Crop Report: Issue 20, September 15, 2014

  • Harvest progress is advancing slowly due to unseasonable cool and damp weather.
  • A light frost occurred, causing concern for damage to immature soybeans and canola.
  • Yields for cereals and canola are average with some quality concerns due to the prolonged wet harvest.
  • Winter wheat seeding and fall field work is limited with the late harvest.


Southwest Region

There were isolated rain showers during the week, with some severe localized thunderstorms reported with 15 to 20 mm rain in parts of southwest area and north of Highway #45. There was marginal harvest progress over this past week with well below normal temperatures, light showers and generally poor drying conditions. Frost has occurred, but was minor and generally of short duration. Minus 1o to -2oC for a few hours in most of Southwest region last night.

Some peas, winter wheat, spring wheat and canola are harvested. Pea yields are average with some fields well below average due to the early season root rot issues. Winter wheat yields are ranging from 45 to 65 bu/acre with moderate levels of fusarium in the 2 to 3% range. Initial spring wheat yields are 55 to 65 bu/acre range with good quality and low fusarium levels. Early canola yields range from 40 to 50 bu/acre. Late canola fields are still green with producers swathing to minimize damage from potential frost.
The soybean crop saw only slight advancement in maturity over this past week due to the below normal temperatures. The majority of the soybean crop is in the very late R6.5 to R7 stage of development with pod and full seed development occurring, with some browning and yellowing of pods on the lower main stem. Some earlier maturing varieties are close to R8, approximately 5 to 15 days from full maturity.
Corn and sunflowers are also in need of heat to reach full maturity.
Winter wheat seeding is minimal to none at this date, mostly occurring on the unseeded acres.
Foxtail barley is a major weed issue this fall and present on most unseeded acres and moisture stressed areas. Proper management will be needed to provide good control.
The second cut of alfalfa is in mid to full bloom. Some producers started cutting, but most are waiting for a break in the weather before harvesting. Silage operations in barley crops are ongoing with average yields reported. Much of the silage corn is in the dough stage of development. Pastures improved with recent rains, but some frost and cool temperatures are limiting the amount of growth expected. Dugouts remain at capacity.

Northwest Region

Weather over the past week brought wind, rain, frost and harvest weather to parts of the region. The amounts varied across crop districts. The highest recorded rainfall was in the southern part of the region including Ethelbert, Grandview and Roblin where rainfall amounts ranged between 2 and 3 mm. Frost was recorded at several locations including Dauphin, Roblin, Ste. Rose and Swan River, where temperatures ranged from -0.1 to -0.7oC.
In the Roblin and Swan River areas, some combining occurred, with much of the crop harvested testing tough and put on aeration to dry it to safe storage levels. Approximately, 95% of the wheat crop is ripe, but wheat harvest varies from less than 5% combined in The Pas to 70% in Swan Valley and 10% in Roblin, Dauphin, Ste Rose/McCreary areas. Yield and quality are reported as average.
About 60% of the canola crop is swathed and less than 5% combined. The majority of the soybean crop has completed blooming and is podded. Harvest of the pea crop is complete, with average yields. Most harvest operations in the southern part of the region are stopped because of rain over the weekend, contributing to the already wet field conditions. The weekend rains missed Swan Valley where producers were able to continue with harvest. There has been little to no seeding of winter wheat or fall rye in the region mostly because of the late harvest of this year’s crop.
Haying concluded for most of the native hay harvest due to high water levels and saturated fields. Some very limited third cut alfalfa fields are being harvested. Some producers are still waiting for late seeded cereal crops to mature for greenfeed. Pastures are slowing in growth and many producers are starting to supplement feed on pastures.

