Crop Report: Issue 10, July 7, 2014


Weekly Provincial Summary

  •  The recent warm and dry weather conditions are welcomed by Manitoba producers.  All crop types, particularly the warm season crops including grain corn and soybeans, are benefiting from the warmer weather.
  • The more favourable weather conditions are allowing some acres impacted by excess moisture to recover.  However, symptoms of excess moisture and crop death continue to be noted across most regions.
  • Herbicide applications continue as field conditions allow. Fungicide applications are also on-going, with many producers opting for aerial application where fields remain too wet for ground application.


 In the Southwest Region, rainfall amounts ranged from 0 to 35 mm, accompanied by normal to below normal temperatures.  A severe thunderstorm also resulted in hail and high winds in the areas of Hartney and Brandon. 
Symptoms of water stress are evident in low areas of fields, including crop yellowing, stunting, and in the most severe cases crop death.  Drier weather over the past week in most areas of the region is providing an opportunity for crops to recover from excess moisture and flooding.
Early seeded spring wheat fields are starting to head with producers preparing to apply fungicides targeting fusarium head blight. Later seeded fields range in development from tillering to flag leaf stage.  The most advanced canola is at the bolting and flowering stages, while the later seeded acres are in the rosette stages. Soybean fields are at the 3 to 4 trifoliate stages. Sunflower and corn are progressing well in non-flooded fields. Peas are showing symptoms of mycosphaerella disease due to excess moisture conditions. Winter wheat and fall rye crops are past the heading stage and are looking good.
Fungicide applications continued in winter wheat, as well as in spring seeded crops.  Most producers are opting for aerial application due to wet field conditions. Flea beetle pressure is decreasing, and bertha armyworm counts are low in the area.
Hay land and pastures continue to be impacted by flooding in many areas. However, sunshine and warm temperatures over the weekend allowed some cutting of hay on higher ground to begin. Yields are estimated to be above average on the acres that are accessible. With many acres flooded, producers are concerned about winter feed supplies. Many producers are treating cattle for foot rot due to the extremely wet conditions. Dugouts are full to over-capacity. 


High temperatures and windy conditions throughout the week aided in drying of crop land throughout the Northwest Region. Rainfall over the weekend varied with scattered showers in the Roblin and Dauphin areas. The Swan Valley and The Pas areas received 25 to 30 mm, putting conditions back at saturated levels. Crops are showing the effects of excess moisture with drowned out areas and yellowing plants. Higher temperatures forecasted for the week will help with drying conditions and crop development.
Earlier seeded spring wheat is progressing into the stem elongation stage with a small percent of the fields advancing into heading. Canola crops remain variable throughout the region with 25% of the acres at emerging, 30% at seedling stage, 30% at rosette stages and 15% at flowering. Approximately 25% of the pea crop has reached the flowering stage, and 100% of the soybeans are in the vegetative stage. Drying conditions are needed to allow for spraying operations to resume.
Hay land continues to be saturated, delaying haying operations until dry weather permits field access. Grasses are heading out with legume flowering almost ending. Wet weather has also delayed seeding of greenfeed.  Pastures are flourishing with the higher temperatures and wet conditions, although some areas including The Pas have pastures impacted by excess moisture. Foot rot is reported by some producers due to wet conditions in pastures.  


