Crop Report: Issue 24, October 15, 2013


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Provincially, harvest of spring cereals is estimated at 95% complete, canola 85 to
    90% complete, flax 50 to 60% complete, edible beans 100% complete, soybeans 90% complete,
    sunflowers 25% complete and grain corn 15 to 20% complete.
  • Crop yields in Manitoba were generally above average in 2013, largely due to timely
    precipitation during the growing season, moderate temperatures during flowering, and low
    levels of disease pressure. However, lower yields were reported in areas impacted by extreme
    weather events during the growing season, such as high rainfall amounts and hail.
  • Crop quality for majority of crop types is average to above average, due to lower
    than normal disease pressure and good weather conditions during harvest. Acres that were
    harvested later in the season are seeing a decrease in quality due to weathering.
  • The number of winter wheat acres seeded in fall of 2013 is expected to be down from
    2012, due to a delayed harvest which reduced stubble availability for seeding winter wheat
    into, above average yields and quality of spring wheat, and changes to AgriInsurance
    coverage. Germination and stand establishment of winter wheat is better than last year, rated
    at good to excellent.
  • Fall field work, including tillage, soil testing, post-harvest weed control and
    fertilizer applications of anhydrous ammonia is on-going.


Southwest Region

Good harvest progress was made over last week prior to a significant rain event that affected
much of the Southwest Region over the weekend. Rainfall amounts ranged from 25 to 100 mm,
with the highest amounts being measured along the length of Highway #21 moving south to
north. There are some localized concerns regarding field access due to saturated soils and
excess moisture in the more southern portions of the region. Heavy frosts with lows of -5
degrees Celsius were also reported over the weekend.
The spring cereal harvest saw the least progress with the majority of grain taken off at
tough and damp moisture levels. The cereal crop harvest stands at 85 to 90% complete. Canola
experienced better progress with much being taken off at levels fluctuating between dry and
tough moisture contents. The canola crop harvest also stands at 85 to 90% complete. The flax
harvest saw good progress with 50 to 60% of the crop harvested and above average yields
The soybean crop saw good progress in more southern areas with the crop at 40 to 50%
harvested. Soybean yields are ranging from 30 to 50 bu/acre, with an average of 40 bu/acre.
In the more northern areas of the region, there was only limited soybean harvest progress.
Grain corn acres are awaiting dry down prior to harvest. Most corn reached the full dent
stage of development with the milk line having advanced beyond the mid-point of the kernel.
Sunflower acres are at physiological maturity (R9) and awaiting dry down prior to harvest.
Winter wheat and fall rye plantings continue to benefit from the most recent rain events and
above seasonal temperatures. Winter cereals are fully emerged and in the 3 to 4 leaf stage.
Cattle producers continue to move cattle to fall pastures and harvested crop stubble with
weaned calves continuing to be moved to feedlots and/or marketed. Second cut alfalfa harvest
is complete. Corn silage harvest is ongoing with above average yields reported. Winter feed
supplies are approaching adequate levels with the above average silage and second cut alfalfa
hay yields.
Water levels in sloughs and dugouts have risen after recent rains and are 75 to 80% of
capacity in northern and central regions and 80 to 90% of capacity in southern regions.

