Crop Report: Issue 13, July 28, 2014


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Another week of generally good growing conditions have advanced crops, as well as allowed crops impacted by excessive moisture to continue their recovery. 
  • Good weather conditions have also permitted producers to make excellent progress with haying operations.  Reported yields are average to above average with good quality. 
  • Disease pressure and insect activity continue to be monitored.   

Southwest Region

Crops throughout much of Southwest Region continue to show a significant improvement as a result of the mild and drier weather experienced over last week. Rainfall amounts were variable, ranging from 5 to 15 mm and were generally viewed as favourable for crop development. Temperatures in particular were ideal for crops that are now into the critical reproductive stage of development. Although the potential for above average yields is reduced due to the excess moisture and flooded acres, those with crops remaining and who continue to manage disease through the use of fungicides are anticipating at least long term average yields.
Disease levels across most crops are at low to moderate levels due to the drier, less humid conditions. Fusarium head blight presence in winter wheat is reported as variable due to the uneven development of the crop. Root rot in field peas is notable due to the early season excess moisture, especially in fields that had a field pea frequency of more than 1 in 5 years. Reports of brown girdling root rot in canola stressed by early season excess moisture also continues to be reported. Spraying for sclerotinia stem rot in canola has declined across the region due to the reduced height, branching and generally drier, less humid weather experienced throughout much of July.
Wheat midge numbers increased over last week; however, the vast majority of wheat fields are flowering and are beyond the stage for concern. No other significant insect issues were reported with bertha armyworm moths still being found at relatively low numbers. 
Corn and soybeans continue to respond favourably to the drier, warmer conditions. Soybeans are flowering with most fields in the R1 to R4 stage. Corn is variable in growth stage due to excess moisture with unaffected acres advancing well and a few fields starting to initiate tassel development.
Good progress continues to be made harvesting this year’s forage crop. Average to above average yields and quality is reported in newer stands, while older stands are reporting average to below average yields and good quality. Access to native hay is slowly being made available with the warmer and drier weather conditions. Native pastures are generally still in good condition for this time of year, due mainly to the moderate temperatures and above normal precipitation throughout much of June. Dugouts and deeper sloughs are still rated as being at or near capacity.

Northwest Region

Warm temperatures over last week continued to help crops improve throughout the Northwest Region. Rainfall amounts in the Swan Valley over the past weekend ranged from negligible to over 76 mm in others. Excessive moisture is once again evident in that area with potholes and low lying areas inundated with water.
Regionally, approximately 90% of the cereal crop is at the heading and flowering stage with the remainder in the milk stage of growth; 95% of the canola crop is at some stage of flowering with only about 5% at podded. For soybeans, 30% of the crop is in the vegetative stage of growth and the remaining 60% are flowering and about 10% are podded. Approximately 25% of the field peas are blooming with 75% podded. In general, crop development is approximately two weeks behind normal for this time in the growing season.
Fungicide applications on all crops are mostly complete. Weed control is adequate, although wild oats are visible in some cereal crops. There are no reports of significant insect activity in annual crops and bertha armyworm monitoring traps continue to show low moth numbers.
Haying operations progressed quite rapidly. Producers have to travel around many wet spots in the fields where hay canopy is very thick. Areas along the lakes are still inundated with water and inaccessible, as well as in The Pas. Yields are reporting average to above average and quality is average. Water supplies are still good with excessive spring and summer rains filling dugouts and water sources earlier in the year.

