Crop Report: Issue 20, September 11, 2017


Weekly Provincial Summary 

  • Harvest continues across the province, with spring cereal harvest nearing completion in most areas.
  • Harvest has started in soybeans, flax, and silage corn.  
  • Warm, dry conditions continue to quickly advance soybeans, corn, and sunflowers. 
  • Dry conditions continue across the province, dry dugouts have been reported.  

    Southwest Region
    Normal to above normal temperatures were experienced last week with no frost reported to date.  Most areas of the region did not receive any precipitation; a few locations had trace amounts.
    Field work has been limited due to dry topsoil conditions. Post-harvest herbicide application is on hold until rains stimulates weed growth.
    Spring cereal harvest is close to complete south of Highway 1, and 60 to 80% complete north of Highway 1.  Yields are reported to be average to above average with good quality.
    Canola harvest is 40 to 50% complete with good quality and yields ranging from 35 to 45 bu/acre.  Swathing is approaching completion for late seeded canola fields, and some pre harvest applications continue for straight cut canola.
    Field peas harvest is complete with yields above the long-term average.
    Flax continues to dry down, and desiccation is beginning.   
    Soybeans are in R6.5 to 7 with early maturing varieties approaching R8 or 95% brown seed pod.
    Sunflowers are in R7 to early R8 stage.
    Corn silage harvesting has begun with above average yields. Grain corn is at the R5 stage.
    Pastures are drying up and producers have started to move cattle to harvested fields. Second cut alfalfa has been completed with average yields. Some calves are being weaned and sold. Green feed silage continues to be harvested with average yields being reported. Dugouts are at approximately 50% of capacity.
    Northwest Region
    Warm weather this past week with no rainfall allowed for good harvest progress throughout the region. There were no reports of frost this week. Crops are generally in good to excellent condition with the exception of areas suffering from extremes of moisture where crops are in fair to poor condition.
    Spring wheat harvest is mostly finished in the Roblin area, with about 75% complete around Swan River, and 70 to 80% complete in the Dauphin and Ste. Rose areas. Yields are reported to be 75 to 80 bu/acre around Roblin and 60 to 90bu/acre around Swan River.
    Approximately 50% of canola fields have been harvested around Swan River, 75% around Roblin, and 50 to 80% of canola combined in the McCreary, Dauphin, and Ste. Rose areas.  Yields are reported to be 50 bu/acre around Swan River, and 50 to 60 bu/acre around Roblin.
    Soybeans and fababeans are approaching maturity with generally all fields still standing. Pea yields range from 60 to 80 bu/acre in the Roblin and Swan River areas. The flax crop is 50 to 75% ripe with the remainder in the boll stage. Combining of winter wheat and fall rye is complete.
    Tame haying season is complete with the exception of second cut alfalfa that will be cut after a killing frost. There are reports of light frosts around Rorketon showing effects on alfalfa fields. Native hay harvest is wrapping up with lots of bulk as producers are haying areas that were unreachable in previous years. Native hay harvest has been earlier, but quality may still be questionable due to increased unpalatable species content from previous year’s excess moisture. Corn silage fields are in the milk to early dent stage.
Central Region
Last week had sunny, warm, and windy conditions with minimal amounts of rain. No frost reported. Soil moisture conditions continue to deteriorate in annual cropland, hay, and pasture.
Spring cereal harvest is 85 to 100% complete. Early yield reports: hard red spring wheat 55 to 100 bu/acre; northern hard red wheat 80 to 100 bu; barley 75 to 120 bu; oats 110 to 180 bu. Quality, test weight and falling numbers are generally reported as excellent. Protein in wheat is variable, generally average to below average.
Swathing of canola is complete. Western areas report 75% of canola harvested, while eastern areas are 99% complete. Canola yields range from 40 to 65 bu/acre with very good quality. Moisture levels lower than normal.
Flax harvest has begun; early yield reports 27 to 32 bu/acre. Straw is being baled and moved.
Corn is advancing rapidly with warmer weather conditions. Most fields are in the dough to dent stage, with some early varieties approaching physiological maturity.
Field pea harvest is complete, with yields ranging from 50 to 90 bu.
Soybean harvest has started in some early maturing varieties. Stands are good, but dry conditions have resulted in some upper pods not filling. Early yield reports range from 28 to 35 bu/acre; seed size is either small, or a mix of large and small. Moisture levels in harvested seed are lower than normal. Some white mould has been found in fields with dense crop canopies.
The first of the edible beans have been harvested. Early yield reports in the first few fields are 1800 to 2000 lbs pintos, and cranberries 2000+ lbs. Undercutting continues.
Backs of sunflower heads are yellow; bracts are starting to brown. Some basal stalk rot is evident.
Seed and market potato harvest continues; processing potato harvest is delayed a few days until temperatures cool.
Post harvest harrowing and cultivating operations continue, but in many cases are limited due to dry topsoil. Scraping for drain maintenance is underway; good progress being made.
Straw is being baled and stacked/hauled off fields; yields are above average.
Second cut hay is complete. Yields are below average due to dry conditions. Some fields were browning due to the lack of moisture. First cut was better than expected but was still slightly below average. Wild hay harvest continues. Overall hay quality is better this year – little to no rain during harvest.
Pastures continue to deteriorate. Pastures on lighter textured soils, and overstocked pastures are browning off, with no regrowth. Rain is needed to stimulate pasture growth and support grazing animals. Supplemental feeding is expected to start soon. Livestock water supply continues to decline; 90% reported as adequate. Rainfall is needed to replenish dugouts.
Eastern Region
Temperatures were seasonal to below seasonal for most of the week, with above normal temperatures on the weekend. Rainfall accumulation was less than 7 mm across the region. 
Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region were rated as 75% adequate and 25% short.   Soil moisture conditions on hay and pasture land were rated as 10% adequate, 40% short, and 50% very short.  The driest soil conditions are in the southern districts.
Spring wheat harvest is ongoing with approximately 95% complete in the region, and yields in the 65 bu/acre range.  Protein levels range from 11 to 13%.   Oat yields are reported to be in the 150 bu/acre range. Canola harvest is ongoing with approximately 75% of the crop harvested. Yields are in the 45 to 55 bu/ac range. Some winter wheat is being seeded in the region.
Soybeans are in the R7 growth stage with leaf drop and pod colour change very apparent. A few fields are in R8 and drying down. Harvest was attempted in some fields over the weekend but did not continue. Sunflowers were in the R8 growth stage and remained in overall good condition. Tillage and fall fertilizer application were also ongoing last week.
Pastures are drying up fast with more producers started to feed on pasture. Some dugouts have very little water left in them while some have gone dry. Producers are starting to move cows to areas with a better water source.

