Crop Report: Issue 17, August 24, 2015


Weekly Provincial Summary 

  • Good harvest progress was made in Manitoba throughout the week due to moderate temperatures and dry conditions. To date, yields of winter and spring wheat, barley, oats and canola are average to above average. Good quality is also noted.
  • However, a weather system passed through several areas of Manitoba over the weekend that resulted in a wide range of precipitation amounts and strong winds, along with hail in isolated areas.
  • Harvest operations are halted and will resume once weather and field conditions allow.
  • The precipitation will benefit later maturing crops, as well as hay fields and pastures.

Southwest Region 

In the Southwest Region, scattered showers in some areas slowed harvest progress through the week. Over the weekend, rainfall amounts ranged from 15 to 40 mm with some areas reporting as high as 75 mm.
The winter cereal harvest is nearing completion with generally average to slightly above average yields and quality. Spring cereals are in the final stages of maturity. Spring wheat and barley swathing and preharvest applications are on-going. Some initial harvesting operations have started and early spring wheat and barley yields are above long term averages.
Canola crop maturity has advanced with the earliest canola fields being swathed. Most reseeded fields are fully podded and beginning to dry down. Disease levels in both early and later seeded canola continue to be minimal. There are some difficulties in swathing due to lodging.
Most field peas have been desiccated or swathed with a significant percentage harvested; yields are above long term averages. Flax fields are maturing with no disease issues reported. Weed pressure is high in some flax fields.
Corn and sunflowers are doing well with no production issues currently noted. Soybean growth and maturity slowed over this past week with maturities in the full R5 (seed set) to early R6 (pod filling) stage of development. Some fields that have missed recent thundershowers are beginning to show symptoms of moisture stress and premature dry down.
Some areas in the region have seen a start to second cut alfalfa with yields average to above average and variable to good quality depending upon rainfall. Greenfeed silage is being harvested with average to above average yields reported. Pastures that were overgrazed in spring remain in poor condition due to reduced regrowth. Water levels in dugouts range from 75 to 90% of capacity, depending on the area.

Northwest Region

Harvest was interrupted mid-week when thunderstorm activity resulted in random rain showers through parts of the Northwest Region. Unsettled weather also continued through the weekend. Rainfall amounts ranged from 0 to over 25 mm depending on location. There was hail reported in the southern part of the Swan Valley late in the week. The resulting damage to field crops has not yet been determined. Soil moisture conditions are adequate in most parts of the region and excessive in some localized areas that received heavy downpours.
Wheat harvest is the furthest advanced in the region. Approximately 40% of the winter wheat crop has been harvested. It is estimated that 20% of the hard red wheat crop has been combined. Reported yields are extremely variable and range from 20 to 70 bu/acre. About 30% of the spring wheat crop is in the dough stage and 70% is mature. Preharvest treatments are nearing completion.
The canola crop continues to improve and develop rapidly. Approximately 90% of the canola crop is podded with about 10% mature.
Approximately 10% of the corn crop is tasseling, 80% is at the blister stage of growth and 10% is at the milk stage. In soybeans, 100% of the crop is podded. In flax, 95% of the flax crop is at the boll stage of growth and 5% is mature.
Rain over the weekend has halted haying and silage operations. Second cut harvest is seeing average yields and native hay is also being harvested. Some late seeded annual crops intended for grain are being considered for silage harvest or greenfeed. The recent rainfall was welcome for pasture growth. Water supplies are adequate.

