Crop Report: Issue 15, August 11, 2014

  • Winter wheat harvest continues across Manitoba with yields ranging from 50 to 80 bushels per acre, with fusarium damaged kernel (FDK) levels ranging from less than 1 to 20%.
  • The majority of spring seeded crops are either grain-filling or podding, with some of the later seeded crops finishing up flowering.  Swathing or preharvest desiccation of the earliest-seeded spring cereal fields has started.
  • Symptoms of heat and moisture stress are evident in several crop types.  In many areas of Manitoba, precipitation would be welcome to aid in grain filling, regrowth on pastures and hay fields, and continued growth in crops such as grain corn, sunflowers, edible beans and soybeans.

Southwest Region  

Rainfall amounts throughout the Southwest Region were variable, ranging from trace amounts to 25 mm. The precipitation was welcomed by most producers and should now be sufficient to carry most crops through to maturity.
Fall rye is being swathed with some fields harvested. Winter wheat is being desiccated. There are continued reports of moderate to high fusarium head bight levels in the winter wheat crop.
Early seeded cereal crops are starting to turn. The canola crop improved significantly over last week as a result of the recent rainfall. The majority of the crop is nearing the end of flowering. Sclerotinia is present at low to moderate levels. The major disease concern in canola continues to be brown girdling root rot. Flax crops continue to benefit from the moderate temperatures and the most recent rainfall; it has gone through an extended flowering period with many fields into the fourth week of flowering. Field peas continue to mature rapidly with some preharvest applications to occur this week.
Soybeans also benefited from the recent rainfall and are in the R3 to R4 stage of development with many varieties now in excess of 76 cm in height. Corn and sunflowers continue to develop but are still at least two weeks behind normal.
Weeds, such as foxtail barley, are an issue in unseeded and other wet areas of fields. Volunteer canola is also a problem in some glyphosate tolerant soybean fields. Grasshopper numbers continue to increase in roadside ditches and headlands. No other major insect issues are being noted.
Rain showers will help with pasture and hay regrowth. Haying continues across the region, with first cut nearing completion. Quality is above average, although the recent rainfall will impact quality of the most recently cut acres. Native and ditch hay harvest continues as well. Overall yields are estimated at 75 to 80% of normal. Second cut alfalfa harvest has begun in some areas, but the majority is not yet ready.  There remains a significant amount of hay and pasture land inundated with water. Silage of cereal crops is underway with yields average to below average due to drowned out areas of the fields. Many producers are looking at alternative feeds to help supplement this year’s winter feed supply. Dugouts and waterways are full.

Northwest Region

Crop development was favorable in the Northwest Region as good growing conditions prevailed. Rainfall amounts varied significantly ranging from negligible in some parts to over 50 mm in others. Excessive moisture continues to be evident in low lying areas, particularly in the more northern parts of the region. Most moisture resulted from short but intense thunderstorms which caused some wheat crops to lodge. Some small hail was reported in the Roblin area.
Regionally, approximately 10% of the cereal crop is at the heading/flowering stage, 65% in the milk stage of growth and about 25% in the dough stage. Fifty percent of the canola crop is at some stage of flowering with the remaining 50% of the crop podded. For soybeans, 20% of the crop is flowering and about 80% is podded. Approximately 10% of the field peas are blooming with 90% podded. As previously reported, crop development is at least two weeks behind normal.
Fungicide applications are nearing completion. Wild oats are visible in many wheat crops. Barnyard grass has infested drowned out areas in some fields and foxtail barley is thriving in many fields where there is limited crop competition. There are reports of blackleg and root rot in some canola fields in the region. There are no reports of significant insect activity.
First cut tame hay harvest is complete with second cut beginning in many areas. Yields appear to be average to above average with good quality due to the recent warmer weather. Native hay harvest is ongoing but will be delayed around the lakes due to high water levels. Pastures are rated in good condition but slowing in growth as the season progresses; moisture would be welcomed. Cereal silage harvest has begun. Perennial ryegrass stands are harvested with average to above average yields.

