Crop Report: Issue 23, October 6, 2014

  • Cool, windy and wet weather conditions impacted harvest progress over the past week in Manitoba.
  • Some producers continue to harvest crops at higher moisture content, requiring artificial drying or aeration to achieve safe storage moisture levels.
  • Fall field work, including fall fertilizer applications, tillage, baling of straw, and soil testing is on-going. 

Southwest Region

Cool, damp weather slowed harvest progress this past week in the Southwest Region. Rainfall amounts varied, ranging from 10 to 25 mm. Producers got back into the fields on the weekend; however, reports are that most grain was damp with cereals in the 18 to 20% moisture range and canola in the 12 to 15% moisture range. There are some reports of blowing canola swaths due to high winds over the weekend.

The cereal harvest is estimated at 60 to 70% complete, with individual producer’s progress above and below the regional average. Quality to date is generally good although recent rains, heavy dews and morning frosts are likely to result in lower quality in the cereals.
Canola harvest is 30 to 35% done. Yields remain average to slightly above average in the early crops but declining yields in the later seeded crops. Green seed issues are relatively minor.
The majority of soybean acres have reached full maturity with yield reductions expected in the later maturing varieties due to the earlier light frost events. Some very early harvest results look promising.
There are below average acres planted to winter cereals due to the late harvest.
Cool, damp conditions also limited the amount of feed put up over the past week. Straw is being baled. More reports of feed for sale as producers start to determine needs for the winter. Silage operations in barley and corn are ongoing with average yields reported.

Northwest Region

Unsettled weather conditions prevailed throughout the Northwest Region over the past week resulting in slow harvest progress. General rains and showers at the start of the week contributed to already wet field conditions in localized areas of the region and continued to challenge producers in the Ste. Rose, McCreary and Dauphin areas where a number of fields are unable to support harvest equipment. Windy conditions over the weekend caused some canola swaths to move slightly. The Pas received snow Sunday night.
The wheat harvest is estimated at 70% complete, with a range from approximately 30% combined in the McCreary area to 99% in the Swan Valley. Reported wheat yields range between 40 and 70 bu/acre of average quality grain.
About 85% of the canola crop is swathed and 35 to 40% is combined. Reported canola yields range from 20 bu/acre to over 40 bu/acre. The quality of canola harvested to date is reported to be good.
The majority of the soybean and flax acres are still standing with harvest of soybeans getting underway in the Ste Rose and Roblin areas and to a lesser degree in the Swan River area. Harvest of field peas is complete with an average yield of 40 bu/acre and good quality. Although combining was slow, producers were able to carry out tillage operations in many parts of the region. A couple of weeks of favorable harvest weather would allow producers to finish this year’s harvest.
Greenfeed harvest is continuing, with dry down continuing to be slow. Some second cut alfalfa remains on fields waiting for proper drying. Cows are still on pasture; however, with frost in many areas growth has slowed and supplemental feeding is occurring.

Central Region

Cool, cloudy weather and showers made for sporadic harvest conditions, and progress was often only an hour or two at a time. Shorter days and poor drying conditions were the normal. Accumulations ranged from 3 to 15 mm. Snow squalls were reported in the southeast on Friday, and hail hit south of Manitou on Saturday. Significant damage was done to standing canola, but extent of damage was limited by the lower numbers of acres left to be harvested. Some reports of light frost over the weekend; a killing frost has yet to occur.
Harvest is reported as 70 to 85% complete, dependent on field conditions and percentage of longer season crops. The northwest part of the region lags behind due to late seeding and wet conditions throughout the growing season.
Little progress was made in the remaining cereals as focus has shifted to canola and soybeans. Cereal grain quality has declined, with downgrading factors including sprouting, mildew, fusarium damaged kernels and ergot. Yields are above average. Most cereal acres are harvested.
Canola harvest continues with good yields and quality reported; yields are in the 40 to 45 bu/acre range and higher. Where heavy rains caused the most damage, yields are lower at 15 to 20 bu/acre. Quality is good. Most canola acres are harvested.
Soybean harvest continues in all parts of the region. Yields are reported at 25 to 55 bu/acre, with an average yield of 35 bu/acre. Later seeded and longer maturing varieties have benefited from the late season rain. Moisture ranges from 12 to 15%. Some green beans are evident in harvested samples, especially where light frost occurred several weeks ago; no significant concerns at this point.
Edible bean harvest continues. Desiccation of sunflowers has taken place. Grain corn harvest is at least ten days to two weeks away, and a killing frost would be of benefit. Yields are expected to be average to below average. A few early acres were harvested at high moisture. Silage corn is being chopped and early yield reports are good.
Fewer acres of winter cereals have been seeded, in part due to the later harvest. Acres seeded are emerging well with excellent soil moisture conditions.
Fall field work is progressing. Early soil test reports indicate low nitrate levels and declining phosphorous levels. While the focus has been on tillage, fertilizer application has also started. Ammonia applications continue, as do phosphate applications in preparation for next year’s soybean crop.
Greenfeed, second and third cut hay is still being harvested in the northwest part of the region. Quality is impacted by the rainy weather. Straw baling continues, as does corn silage harvest and forage testing. Growth on pastures is slowing. Most producers in southern areas of the region expect to have adequate hay supplies, with some small amounts of surplus reported. Some producers in the northwest area face less than adequate supplies.

Eastern Region

Recorded rainfall in the Eastern Region ranged from 6 to 30 mm this past week with some eastern parts of the region receiving up to 50 mm. The weather returned to damp, cool and windy conditions that slowed harvest progress across the region. There were also many days with intermittent drizzle that made harvesting difficult. Harvest progress was made but it was stop and start for producers. Monitoring of crops continued to try and harvest as dry as possible to avoid the need for artificial drying. There was good progress on soybeans in spite of the weather.
Spring wheat yields are reported in the 60 to 80 bu/acre range, oat yields are averaging 100 bu/acre and higher, and canola yields are in the 30 to 50 bu/acre range. Soybeans are in the R8 stage with 95% brown pods with early yields reported at 25 to 35 bu/acre. Corn is progressing with fields reaching physiological maturity. Sunflowers are in the R9 (mature) stage.
Winter wheat fields are in the two to early three leaf stage.
Pastures are still doing well as some producers are using regrowth on hays fields. Winter feed stocks are rated as adequate with a 20% surplus for hay stocks.

Interlake Region

Cool temperatures followed by rain delayed harvest throughout the Interlake Region. Average rainfall ranged from 18 to 25 mm. Frosts have been occurring every other day.
Harvest is estimated to be 60% complete. Scattered fields of spring cereals can still be found throughout the region. Late seeded oats are still in the milk and soft dough stages in areas and will probably have to be cut for animal feed. Canola swaths or standing canola fields remain to be harvested. Limited soybean harvest took place. Corn silage harvest started last week with no reports of yield to date. Fall tillage is also off to a slow start with many acres still too wet to work.
Feeding on pastures is general, except for those producers that are grazing hayfields or stockpiled forages.