Crop Report: Issue 17, August 25, 2014

 
  •  Strong weather systems passed through several areas of Manitoba throughout the week and into the weekend. Heavy rains and strong winds halted harvest operations and resulted in lodging of crops.
  • The precipitation will benefit later maturing crops, as well as hay fields and pastures.
  • A return to warmer temperatures and drier conditions would allow field crop and hay harvest to resume.  It would also help the late seeded cereal and oilseed crops, as well as corn, soybeans and sunflowers, reach maturity prior to the first fall frost.
  

Southwest Region

Over the weekend in the Southwest Region, 30 to 100 mm of rainfall was recorded.  It was accompanied by high winds that resulted in severe lodging in the later seeded, less mature crop. The rain was welcome for the soybean and sunflower crops, and for crops that were seeded later in the spring. However, the rain would be of little benefit for many crops that were close to maturity. Harvest operations may be impacted by lodged crops and wet field conditions.
 
Disease and insects continue to be found at low levels in most crops. Fusarium head blight symptoms, although present in the spring wheat crop, appear to be somewhat reduced when compared to winter wheat. Some isolated reports of stem rust in oats.
 
Canola swathing is just beginning with average to above average stands reported. Sclerotinia and blackleg levels in canola also look to be at low to moderate levels due mainly to the shorter, less dense canopy.
 
The soybean crop is in the very late R5 to early R6 stage of development with pod and seed development occurring on the four upper most nodes on the main stem. It is estimated maturity is approximately 20 to 30 days away, depending upon the variety; a return to warmer temperatures will help crop mature. Flax crops continue to have excellent yield potential and are beginning to change in color.
 
Most livestock producers have completed hay harvest, with only silage, native and ditch hay harvest remaining. An excellent second cut of alfalfa is entering the early bud stage of development. The quality of this year’s crop continues to be well above average with overall first cut yields at 75 to 80% of normal. Silage operations in barley crops have begun with average yields being reported. Much of the silage corn is in the late blister to milk stage of development. Native pastures have rebounded after the recent rains and cooler temperatures.
 

Northwest Region

A major weather system passed through the Northwest Region over the weekend resulting in significant amounts of rainfall and cooler temperatures. The heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds caused crop lodging in most parts of the region. Rainfall amounts over the week ranged from 19 to over 100 mm which brought all field operations to a halt.
 
Regionally, approximately 85% of wheat is in the dough stage of development with the remaining 15% of acres at maturity. Producers began swathing and applying preharvest glyphosate to mature wheat stands before the rains began. Eighty-five percent of the canola crop is podded and 15% is mature. Swathing operations in canola also began just prior to the rain. In soybeans, 95% of the crop is podded with the remaining 5% flowering. The field pea crop is 75% podded and 25% ripe. Some crops are showing multiple stages of growth, particularly canola.
 
Harvest of winter cereals and early seeded barley crops has come to a standstill due to wet conditions. There are symptoms of fusarium head blight and glume blotch appearing in wheat. Canola fields in some parts of the region are showing signs of sclerotinia, blackleg and root rot. Wild oats, barnyard grass, foxtail barley and Canada thistle are becoming more evident in fields where the crop is less competitive. Also, cleavers are visible in canola crops. Lygus bugs are confirmed in parts of the Swan Valley where some canola fields were sprayed. The presence of swede midge larva was confirmed in a canola field the Swan Valley.
 
Dry weather at the start of the week allowed producers to continue with haying. However, rain stopped haying operations but provided much needed moisture for continued growth of pastures. The significant rainfall also replenished water dugouts in pastures and other water supplies.
 

Central Region

In the Central Region, seasonal temperatures and high humidity started off the week, with general rainfall occurring by the weekend. Much of the region received precipitation amounts ranging from 30 to 75 mm over the week, with isolated areas seeing upwards of 125 mm. Some crop lodging occurred in the areas of heaviest rain. The late maturing crops will benefit from the rainfall, although some crops were too close to maturity to be of great benefit.
 
Winter wheat harvest continues. Harvest is wrapping up in eastern areas of the region with western areas reporting 80% complete. Reports indicate yields range from 40 to 80 bu/acre, with average yields ranging from 50 to 65 bu/acre. Quality is disappointing for many fields, with fusarium damaged kernels reported in the harvested sample at levels ranging from 0.5 to 20%. Crop residue has been baled and removed from harvested fields.
 