Northwest Region

Favourable weather, with drying winds and warm temperatures, helped general harvesting
operations to continue early in the week. On Friday, a weather system brought 23 to 45 mm of
rainfall across the Northwest Region. However, combining resumed on Monday in those areas
where less rain occurred. Overall, harvest is 95% complete with some late season crops
remaining, as well as some cereal and canola harvest in small areas.
Average yields of hard red spring wheat is 65 bu/acre with 80% of the crop grading No.1 CW
and No.2 CW and proteins averaging 13.4%. Oat yields averaged 120 bu/acre with 75% grading
No.2 CW. Average barley yields were 90 bu/acre with 90% grading No.2 CW. Bushel weights of
all cereals were higher than average. Late season weathering due to rains downgraded some of
the later harvested cereal crops. In general, low incidence of Fusarium head blight, ergot
and wheat midge was reported. Producers treated some cereals for grasshopper, cereal armyworm
and cutworm control.
Canola is of high quality with 100% grading No.1 Canada with yields above average at about 50
bu/acre. Approximately 5% of the canola crop remains to be combined. In season impacts of
heat stress, diseases, and insect pest problems were generally low and limited acres were
sprayed for bertha armyworm, flea beetles and grasshoppers.
Soybean acres are mainly located in the Ste. Rose to Grandview areas, with harvest at 60%
complete. Yields ranged from 30 to over 50 bu/ac. Overall average yield to date is about 43
bu/acre and grading No.2 Canada. A very limited number of samples have some green seed
present. Most of remaining unharvested acres are in the Grandview area where some later
planting took place.
Hemp harvest is progressing with average yields around 600 lbs/acre; seed size and quality is
very good. Peas are combined; yields and quality is good. Flax is drying down and harvest
will begin shortly.
Although overall crop quality and yield is above average, some isolated problems with excess
spring moisture resulted in localized drown-outs, poor root development and nutrient losses,
reducing yields where these events occurred. The Ethelbert, Fork River and The Pas received
seasonal precipitation significantly higher than normal.
Winter wheat and fall rye crop emergence has been good and developing well under adequate
soil moisture.
The recent rain and falling soil temperatures were not sufficient to initiate general fall
fertilizing application activities, although some fertilizer is being applied. Supplies are
in position and general applications will be underway shortly. Other fall field work, fall
weed control, straw baling and hauling is completed. Manure application on forage and crop
land is under way.
Silaging of corn is almost completed, with above average quality and yields. Winter feed
supplies are adequate for the region. While forage yields are average and above in most of
the Northwest Region, some early season quality issues exist. With excellent cereal harvest
conditions, straw supplies are adequate and of good quality. Localized forage shortages exist
where excess spring moisture impacted tame and native hay lands adjacent to Lake Manitoba and
The Pas. Livestock are still out on pasture. Dugout water supplies are mostly adequate.