Central Region

In the Central Region, temperatures averaged 25 to 30°C as sunny weather prevailed for most of the week. Morning dews range from moderate to heavy, partially dependent on crop canopy. Rainfall was variable, with many areas receiving no precipitation.  However, showers and thundershowers on the weekend resulted in 15 to 25 mm in various areas. All areas in the region would benefit from rain, especially for the later maturing crops. Crops are maturing rapidly in areas that have poorer soil moisture holding capacity or where crops have shallow root systems due to excess moisture earlier on. Moisture stress is evident in corn and soybean fields due to lack of rain, and lower leaf drop has occurred. Grain fill is a concern in many fields.
Crops are still looking good, except in areas where excess moisture has caused damage or where lack of rainfall is impacting crops. Winter wheat harvest continues. Early reports indicate yields range from 40 to 70 bu/acre, although some yields may come in higher. Average yields range from 50 to 65 bu/acre. Fusarium damaged kernels are being reported in the harvested sample at high levels, ranging from 4 to 20%. Crop residue is being baled and removed from harvested fields.
Spring cereals are fully headed. Some of the earliest planted barley and spring wheat is swathed, and a few harvested; no yield reports to date. Fusarium head blight symptoms are far less evident in the spring cereals. Preharvest applications continue. Oats are turning rapidly, which may result in lower bushel weights and yields. Canola ranges from full flower to full pod. Some swathing may start later this week, and will be more general next week. Soybeans are podding, with most fields in eastern areas at the R4 to R5 stage, while western areas report R3 to R4. Edible beans are fully podded in most of the region, although a few flowers are still evident. Corn is variable; tasselling and silking is evident and pollen shed is complete in the most advanced fields. The crop has improved, but in some areas is significantly set back by the earlier excess moisture. Corn unaffected by excess moisture is advancing well, although some fields are now suffering due to lack of precipitation. Sunflowers are blooming; flowering is complete in the most advanced fields.
Wild oats are visible above the canopy of many cereal fields, as well as green and yellow foxtail and barnyard grass. Volunteer glyphosate tolerant canola continues to show up in soybean fields, and cocklebur in low lying areas is a concern.
Blackleg lesions are evident on leaves in many canola fields. No reports to date of stem lesions. Brown girdling root rot is reported in some fields, and other root rots are also found. Some leaf spotting is evident in soybeans, both brown spot and bacterial blight. Most of the disease presence is in the mid and lower canopy. Root rots are also present. Bacterial blight is being found in edible bean fields.  Fungicide applications were made for head rot prevention in sunflowers.
Diamondback moth and bertha armyworm larval feeding has been minimal in most fields. There are reports of thrip injury on canola in western areas, with the characteristic pod curling evident. Levels are uneconomic. Some sunflowers were sprayed for lygus and/or banded sunflower moth, with lygus more of a concern. Control measures continue for grasshoppers where numbers and feeding injury warrant. European corn borer numbers are low.
Weather has been good for hay harvest. Second cut is well underway, nearing completion in some areas. Silage of alfalfa is in progress; yields look good. Greenfeed cutting and baling is also underway. Most areas are looking for rain, which will be necessary for a third cut. Pasture conditions are still adequate, but more rain is needed in many places.

Eastern Region

In the Eastern Region, trace rainfall amounts were noted last week along with warm and sunny conditions.
Preharvest herbicide applications on winter wheat concluded and harvesting of winter wheat began. Harvesting of winter wheat will move into full swing this week. Yields range from the 50 to 80 bu/acre. To date, fusarium damaged kernel levels range from 0.6 to 3.3% with higher levels anticipated. Canola swathing began over the weekend. Timothy seed and perennial ryegrass fields were swathed, and some ryegrass was harvested.  Moderate levels of rainfall over the coming weeks would help to preserve yield potential in warm season crops.
Until preharvest spraying of spring cereals begins, spraying of herbicides and fungicides is complete unless insect pressures increase to economic thresholds. Defoliation of soybeans due to a variety of insects is noted but defoliation levels remain below economic thresholds. The presence of green cloverworm is noted. In isolated areas, wilting in soybeans is reported.
Haying was back in full swing last week with approximately 85% of the hay harvested. Cattle are doing well on pastures as low spots are drying up. Pastures could use some precipitation. Availability of livestock water is rated as 100% adequate.

Interlake Region

Scattered amounts of precipitation fell last week throughout the Interlake Region, varying from 1 to 11 mm. The drier weather helped to advance crop staging and allowed considerable haying progress.
Most crops throughout the region bounced back from the excessive rains in June, and the recent heat advanced crop staging from the earlier slow, cool weather start. Winter wheat fields are being desiccated or will soon be swathed. Spring cereals are in soft to hard dough stages. Canola fields are mostly podded or are in late bloom with pods. Corn fields are tasseling and sunflowers are in full bloom with heads as large as 25 cm across. Soybeans are podding and have fared very well from the earlier excessive rains. Forage grass seed fields continue to be swathed and harvested, and alfalfa seed fields are setting seed well with warm temperatures promoting leaf cutter bee activity.
Regrowth on alfalfa fields looks promising with many producers doing or contemplating second cut to supplement winter feed supplies, which are anticipated to be short. Continuously grazed pastures are starting to run short of palatable species of grasses. Haying of native/coarse hay land continues where soil moisture allows.