Central Region

Cooler to seasonal temperatures along with heavy dews and rain showers kept harvest at a slow pace this week. Rainfall was the highest in the Portage area with 15 to 25 mm reported. Most other parts of the region received very little amounts, only delaying harvest for a day or two. Frost hit the western side of the region hardest on Friday morning with temperatures dipping to -3oC. Lighter and patchy frost was reported in the valley, causing some leaf burn to the corn crop. Much of the cereals and oilseed crops were mature enough and were not impacted. There are reports from around the region on concerns with quality loss in swathed and standing crops with reports of sprouting, in both cereals and canola.
Weather conditions, although not dry, allowed for harvest to advance slowly during the week. Much of the cereal grain was harvested tough to damp and requires aeration or drying for longer term storage.
Winter wheat harvest is complete, with yields averaging 50 to 70 bu/acre, ranging from 40 to 80 bu/acre. Quality is disappointing mostly due to higher levels of fusarium. Fusarium impact is far less evident in the spring cereals. Much of the cereal harvest is close to complete in the valley, whereas progress is behind by a few days on the escarpment. Fall rye is harvested, with yield reports of 50 to 60 bu/acre. Barley in the east was harvested, with yields ranging from 70 to 100 bu/acre; western areas report 55% complete. Spring wheat harvest continues, with early yields in the 45 to 80 bu/acre range, with good quality, although some is downgraded due to mildew and sprouting. Early protein reports range from 11 to 13.5%, and are generally higher than last year. General purpose wheat is yielding well, in the 80 bu/acre range and higher. Oats have been harvested, with yield reports of 90 to 140 bu/acre, with good weight. Most are averaging 120 to 140 bu/acre. Higher presence of wild oats is noted.
Swathing of canola continues, and all but the latest seeded is swathed. Harvest continues, with some good yields reported, most in the 40 to 45 bu/acre range and higher. A number of fields are coming in at 50 to 60 bu/acre. Where heavy rains caused the most damage, yields are lower at 15 to 20 bu/acre.
The majority of soybean fields are seeing leaf colour change with most fields in eastern areas up to R7.5 stage, while western areas are close behind. The first soybeans have been harvested. Frost was reported in the valley, but should not be damaging as crops were mature. Light to moderate damage will have been caused on soybeans on the western side of the region as they were less mature. Leaf spotting has been found in soybeans, including brown spot, bacterial blight and downy mildew. Root rots are also present.
Edible bean harvest continues with good quality. Seed size of kidney and cranberry beans are reported to be large and pick is quite low. Undercutting operations continue. Corn is variable; with most in the dent stage. Sunflowers are mostly at R7 to R8 with the earliest fields approaching R9. Rust is reported in sunflowers as well as sclerotinia head rot.
Field work of harvested fields is progressing closely after crops are harvested with good topsoil moisture conditions. Limited acres of winter cereals are being seeded due to the late harvest.
Pastures are in good shape. Adequate amounts of hay, straw and greenfeed reported in the area, with very limited amounts of surplus.
Late forage harvest continues and roadway/ditch grass hay is baled. Corn silage may start shortly.
Wild hay along Lake Manitoba will be unharvestable after the recent rains. Hay, pasture and some crop is flooded along Lake Manitoba.

Eastern Region

Recorded rainfall in the Eastern Region ranged from 0 to 10 mm last week. The weather was generally cooler, with light showers throughout most of the region. Topsoil moisture level on the majority of annual crop land is rated as adequate.
Areas of the region received light frosts, occurring on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings with the most severe event being the first night.
Harvest was slow last week, with most cereals harvested coming off tough.  Due to frost, some canola is being swathed to minimize frost-induced pod shelling.
Spring wheat yields are averaging 60 to 80 bu/acre and canola averaging 30 to 50 bu/acre. Soybeans are in the R7 stage with leaves dropping and pods starting to turn. Corn is in the dent stage. Sunflowers are in the R7 stage with the back of the head starting to yellow.
Winter wheat seeding is under way with some producers making good progress late last week and over the weekend. More winter wheat seeding will occur this week as the canola harvest progresses and stubble fields become available for planting.
With light frosts in the region producers are checking for nitrates in greenfeed. Haying is in slow motion due to the light rains. Pastures are doing well with the recent rains as the grass keeps on growing. Cows are also starting to graze hay fields. Feed stocks are rated as adequate to a slight surplus.
Availability of livestock water was rated as 100% adequate across the Eastern region.

Interlake Region

Cool temperatures along with scattered showers were experienced throughout the region last week. Frost was also reported throughout the region with temperatures getting below 0oC for 1 to 2 hours. In isolated areas temperature did go below -1oC for several hours.
Producers were able to continue harvest last week as rain showers did not allow crops to dry. Harvest progress through the region is close to 40% complete. Fall tillage is estimated at 5 to 10% complete. Spring cereals continue to get harvested tough due the lack of warm temperatures and low humidity levels. Spring wheat grades are ranging anywhere from #1 to 3, due to mildew, fusarium and in some case sprouting. Wheat yields are ranging anywhere from 45 to 65 bu/acre, oats 80 to 110 bu/acre, barley 60 to 70 bu/acre, and canola at 25 to 45 bu/acre. Alfalfa seed fields started to get desiccated as plants reach maturity. Soybeans are starting to show color change and leaf drop as they reach maturity. Winter wheat seeding is minimal, due to the late stages of canola and the delay of harvest. With the recent frost events that occurred last week it’s still too early to determine how severe crop damage is in green canola fields, corn and soybeans.
Frosts on two nights has some producer scrambling to get their green feed cut for fear of high nitrate levels. Fly pressure on livestock is diminished due to cooler temperatures. There is very little supplemental feeding for cattle on pastures except creep feeding for calves. Water levels in drains, ditches, low areas are slowly subsiding from recent large rains. Many hayfields and cropland are still too wet to travel on with equipment.