Central Region

The start of the 2013 crop season was far removed from that of 2012. A long winter with heavy
snow was followed up by a cold spring with late snows and heavy rainfall. Cool temperatures
and frosts slowed growth of winter wheat, pasture and hay crops, and spring seeded crops sat
in cool soils for extended periods. Winterkill in winter wheat was higher than average, due
to poor stubble conditions and poor fall germination/stand establishment. Both dry subsoil
conditions and excess moisture were problems for pasture stands, and supplemental feeding for
livestock was necessary in the spring. Seeding didn’t start until into May, and was later
than average for most. Some planned soybeans acres went in as canola in order to meet crop
insurance deadlines. Other stresses included high wind conditions and insect damage to
seedling crops. Some re-seeding did result. Excess moisture conditions continued to cause
problems in some areas well into July, and drains and creeks overflowed their banks more than
once. Some acres went unseeded due to excess moisture. Rainfall still had an impact to yields
as a couple of big rainfall events resulted in lower yields. Cool conditions caused concern
about soybeans and corn maturing before fall frosts.
Winter wheat harvest was much later than average. Warmer temperatures finally arrived in
mid-August and allowed crops to advance and mature. Drier and warmer weather allowed for a
reasonable harvest, although there were some rain delays which resulted in reduction in crop
Rainfall was minimal last week in the eastern part of the region, but as much as 25 to 50 mm
fell in western areas, causing further delays to field operations.
Warm and dry conditions allowed for a relatively quick harvest in eastern parts of the
region, with some rain delays. Rain delays were more of a problem in western and northern
parts of the region. Most crop came off in good condition, but rain caused some colour loss
and mildew. Slight frosts in September caused minimal damage but crops have been able to
attain physiological maturity.
Harvest of winter wheat started in August, wrapping up in early September, a month later than
2012. Yields ranged from 50 to 90 bu/acre, with average yield falling in the 65 to 75 bu/ac
range. Protein ranged from 10.5 to 13.5% with higher proteins in the lower yielding fields.
The crop graded No.2 CWRW or better with very little downgrading due to fusiarum head blight
and quality was generally good to excellent.
There were limited acres of fall rye, with yields of 50 to 60 bu/acre reported with some ergot.
Excellent yields are reported for the majority of spring crops this year where weather
conditions were cooperative. ‘Bin-buster’ was a common term for many producers and storage is
at a premium.
Spring wheat yields varied, ranging from 45 to 85 bu/acre, with most reporting 60 to 65
bu/acre average. Variability in quality was due to where and when the rains fell. The
majority of the crop graded No.2 CW or better. Quality is good to excellent for the most
part, with little if any impact from fusarium head blight. Colour loss due to rain accounted
for some downgrading. Protein levels were lower than last year, averaging 12 to 13%. There
were a few reports of downgrading due to ergot.
General purpose wheat ranged from 60 to 100 bu/acre with lower protein levels on the higher
yielding fields.
Barley yields ranged from 70 to 120 bu/acre, with the majority averaging 85 bu/acre. Quality
is generally good with low fusarium.
Oat yields ranged widely, from 70 to 200 bu/acre, averaging between 85 to 110 bu/acre.
Majority of crop is grading No.2 CW with good to excellent bushel weights; although there was
some downgrading due to light bushel weights.
Canola yields were excellent, benefitting from the extended flowering period due to cooler
temperatures in July. The crop struggled early on; seed sat in cold ground for an extended
period, making it more susceptible to flea beetle and seedling diseases. High winds damaged
plants as did early frosts. Some fields were reseeded due to the early season stresses. Many
fields had problems with blackleg, sclerotinia was minimal, and disease had little impact to
yield this year. There were a few reports of flea beetle and/or grasshopper damage to canola
swaths, with some impact to yield. Yields were variable, ranging from 35 to 75 bu/acre,
averaging around 40 to 45 bu/acre. Many farmers reported breaking the 50 or 60 bu/acre mark
for the first time. Quality is excellent for the most part, with majority grading No.1
Canada. Minimal downgrading due to green count occurred this year.
Flax yields range from 30 to 45 bu/acre, averaging 30 to 35 bu/acre. Quality is good. Peas
averaged 40 to 50 bu/acre and harvest is complete.
Edible bean harvest is complete. Yields average 1900 to 2000 lbs/acre, with some reports as
high as 3000 lbs/acre. Quality is good. White mould was reported, but no significant yield or
quality loss.
Soybean harvest is almost complete. Yields vary from 30 to 60 bu/acre, averaging 40 bu/acre.
Higher yields were obtained in areas receiving timely rains. White mould was reported, with
minimal impact to yield or quality. Maturity was a concern at the end of July, and some
harvest didn’t start until October. Growers will look carefully at variety selection and
seeding date for the 2014 season.
Sunflower harvest is just starting. Crop is looking good.
Grain corn harvest continues, just starting for some, to as much as 65% complete in western
areas. Yields range from 90 to 160 bu/acre with average yields to date in the 100 to 110
bu/acre range. Moisture levels range from the mid 20% to over 30%, but are declining.
Impact of disease in most crops is lower than expected. Root rots were evident in many crops,
both early on and later in the season when soils dried out. Sclerotinia was evident in all
susceptible crops, but at low levels with little if any impact to yield. Blackleg was evident
in many canola fields and is increasing. Little to no aster yellows was evident in canola,
despite worries following high levels in 2012.
The main insect problems this year were flea beetles and grasshoppers. Late spraying has
taken place in winter wheat headlands for grasshoppers. Some wireworm problems also occurred
early in the season. High bertha armyworm moth counts didn’t result in extensive spraying.
Soil testing continues. Results are variable, but there are many reports of very low soil
test nitrogen and phosphorous, due to the higher than average yields this year. In the case
of phosphorous, there are several reasons: tighter rotations leaning to high phosphorous-use
crops, changes in seeding implements that limit the amount of P safely applied with seed;
changes to crops (i.e. soybeans) that are very sensitive to seed-placed P, but are big users
of P; and trend to higher average yields, while applied P levels remain the same.
Fall cultivation continues with excellent progress made in much of the region; majority of
harvested fields have seen one tillage pass, except in the northwest where the range is 25 to
50% tilled. Post harvest weed control is being undertaken as conditions allow.
Fall fertilizing has begun, with excellent progress made in many areas. Good conditions allow
for anhydrous ammonia application. There is an increase in fall phosphate fertilizer
applications. Manure application is being made as conditions allow.
The percentage of crop residue burned is very low this year, due primarily to timely harvest
conditions for much of the region as well as excellent conditions for straw baling as trucks
were loaded in fields with no evidence of ruts. Demand for straw continues to be good. Soil
moisture conditions at present range from adequate to wet, dependent on rainfall.
Number of winter wheat acres ranges in areas of the region from unchanged to as much as a 30%
reduction in acres. Fall rye seeded is down by 5 to 15%. A later canola harvest limited acres
for some producers. Grower intentions have changed for some due to changes in MASC insurance
policies for winter wheat. Another impact to acre for this year is due to the huge yields
seen in general purpose wheat. Germination and stand establishment is generally better than
last year, rated at average to good. The crop ranges up to the three leaf stage, dependent on
rainfall and soil moisture conditions.
Hay fields are in fair to good condition, although some are suffering from excess moisture.
There is an adequate to good supply of all classes of feed, including straw, for most of the
region. Some shortages will be seen around Lake Manitoba due to the 2011 flood. Quality of
feed is good, with some issues due to struggles with putting up hay without rain. Greenfeed
has average to above average yields. Livestock feeding is minimal. Most cattle are still on
pasture, others have been turned out on harvested crop land.
Subsoil moisture is adequate for most of the region, although a small percentage of crop land
is at surplus levels. Dugouts and wells are at normal levels this year.

