Crop Report: Issue 10, July 4, 2017


Weekly Provincial Summary 

• Precipitation amounts are below average for much of the province.  Crops in the Southwest Region and the western part of the Central region would benefit from moisture.
• Crops in most regions are in good to excellent condition.  Warmer temperatures are improving growth of warm season crops.
• Insect and disease pressure remains low in field crops.  Fungicide applications are starting for fusarium head blight in spring wheat and sclerotinia in canola. 
• First cut haying operations are well underway.  Yields are expected to be average to below average.  Alfalfa weevil has been reported and is reducing hay quality in some areas. 

Southwest Region

Temperatures were near normal in most of the region. Scattered showers and thunderstorms brought 5 to 55 mm of precipitation throughout the region, with strong winds in some areas.  With the exception of Pierson and Shoal Lake, which received 55 and 28 mm of rain fall respectively, most areas are well below normal precipitation at this stage.  Crops could use moisture in most areas. 
Winter cereals are now fully headed and maturing well. Most fields received a fungicide application. No reports of any disease issues.
Approximately 45% of spring cereals are heading and producers have started fungicide application for fusarium head blight. Later seeded spring cereals are close to the booting stage. There are some isolated reports of rust in spring wheat.
Canola crops are somewhat variable throughout the region.  Approximately 40% of canola has started flowering and rest of fields are bolting or at cabbaging stage. Fungicide application for Sclerotinia will start soon in early seeded fields. Early seeded flax is starting to flower.
The majority of the soybean crop is at the third to fourth trifoliate stage with no reports of any disease issues. Weed control measures in soybean are nearing completion in most fields. Some fields are still showing the signs of IDC, especially in saline areas.
Peas are looking good at this point and most of the crop at flowering stage. There are some reports of aphids in peas.
Sunflower and corn are still in the vegetative stage and taking advantage of this hot and humid weather.
Bertha armyworm counts are low in most areas.
First cut of hay is well underway. Yields are below average for the older stands and average for new stands. Quality is good. Silage and green feed crops are advancing well. Pasture growth is variable due to moisture conditions. Dugouts are 85% full.

Northwest Region

There was precipitation throughout the Northwest Region ranging from 17 mm in The Pas, up to 25 mm in parts of the Roblin/Dauphin/Ste Rose area and 4 to 10 mm in the Swan River Valley. Warmer temperatures through the weekend resulted in good crop growth. Soil moisture conditions have generally improved throughout the region with the exception of The Pas where fields remain saturated.
For the most part, crops throughout the region are advancing nicely and are in good to excellent condition, with the exception of crops recovering from excessive moisture and flooded soil conditions. There is a lot of variability in crop stage within the region. Generally 35% of the spring wheat crop is elongating and 20 to 50% is heading. Canola growth has progressed rapidly over the past week. Later seeded canola is at the rosette stage, while approximately 60% of canola is bolting and 25 to 50% is flowering. Approximately 30% of field peas are blooming. Most soybeans are in the vegetative stage with some fields starting to flower.
Better weather this week allowed for completion of herbicide treatments where needed. Fungicide applications are taking place on peas where disease risk exists. Reports of insect and disease damage are limited.
Dairy first cut harvest was completed last week and haying for beef operations has begun. Alfalfa is now in bloom with haying operations beginning. Early yield reports are indicating an average harvest, although many producers are predicting lower than average due to cool, drier conditions early in the spring. Alfalfa weevil pressure continues in the region with the exception of the Swan River area. Corn silage is doing well and the expected warmer growing conditions will further advance growth. Pastures are in good condition with the exception of The Pas where pastures and hay lands remain wet.