Central Region

In the Central Region, moderate to cool temperatures for the week allowed for good harvest progress. However, rainfall impacted the whole region on the weekend with precipitation amounts ranging from almost none along the south central part of the region to as much as 85 mm on the eastern side. The precipitation was welcome for the later maturing crops like soybeans and corn, including some acres that were showing symptoms of moisture stress. However, wet field conditions in some areas will impact harvest operations. Fields in the northern part of the region are soft and more difficult to access with machinery. Strong winds were also reported during the day on Sunday but there are no reports to date of significant crop damage.
Cereal crop harvest has progressed. Wheat harvest is reported at 40 to 80% complete with the Red River Valley being the most advanced. Harvest of winter wheat and fall rye is almost complete. Yields of winter wheat are reported in the 55 to 90 bu/acre range; average is expected to be in the 65 to 75 bu/acre range. Spring wheat harvest continues, with higher yields in the general purpose/feed wheat varieties. Quality is generally good, but variability is noted due to lodging. Red spring wheat protein contents are ranging from 12 to 15%, while general purpose/feed wheat ranges from 11 to 13%. Harvest management applications continue in spring wheat fields.
There is a wide range in canola development due to the varied seeding dates. Combining of canola is well underway in the Red River Valley with as much as 40% of the crop harvested. Most canola fields on the escarpment are just being swathed as a result of late spring frost and reseeding. Early yield reports are variable, with the best looking fields yielding 40 to 50 bu/acre, while fields that struggled are as low as 30 bu/acre.
Sunflowers are still flowering; monitoring continues for insects. Sunflower beetle numbers are low, while lygus bug numbers are at threshold levels or higher, and most fields are sprayed. Corn has benefitted from the recent rain. Most soybean fields are finished flowering. Some fields in the Red River Valley are showing increasing symptoms due to excess moisture and subsequent root rots. Conversely, fields on the west side of the escarpment were showing signs of moisture stress and should benefit from the weekend rain. Some of the earliest seeded fields are seeing leaf colour change. Reports of soybean aphids have not increased, and most fields are well below threshold level; only the odd field required an insecticide application.
Edible beans are starting to turn indicating advanced maturity stage and some fields are being cut. Pea fields are mature and many are already harvested. Harvesting of some fields is being delayed due to wet field conditions.
Some fields have been cultivated, following harvest.
Second cut hay harvest is mostly complete. The wettest areas in the northwest part of the region report poor quality second cut; some is not advanced enough to take another cut and producers are waiting to see if there will be enough growth to warrant a second cut. Low lying areas and sloughs are being cut for feed when producers are able to access them. Pastures are rated good to fair.

Eastern Region

In the Eastern Region, weather early in the week was mostly sunny with cooler temperatures. Warmer weather returned as the week progressed. However, on Friday and into the weekend, thunderstorms resulted in precipitation ranging from 25 mm to 178 mm, with the most impacted areas north of Caliento to Sandilands, east of Vita and Beausejour. Oakbank, Stead and Winnipeg Beach areas also received hail.
Winter wheat harvesting is 90% complete overall with most fields in central and northern districts completed with an average yield of 70 bu/acre and average quality. Spring wheat harvest is 50% complete with the greatest progress in central and northern districts and an average yield of 60 bu/acre with average quality. Thus far, reported protein levels range from 13 to 15% and low fusarium damaged kernel levels. About 25% of the oat crop is harvested with an average yield of 110 bu/acre with average quality. About 10% of the canola is harvested with an average yield of 55 bu/acre with average quality. Swathing or preharvest herbicide applications in canola are in full swing as the crop is maturing quickly.
Soybeans are primarily in the R6 growth stage. Sunflowers are in R6 to R7 growth stages with corn in the blister (R2) growth stage.
Pasture conditions are rated at 80% good, 10% fair and 10% poor. Haying is in full swing with 90% of the greenfeed and native hay harvested. Some producers are still dealing with wet hay fields. Some spring cereal crops that were recently damaged by hail are being baled for feed. Currently, hay supplies are rated at 20% surplus and 80% adequate. Straw, greenfeed and feed grain supplies are all rated as adequate. Availability of livestock water is also adequate.

Interlake Region

Cool, dry conditions were experienced throughout the Interlake Region early last week. During Friday evening and Saturday morning, heavy rainfall occurred. Rainfall amounts varied throughout the Interlake Region, ranging from 15 to 80 mm; Eriksdale, Selkirk and Teulon received 50 to 80 mm of rainfall during the weekend. Pea sized hail was also reported in the Teulon area; shattering in canola occurred as a result. For areas that received heavy rainfall, field travel will be impacted and will slow down the progress of harvest.
Harvest is estimated at 10 to 15% complete. Harvesting of spring cereals and canola fields occurred during week. Reports of spring wheat yields ranging from 50 to 75 bu/acre with protein levels around 14.0%. Oat yields range from 100 to 115 bu/acre. Canola yields range from 35 to 40 bu/acre.
Harvesting of most forage grass seed fields is complete. Soybeans are in the R6 growth stage, corn is in the blister (R2) stage and sunflowers in the R6 to R7 stage.
Cooler temperatures and scattered showers brought a reprieve from the grasshopper pressure in pastures and weevil damage in hay fields. Pastures are holding out fairly well. Greenfeed and silage harvest is in full swing with average yields.