Livestock winter feed supplies were rated as 20% surplus and 80% adequate for hay and straw and adequate for greenfeed and feed grains. Pasture conditions were rated as 30% fair, 50% poor, and 20% very poor. The availability of livestock water was rated as adequate.

Interlake Region
Dry conditions and warm winds hastened crop maturity and allowed for significant crop harvest progress this past week. Temperatures ranged from -2.6 to 30 degrees C with frosts in some low lying areas. Rainfall throughout the region varied from zero to 3.7 mm. Accumulated Growing Degree Days and Corn Heat Units are 95 to 103% of normal; however, rainfall since May 1 is 62 to 88% of normal.
Cereal harvest continues with over 80% harvested in the south Interlake. To date bushel weight and quality are very good, with most grading #1 and #2. Protein is variable. Some ergot, but low levels. In the north Interlake, spring wheat harvest is 30 to 50% complete, and oats are 80 to 90% complete. Yields and quality are both quite good.
Canola harvest is 75 to 85% complete in the south Interlake with 40 to 65 bu/acre yields. In the north Interlake canola harvest is near 50% complete, with yields from 30 to 50 bu/acre.
Leaf colour change and leaf drop are noticeable in many soybean fields. Soybean harvest has started in the south Interlake with yields reported to be in the low 30 bu/acre range.  Dry conditions have resulted in some top pods not filling. In the north Interlake, soybeans are in the R5 to R7 stage, and some fields have some frost damage. 
Desiccation of alfalfa seed fields has started. No yields reports yet. Sunflowers are maturing, backs of heads are yellowing, bracks are starting to brown.
Little post harvest weed control being done as there is little growth. Soils are working up lumpy, so tillage is being delayed. No reports of fall fertilization to date.
Soil moisture conditions across the region on cropland are rated as 20% adequate and 80% short, while conditions on hay and pasture are rated as 15% adequate and 85% short.
Soil testing has begun, with soils quite dry to considerable depth.
Well managed pastures are showing their resilience, while continuous hard grazed pastures are going dormant in some areas. Most haying is complete with a little continuing in areas with lowland native hay.
Pastures are rated as fair to good and could use a good rain in areas. Dugouts are 0 to 40% full. One report of a dugout going dry.