Spring cereal harvest continued prior to the rain. Much of the barley in the eastern areas of the region is harvested, with yields ranging from 70 to 100 bu/acre. Spring wheat harvest is just getting started, with early yields in the 60 to 65 bu/acre range and good quality. Early protein reports range from 11 to 13.5%. The impact of fusarium head blight is far less evident in the spring cereals compared to winter wheat.  Preharvest applications continue. Some oats have been harvested, with early reports of average yields ranging from 100 to 130 bu/acre and good test weight. Higher levels of wild oats are noted.
 
Swathing of canola continued, with 50% and more of the acres swathed in the most advanced areas. A few fields were harvested with yields reported in the 40 bu/acre range. Soybeans are podding, with most fields in eastern areas at the R6 to R6.5 stage, while western areas report R5. Early leaf drop is reported in the driest fields. Edible beans continue to mature; desiccation has begun, especially where late season weed pressure could cause quality issues. The earliest fields could see undercutting operations begin towards the end of the week. Corn is variable; the most advanced fields are in the dough stage. Flowering is complete in many of the sunflower fields.
 
Late infections of rust are reported in oat fields in eastern parts of the region. Blackleg lesions are evident in many canola fields. Brown girdling root rot is reported in some fields, and other root rots are being found. Most lodging of prematurely ripened plants are caused by blackleg or root rots. Some sclerotinia infection is evident. Some leaf spotting is evident in soybeans, including brown spot, bacterial blight and downy mildew. Root rots are also present.
 
Very low levels of soybean aphid continue to be found but nowhere near economic threshold. Beneficial predator insects are also being found at levels that should keep aphid numbers well in check, but scouting is still encouraged. Some spider mites were reported in the driest fields, in the headlands. Rainfall will keep those numbers in check. Control measures continue for grasshoppers where numbers and feeding injury warrant. European corn borer numbers are low, but again, scouting is encouraged.
 
Rainfall has stalled second cut hay and greenfeed harvest. However, the precipitation will help maintain pastures. Roadway or ditch grass hay has been baled. Wild hay along Lake Manitoba will be un-harvestable after the recent rains. Hay, pasture and some crop is flooded along Lake Manitoba.
 

Eastern Region

Recorded rainfall in the Eastern Region ranged from 2 to 58 mm.  Variable weather was seen throughout the week, with fog, above average temperatures, high humidity, followed by rain and cooler temperatures over the weekend. Most producers were pleased with the rainfall, except for those that had winter wheat or forage seed still not harvested. However, the precipitation will help maintain yield potential in soybean and corn as those crop types were showing symptoms of moisture stress.  A return to warmer and drier conditions would be welcomed to allow harvest operations to continue, and to help crops reach maturity.
 
Once field conditions dry and spring cereals reach harvest moisture levels, harvesting will start in the region. Canola swathing will also get underway once fields dry.
 
Some yield loss may occur in soybean and corn due to the drier conditions prior to the recent rainfall. Sunflowers look good. Some insect activity and damage was observed in soybean, including green cloverworm and aphids, but well below threshold levels. Some reports of grasshopper and associated feeding observed on various crops, and lygus in canola also reported, but again both are not at threshold levels.
 
Cattle are doing well on pasture as recent rains have been of benefit. Winter feed supplies are estimated at adequate with a slight surplus in hay supplies. Availability of livestock water is rated as 100% adequate.
 

Interlake Region

Cool temperatures and precipitation were experienced throughout last week in the Interlake Region. Showers began on Thursday and continued sporadically throughout the remaining days of the week. Total accumulation ranged from 55 to 85 mm of rainfall.
 
Winter wheat harvest is still ongoing in parts of the region. Reports indicate average yields and poor crop quality; yield estimates range from 55 to 65 bu/acre with fusarium damaged kernel levels ranging from 2 to 5%. Earlier maturing winter wheat fields seem to have higher levels of fusarium damaged kernels then the later maturing fields.
Prior to Thursday’s rainfall, spring wheat fields in the south Interlake received a preharvest glyphosate application. Canola acres in the region are being swathed as the fields reach proper maturity. Soybeans continue to stay green and fill the remaining pods. Corn still needs warm temperatures as it continues to grow and mature. Most corn fields are at blister to milk stage. Forage grass seed fields continue to be harvested with the majority of timothy acres being done; yields are average.
 
The recent rainfall will help alfalfa/grass fields regrow from first cut and the earlier drier weather. Grasshoppers are causing damage in some grass hay fields and pastures.  Flooding of lowland native hay fields occurred and may prohibit machinery travel for this growing season. Most pastures needed some rain; however some lowland flooding has reoccurred. Dugout conditions are good.