Crop Report: Issue 18, September 2, 2014

  •  Rainfall and cooler temperatures slowed harvest progress, haying operations and crop development across Manitoba.  The recent weather is also resulting in lodging and quality loss in some crop types.
  • Winter wheat harvest is nearing completion in many areas with average to below average yields and below average quality. 
  • Harvest of spring wheat, oats, barley and canola continues in some areas of Manitoba. Early reports indicate average yields and quality. Swathing of canola continues as field conditions allow, as well as swathing and preharvest applications in spring cereals. 
  • A return to warmer, drier weather would allow field operations to resume, and help corn, soybeans and sunflowers reach maturity prior to the first fall frost.


Southwest Region

In the Southwest Region, rain showers and severe thunderstorms resulted in 15 to 35 mm of precipitation. Excess moisture is creating issues with swathing and harvesting of crops.

In the southern areas of the region, winter cereals are harvested with below average yields and below average quality due to higher levels of fusarium damaged kernels. There is limited harvesting activity reported in the northern areas of the region. Prehavest applications in wheat and other crops are underway; cereal harvest will be in full swing once fields dry. Most early seeded oats, barley and canola crops are being swathed.
The soybean crop throughout the Southwest Region is in the R6 to R6.5 stage of development with pod and full seed development occurring on the four upper most nodes on the main stem. The crop is approximately two to three weeks from maturity depending upon the variety and future weather conditions. Corn and sunflowers continue to progress but would benefit from warmer temperatures.
Producers are seeding winter cereals into unseeded acres.
Disease and insects continue to be found at low levels in most crop types. Fusarium head blight levels in spring wheat is extremely variable and is generally found in areas where excess moisture was present for extended periods of time. Rust in oats continues to be reported.  Symptoms of blackleg are evident in most canola fields. Sclerotinia is reported at lower levels due to weather conditions at time of infection and fungicide applications.
The second cut of alfalfa is in the early flower stage of development with most producers waiting for a killing frost before cutting. Silage operations in barley crops have begun with average yields reported. Much of the silage corn is in the late milk stage of development of R3 to early R4. Rain has helped pastures remain in good condition but will limit the amount of slough hay available. Water levels remain high in pastures, limiting areas for grazing.

Northwest Region

Rainfall amounts throughout the Northwest Region ranged from small amounts in many locations to over 38 mm in the Roblin area. Last Tuesday morning in some parts of the Swan Valley, early morning temperatures dipped to zero degrees Celsius.
Regionally, approximately 55% of wheat is in the dough stage of growth and about 45% is mature. Producers began swathing wheat fields, and combining began on some wheat fields that were treated with a preharvest glyphosate. Wheat yields and quality are reported as average. Ninety-nine percent of the canola crop is podded and of that approximately 30% is swathed. The majority of the soybean crop is podded. The field pea crop is ripe and harvest operations are beginning. Some crops are showing multiple stages of growth, particularly canola. Canola fields in some parts of the region are showing signs of sclerotinia, blackleg and root rot. Late season weed growth is obvious in many crops and lodging is an issue in heavy crop stands. Harvest of winter cereals is continuing with approximately 15% of that crop combined.
Pastures are in fair to good condition. Recent rains and warm temperatures during the day promote continued growth, although growth is slowing with cooler temperatures at night. Rains did put a halt to any haying that was occurring. Native hay yields are average. Dugouts and water supplies are rated good to excessive.