Central Region

Although overnight lows in single digits continued into this past week, temperatures have gradually warmed up.  Cloudy conditions and intermittent showers continued to hamper field activity. Rainfall amounts varied throughout the region, with trace amounts in many areas to as much as 37 mm in Manitou.  Fungicides are being applied by air where soil conditions are wet. Western areas that received minimal rain could use more moisture.   Crops in areas with higher soil moisture showing signs of excess moisture stress are seeing some recovery.  Precipitation for the season is generally lower than normal, but crops are affected by the residual moisture from the wet conditions of the previous year. The Crystal City area saw some re-seeding, as a result of the June 9 hail storm. 
The majority of cereals are growing well. Most wheat fields are in late flag to full flower.  Barley and wheat are being staged for fusarium headblight fungicide timing; most applications will wrap up this week in more advanced eastern areas. Stripe rust has been found in western areas. Oats are in the flag leaf to early panicle emergence. Some fungicide applications are being made for crown rust prevention. Cereal leaf beetle is reported in the Notre Dame area.
Canola fields range from early bolting to full flower. Fields are being staged for sclerotinia fungicide timing. Many fields, particularly the earliest seeded canola, are stagey due to uneven emergence.  Some fields have yellowed/purpling areas due to environmental stresses, although improvement is being seen with the warmer temperatures.  Low levels of blackleg are reported in fields that are commonly subject to early season infections.
Bertha armyworm monitoring continues; numbers are increasing, but remain relatively low.
Corn is in the V3 to V8 stage.  Colour and growth has improved with the warmer temperatures.
Sunflowers are in the V8 to bud stage; flax ranges from 15 to 30 cm tall and buds are forming; peas are flowering and have received fungicide applications.  Iron deficiency chlorosis is showing up in flax.
Most soybeans range from the first to fourth trifoliate; and a number of fields are in the R1 stage of first flower. Second herbicide applications continue in fields that haven’t reached the R1 stage.  Warmer temperatures have improved growth, and significant improvement in colour is seen in many fields. 
Fall seeded crops in western areas with good winter survival are growing well; flowering is complete, and fields are advancing through the milk to the dough stage.   
Weed growth had been somewhat limited by lack of rainfall, but recent rains will bring on new flushes.  Leafy spurge is noticeable along many roadsides.
Forage growth in pasture and hayfields has improved.   Yields are expected to be lower than normal as stand height is shorter than normal.  Rainfall and heat has allowed for good pasture grass growth.
First cut alfalfa is estimated at 1.25 tonnes/acre; alfalfa/grass at 1.5 tonnes/acre.  Alfalfa weevil is being found in hay fields.  Showers have interfered with baling. Livestock water supply is adequate.

Eastern Region

There was a variety of weather this week with cold, rainy/drizzle filled days mixed with warmer, partly cloudy days. Producers are not concerned about excess moisture, but consistent sunshine and warmer temperatures would be welcome to speed up development of warm season crops.   The condition of cool season crops is good to excellent. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region and were rated as 100% adequate. Soil moisture conditions of hay and pasture land were rated at 90% adequate to 10% short.
Second pass herbicides applications are wrapping up in corn. Second pass on soybeans will be in full swing by the end of the upcoming week.  Approximately 50% of canola acres have received a fungicide application. Most oats and all spring wheat flag leaf fungicide applications are complete. Fungicide applications for FHB on spring wheat have begun and will be widespread during the next week if weather conditions allow. Some spring wheat fields have uneven crop development making the staging of FHB fungicide timing more difficult.
Significant spraying progress was made last week in spite of some days of unsuitable weather.
Early seeded wheat is starting to flower with the remainder in the head emergence stage. Early seeded canola is in 30 to 40% bloom. Late seeded canola is in early flower with a few very late seeded fields bolting. Corn is in the V5 to V7 stage. Soybeans are ranging from third trifoliate to the most advanced plants beginning R1 late last week.  Nodules are apparent on most plants, and evidence of N fixation is apparent in the most mature fields.   Pace of crop development sped up this week due to the warmer weather. Alleviation of IDC symptoms gradually continued on many fields.  Foliar and stem disease levels are low, but root rots have causes moderate to severe stand loss in a few fields.  Stand loss seemed to be most severe in fields with tight rotations and poor seed quality. 
Sunflowers are at V10 to early bud. Low disease and insect pest levels continue to be observed.
With last week’s rain, producers had a hard time putting up hay, but a fair amount of hay was put up last week and the weekend. Pastures are doing well with the rains last week. Hay fields and pasture are in 80% Good to 20% fair condition. Availability of livestock water was rated as adequate.

Interlake Region

Moderate temperatures and scattered showers were experienced throughout the Interlake last week. Rainfall amounts varied widely with the largest rainfall amounts occurring in the Poplarfield and Broad Valley areas. The highest amounts were at Fisherton with 29 mm and Narcisse with 32 mm. Soil moisture conditions are generally adequate with a few areas in the Interlake with excess soil moisture. Lake levels are very high, however the water table has subsided considerably since last fall.
Spraying continues throughout the week as producers have started applying fungicides to spring wheat to suppress fusarium head blight. Spring cereals range from the 4 to 6 leaf stage to heading. Winter cereals fields have finished flowering and are mostly at the milk stage.
Canola stage varies from seedling to 30 to 40% flowering.  Fungicide applications are ongoing in canola.
Soybeans and corn developed slowly due to the cooler temperatures.  Corn ranges from V6 to V12. Soybeans and sunflowers are in the vegetative stage. Soybeans are starting to recover from iron deficiency chlorosis.
Timothy seed fields have mostly flowered. Alfalfa seed fields continue to flower and producers continue the bee release this week. Insecticide and fungicide applications are ongoing in these crops.
Haying has been hampered by periodic rains preventing hay from drying/curing down. Alfalfa weevil larvae eating leaves and ongoing maturity of the alfalfa plants are seriously reducing hay quality. Native and grass hay yields continue to increase. Grasshopper damage has been minimal. Pastures have been holding out reasonably well. Biting flies are bothering livestock. There is adequate drinking water for livestock.