Eastern Region

A total of 0 to 2 mm of rain fell in the Eastern Region over the past weekend. Harvest is
estimated at 90% complete.
Average yields for the region are as follows: winter wheat 70 to 80 bu/acre, spring wheat 45
to 60 bu/acre, barley 80 to 90 bu /acre, oats 100 to 125 bu/acre, canola 40 to 60 bu/acre,
soybeans 40 to 50 bu/acre and corn is averaging between 120 to 160 bu/acre.
Average crop quality for the region is as follows: winter wheat No.2 CW, spring wheat No.2
CW, barley No.2 CW, oats No.2 CW, canola No.2 Canada, soybeans No.2 Canada and corn No.2 CW.
Disease levels in the Eastern Region were generally low in terms of effects on crop quality.
The exception was where hail occurred, causing plant injuries that then allowed pathogen
entry into the plant. Overall crop quality is high given weather conditions normally
conducive to disease occurred.
Lower protein levels were recorded in the hard red wheat. There was no downgrading due to
weathering as majority of harvest occurred during good harvest weather conditions. August
hailstorms in some areas impacted yield and quality of cereals, canola and soybeans in those
areas. Wheat and canola showed greater yield loss than quality loss from those hailstorms.
Producers have been completing fall work, including soil testing and tillage. Anhydrous
ammonia applications are getting underway in the region, as well as application of
phosphorous and potash. Winter wheat fields are at the 2 to 4 leaf stage with 1 to 2 tillers.
Winter feed supply status has hay at 10% surplus, 80% adequate and 10% inadequate; straw at
100% adequate, greenfeed at 100% adequate and feed grains at 100% adequate.
Pasture conditions in the region are rated as 40% good, 40% fair and 20% poor. Livestock
water (including dugouts) is rated at 90% adequate and 10% inadequate.

Interlake Region

The 2013 cropping year is nearly complete across the Interlake Region. North Interlake is
still harvesting soybean and canola fields and have not yet started on corn acres. South
Interlake is still harvesting late seeded soybeans, as well as corn fields. Fall tillage will
be on-going until freeze up. Fall banding of fertilizer is on-going as producers are starting
to make their second tillage pass across their fields.
Average yields and quality for the Interlake Region for winter wheat were 60 bu/acre, grading
mostly No.1 or No.2 CW. Spring wheat yields were 50 bu/ac with good quality and protein
levels below average. Most spring wheat will grade as a No.1 or No.2 CW. Oats averaged 75 to
85 bu/ac, grading No.2 CW. Barley averaged 65 bu/acre. Canola averaged 35 to 40 bu/acre with
most being No.1 Canada. Soybeans are still being harvested with yields being 35 to 40 bu/acre
with minimal green seeds in the samples; majority grading No.2 Canada.
Forage harvest average yields are as follows: alfalfa 1.75 tons/acre first cut, 0.66
tons/acre second cut, 0.25 tons/acre third cut. Alfalfa/grass and tame hay yielded 1.5
tons/acre first cut and 0.66 tons/acre second cut. Native hay yields were 1 tons/acre first
cut and greenfeed averaged 2 tons/acre. Forage acres started off slow this year with cool
temperatures and lack of moisture in the beginning of summer. As summer progressed warm
temperatures followed with precipitation increased production and producers were able to make
enough feed for the winter months. Some areas were impacted by dry conditions while other
areas had excess moisture conditions. Pasture conditions were below average for the most part
of the year due to slow re-growth. Producers had to keep a close eye on forage conditions for
feeding purposes. Dugout conditions were good throughout the year.