Central Region

Seasonal to cooler temperatures, heavy dews, and rain showers slowed harvest progress in the Central Region. Much of the region received rains at the end of the week and through the weekend, resulting in accumulations of 25 to 50 mm of precipitation. Daytime temperatures have been cooler, while overnight temperatures dipped as low as 2.2°C in some areas of the region.
Rainfall over the past few weeks are causing concerns with quality loss in some swathed crops and are causing problems with delayed harvest. There are some reports of sprouting. Crop lodging has also occurred in the areas of heaviest rain. Road access is a concern in many areas due to rainfall, and field operations will become more of a challenge.
Harvest delays due to rainfall mean there is still winter wheat to be harvested; however, the majority of acres are complete. Winter wheat yields are averaging 50 to 70 bu/acre, with a range of 40 to 80 bu/acre. Quality is below average. Crop residue is baled and removed from harvested fields. Most of the fall rye is harvested, with yield reports of 50 to 60 bu/acre.
Majority of the barley in the eastern areas of the region is harvested, with yields ranging from 70 to 100 bu/acre. Spring wheat harvest continues, with early yields in the 45 to 80 bu/acre range, with good quality. Early protein reports range from 11 to 13.5%. Preharvest applications continue on the later seeded cereals. Oat yields range from 90 to 140 bu/acre with good test weights reported. Most fields are averaging 120 to 140 bu/acre. A higher presence of wild oats is noted.
Swathing of canola continues, with 75% and more down in the most advanced areas. A few fields are harvested, with most yields reported at 40 to 45 bu/acre. The range of yields is much broader, with highs of over 60 bu/acre, and lows of 20 bu/acre where heavy rains caused the most damage.
Soybeans are podding with most fields in eastern areas at the R6.5 to R7 stage, while western areas report R6 to R7. Many fields are turning yellow, and some leaf drop is occurring. Edible beans continue to mature; desiccation continues, especially where late season weed pressure could cause quality issues. Undercutting operations are beginning and some fields are harvested. No yield reports to date. Corn is variable; the most advanced fields are in the soft dough stage. Flowering is complete in most sunflower fields.
Late infections of rust are reported in oat fields in eastern parts of the region. Rust is also reported in sunflowers. Blackleg lesions are evident in many canola fields. Brown girdling root rot is reported in some fields, and other root rots are also present. Most lodging of prematurely ripened plants are caused by blackleg or root rots.  Some sclerotinia infection is evident in canola. A few reports of the start of head rot in sunflowers. Some leaf spotting is evident in soybeans, including brown spot, bacterial blight and downy mildew. Root rots are also present.
Low levels of soybean aphid continue to be found but not near economic threshold. Crop staging for many fields is past the point of economic impact. Beneficial predator insects continue to be found at high levels. Some spider mites are reported in the driest fields, on headlands. Rainfall and fungal pathogens are keeping those numbers in check. Control measures continue for grasshoppers where numbers and feeding injury warrant.
Rainfall has stalled second cut hay and greenfeed harvest. A return to good drying conditions would allow harvest operations to continue. Heavy dews are present in the mornings which are also impacting time needed for hay to dry prior to baling.  Roadway/ditch grass hay is baled. Wild hay along Lake Manitoba will be unharvestable after the recent rains. Moisture has helped pastures as there has been an improvement in conditions. Hay, pastures and some crop continues to be flooded along Lake Manitoba.

Eastern Region

Recorded rainfall in the Eastern Region ranged from 20 to 90 mm last week. Central parts of the region including Niverville and Steinbach received over 90 mm of rain in a short period of time, which caused flooding in fields and in urban centres. The rainy and cool weather hampered harvest progress for producers, and with the weekend’s rainfall field conditions across the region are saturated.
With favourable weather conditions, producers could resume harvest operations this week in northern parts of the region. Good progress could be made with spring cereal and canola harvesting, and canola swathing, if the precipitation would end. In central parts of the region, it will take longer for fields to dry as field conditions are saturated and there is standing water in low spots.
Insect and disease pressure are at lower levels. Warm, sunny weather will be needed in September to help with harvest and to help long season crops such as soybeans reach maturity. 
Hay fields and pastures are wet. Cattle are doing well on pasture with the recent rains. Pastures are greening up and producers started to graze hay fields. Winter feed supplies are adequate with a slight surplus in hay supplies. Availability of livestock water is rated as 100% adequate.

Interlake Region

Wet, cool conditions occurred throughout the Interlake Region last week. Scattered showers at the end of the week resulted in 15 to 35 mm of rainfall. Fields surrounding Arborg, Riverton, and Fisher Branch are too wet to travel across with equipment without leaving ruts. In areas, ditches have backed up into fields making harvesting crops impossible.
Winter wheat harvest is still ongoing with minimal acres still standing. Quality is diminishing as wheat seed is beginning to sprout. Spring cereals continue to mature as producers wait for better weather to start preharvest applications. Some spring cereals have been harvested with reports of good yields and good quality. Field peas in the north Interlake have not been harvested; past rainfalls have resulted in some fields starting to sprout. Canola fields continue to ripen as producers are not able to keep up to the acres due to weather. Many fields of canola will be straight cut due to missing the swath timing. Soybeans continue to handle the excess moisture conditions as they slowly start to mature.
Recent rains hampered haying progress in the region. Some second cut tame haying/ensiling is occurring; however, most of what is left to harvest is native hay land. Native or lowland hay fields are mostly too wet to travel on, either due to rain or flooding from lakes. Localized feed shortage is expected. Pastures remain productive under proper management; calves are being creep fed grain products on pasture.