is rated at 100%

Interlake Region

Hot, humid conditions and scattered showers prevailed for much of the week in the Interlake
Region. Heavy morning dews are delaying harvest operations before noon. Over the weekend,
isolated areas around Winnipeg and South Interlake areas experienced heavy rains along with
nickel-sized hail.
Winter wheat harvest is slowly coming to a finish with some late desiccated crops still
waiting to be harvested. Spring wheat in South Interlake has started to be desiccated over
the last couple days. Barley crops are swathed throughout the region, but mostly in the South
Interlake. Canola swathing is well underway throughout the region, with a large percentage
happening in the Teulon and Stonewall area. Forage seed harvest for grasses is nearly
complete with timothy yields reporting average to slightly below average. Soybeans and corn
are still requiring warm temperatures to help reach crop maturity.
Second cut hay is still being completed throughout the region. Native hay harvest is going
well in the Ashern area, while it is still too wet for any native hay harvest in the
Gypsumville area. Pastures are doing well but grasshopper activity consuming pasture re-
growth is becoming a concern.