Central Region

Average temperatures and sunny weather prevailed for most of the week in the Central Region. Rainfall accumulations occurred mostly Monday and over the weekend, with total amounts ranging from 10 to 50 mm. Rain was generally welcome as some areas were looking for rain, while fields that received significant amounts of precipitation earlier have shallow root systems and require timely rains for growth. Heavy dews in the morning continue. Low overnight temperatures slowed crop growth.
Crops are looking good, except in areas where excess moisture has caused damage. A few areas with lighter soils would welcome additional rain, and irrigation has begun on potatoes on light textured soils.
Cereals are fully headed. Canola ranges from full flower to full pod. Soybeans are flowering with most in the R1 to R3 stage, although some are more advanced. Edible beans are showing iron chlorosis, and have shortened growth in areas of high rainfall. Corn growth is variable; early fields are tasseling. The crop has improved, but in some areas was significantly set back by excess moisture.
Wild oats are evident above the canopy of many cereal fields. More grassy weeds, including green and yellow foxtail and barnyard grass, are showing up as well after the recent rains. Volunteer canola is flowering in many fields.
Fungicide applications in spring wheat and canola are wrapping up. Parts of the region report a higher numbers of acres treated due to continuing wet and humid conditions, along with heavy crop canopy. However, many later seeded canola fields will not receive fungicide treatment as the crop stand didn’t warrant it. Spraying for white mould in dry beans continues in fields where disease potential is high. Fields that have low air movement through a dense canopy, and variety susceptibility, are being considered for fungicide application. Fungicide applications will begin this week for head rot prevention in sunflowers.
Symptoms of fusarium head blight is reported in many winter wheat fields, even those fields receiving a fungicide treatment. Crops were variable in staging due to winter injury that timing for application was difficult. Some fusarium head blight infection is evident in spring wheat, but at much lower levels than in winter wheat. Blasting is evident in all oat varieties, as well as wild oats.
Blackleg lesions are evident on leaves in many canola fields. No reports to date of stem lesions. Brown girdling root rot reported in some fields, and other root rots are being found. Some bacterial blight and brown leaf spotting is evident in soybeans. Most of the disease is present in the mid and lower canopy. Root rots are also present. Bacterial blight is found in edible bean fields.
Monitoring continues for bertha armyworm moths. Numbers are low to date. Cereal leaf beetle larvae were found in several fields at low levels not requiring treatment. Late seeded wheat fields are being monitored for wheat midge. Sunflower fields are being scouted for sunflower beetle activity, with no reports to date of numbers sufficient to require insecticide. No reports of soybean aphid.
There was good progress with haying operations. Tame forage yields are average to above average. Alfalfa silage is also underway with good yields anticipated. Pastures are rated as good with an abundance of grass.  However, flooding of hay and pasture is occurring around Lake Manitoba due to the high water levels.

Eastern Region

Varying amounts of rainfall occurred throughout most of the Eastern Region, ranging from 3 to 35 mm.
All crops are responding well with the more favourable growing conditions, particularly soybeans. Sunflower and corn fields that were not impacted by earlier excess moisture are also looking better. Soil conditions are starting to dry and standing water has virtually disappeared or will soon be gone. Desiccation of the most advanced winter wheat fields started on the weekend. 
Over the past week, some fungicides were applied on later seeded canola and cereals. Also, final applications of glyphosate on soybeans occurred.  Fungicide applications on soybeans continued. Volunteer canola has been noted as a concern in soybean fields.
There are some reports of sporadic grasshopper outbreaks with some producers spraying for control. Other insects of concern are noted but not at economic levels yet. Assessment of insect populations, crop staging and economic returns are on-going to ensure insecticide application is warranted.
Haying operations were in full swing last week; approximately 75% of the hay crop is harvested. Cattle are doing well on pasture, although low spots are wet again. Availability of livestock water was rated as 100% adequate.

Interlake Region

Warm temperatures were recorded throughout the Interlake Region last week. During the weekend, rainfall amounts ranged from 3 to 10 mm. Due to the excess moisture from earlier rainfalls, crop conditions range from very poor to good.  Although crops have improved over the entire region with more favourable weather, less than average yields in certain areas are expected.
Most spring cereals have headed and flowered. Winter wheat is close to the proper staging for desiccation, with some fields possibly receiving an application towards end of the week. In some areas, sunflowers started flowering and corn is tasseling. Soybeans continue to flower and pods are starting to form. Forage grass seed fields are approaching timing for swathing with some earlier grasses already cut. Leaf cutter bees are still working hard with the warm temperatures in alfalfa seed fields.
Haying across the region is on-going. With good drying weather, producers were able to make good quality hay. Yields and quality reports are coming in good with yields reaching 2.5 tons per acre. There is generally good pasture conditions, with the exception of areas flooded due to high lake levels. This is causing a reduction in grazeable area which is putting increased grazing pressure on available acres. Hay acres flooded by lake water are not harvestable. Dugout conditions are good.