In the Central Region, warmer temperatures improved growth in crops such as corn, soybeans and edible beans. However, standing water in fields is still evident throughout the region. Large drains and creeks are running full, although some levels are starting to decline. Field drains are slowly drying.
Crop conditions vary across the region. In areas that did not receive as much rain, crops are lush. Other areas are showing excess moisture stress, particularly in the broadleaf crop types. In general, early seeded crops of all types are faring better than late seeded crops, and have handled the excess moisture far better. Although drowned out areas are also evident in early seeded fields, the later seeded crops were impacted much more.
The most advanced spring cereal fields are starting to flower, with the later seeded fields tillering. Late seeded canola is in the rosette stage and many fields are starting to bolt early due to excess moisture stress. The earliest seeded soybeans are starting to flower. Most fields are exhibiting some yellowing or iron chlorosis, although many fields are starting to green up with warmer weather and nodulation. Edible beans are also showing iron chlorosis. Corn is variable; most advanced fields are at 12 leaf stage stage and up to waist high. Many fields are suffering due to excess moisture though, and herbicide applications are delayed due to wet field conditions. Some fields will not see herbicide treatments as crops grow out of the application window.
Herbicide applications continue in all crop types as field conditions allow. Areas that are the wettest, and with later seeded crops, are struggling to complete applications. Weeds are growing rapidly, with field and weather conditions making weed control operations a challenge. Rutting is evident in the wettest fields.
Fungicide applications are mostly complete for winter wheat fields, and continue in spring cereals for leaf diseases. Fusarium head blight applications are occurring in spring wheat as those fields start to flower. Fungicide applications for sclerotinia in canola continue. Later seeded canola is less likely to see fungicide treatment as the crop stand doesn’t warrant application. The majority of acres receiving fungicide treatments will be done by aerial application due to saturated field conditions. If field conditions improve, more cereal acres will see applications by ground.
Monitoring started for bertha armyworm moths with numbers low to date. Some headlands and roadsides were treated for grasshoppers where numbers are the highest, as well as some fields. Continued rainfall and wet conditions may lower impact.
Pasture conditions are generally good, with some rated as fair or poor due to excess moisture. Weather conditions continue to interfere with haying operations. Strong winds caused Lake Manitoba to surge, raising water levels at the south end, flooding crop, hay and pasture.  Water availability for livestock is adequate to surplus.


Varying amounts of rainfall occurred throughout most of the Eastern Region with amounts ranging from 25 to 150 mm.
Temperatures were cool early in the week but warmed as the week went on to normal or above normal levels. Crop growth benefitted from the heat, particularly the warm season crops.  Water is still standing in some fields, although not to the extent it was at the start of last week. Signs of crop damage and stress are still evident, especially in cereals and canola. All crop types, except for winter wheat and some perennial forage seed, have water-logged areas.
Early seeded spring cereals and canola are generally rated in good condition. The later seeded spring cereals and canola are being impacted more by the excess moisture. Premature bolting in canola and flag leaf emergence in cereals are noted, along with drowned out areas in fields. Further inputs for these late seeded crops will be carefully considered as impact to yield potentials from the excess moisture is expected. Soybeans, corn and sunflowers have benefitted from the recent heat, with the exception of field areas impacted by excess moisture.  Flowering in soybeans will start soon, and sunflowers are approaching the bud stage.  Winter wheat and established forage seed crops are rated as good.
The first pass of herbicide applications is 95% complete. The second pass of glyphosate in soybeans is ongoing. Winter wheat fungicide applications for fusarium head blight are complete, while applications in early seeded spring wheat acres will start this week. Canola fungicide applications are ongoing as early seeded fields are flowering. Due to reduced yield potential in some fields, producers are carefully assessing which fields receive a fungicide application.  Some fungicide applications have occurred, but are not as universal as in the past years due to lower disease pressure. With the forecasted warmer temperatures, an increase in leaf and fusarium head blight disease pressure in cereals will justify further investment. Spraying for cutworm in canola is still occurring in northern parts of the region.
Haying in the region was at a stand-still last week due to the frequent rains and high humidity levels.   Dairy farms have completed their first cut of alfalfa with most of this feed being preserved as silage. First cut alfalfa yields are reported as average to slightly above average. Beef producers are hoping to begin first cut this week. Fields with higher elevations should be dry enough to enter with haying equipment. Pastures continue to be wet with standing water evident in some locations. Foot rot and flies are issues this year. Availability of livestock water is rated as 100% adequate. 


Scattered showers fell throughout the Interlake Region resulting in rainfall amounts ranging from 5 to 20 mm. Warm temperatures and strong winds also occurred over the weekend which helped with drying fields. Future weather forecasts of warm temperatures will further aid in drying of fields.
Spraying throughout the region is 75% complete. Due to wet soil conditions over the past couple weeks, spray operations were halted until recently; however, producers are now able to get onto their fields. Applications of herbicides are still on-going, along with fungicide applications in canola and spring wheat fields. Winter wheat crops have headed and flowered.  Canola is starting to flower, but in areas where crops were stressed canola plants are starting to bolt prematurely. Soybeans are at the 2 to 4 trifoliate stages and growing fast with the soil moisture and warm temperatures. Leaf cutter bees were released on alfalfa seed acres this past week. There were reports of grasshoppers in spring cereals in the North Interlake.
Lake Manitoba continues to rise, impacting crop land, hay fields and pastures. In other areas, the recent rainfall events have resulted in lowlands, drains and ditches being over capacity, causing inundation of crop land, hay fields and pastures.