Crop Report: Issue 13, July 30, 2018

Weekly Provincial Summary 
  • Crops are advancing rapidly with the warm and dry conditions. Rain is needed in most areas to sustain crops and replenish soil moisture. 
  • Harvested has started in winter cereals, barley, and peas. 
  • Swathing or pre-harvest applications have started in early seeded spring cereals and canola. 
  • Fist cut hay is nearing completion; yields are below normal. Regrowth has been limited due to dry conditions, and a second cut may not be possible in some areas.  


Southwest Region
Little to no rain over the past week in most of the southwest region.  Areas close to Riding Mountain National Park such as Eden and Wasagaming received 15 to 26 mm.  In general, most crops are looking good but require rain.  Hot and dry weather is turning crops quickly.   
Winter wheat and fall rye are close to harvest.  There are reports of some early seeded fields being harvested.  Some fields will be desiccated this week.  Most spring wheat is in the soft dough stage.   Harvest has started in some early seeded barley.  Too early to give yield estimates. 
The majority of canola is finished flowering.  Some fields with low seasonal rainfall have short plants with aborted pods.  There are some reports of Bertha armyworm larvae in the southwest corner of the province but no reports of spraying yet. Most traps are down now.   
Peas are ripening well in most areas.  Most of the crop looks excellent except for diseased areas in some fields with low spots.    
More than 80% of sunflowers are flowering (R5) stage, and corn is tasseling. Both crops are doing well and benefiting from heat.
Soybean crop is variable throughout the region depending on moisture levels.  The majority of the crop is at the R4 stage. No reports of any disease or insect issues at this point. 
Second cut on dairy hay has started and most first cut beef hay is complete. First cut hay yields ranged from 50 to 95 percent of normal. Producers in dry areas are looking for feed sources and baling whatever they can find. Many of the first cut hay fields are currently dormant so prospects for a good second cut dwindle as the weeks progress.  Dugouts are 50-60% full.
Northwest Region
Growing conditions were generally good last week in the Northwest region.  The beginning of the week was cool and damp however temperatures increased to the high 20’s and low 30’s by the weekend.  Rainfall amounts were mixed with 30 mm falling in The Pas, 20 to 30 mm south and west of Dauphin and light localized showers in the remainder of the region.  Soil moisture conditions are rated as good with the exception of The Pas where moisture conditions are excessive causing crop yellowing due to water ponding in low lying areas.
Winter wheat and fall rye around Ste. Rose and Roblin are in the dough stage with about 70% of the fields starting to ripen. Approximately 60% of the spring cereals are into the dough stage with reports of rust in some fields. Early barley is being combined in the Ste. Rose area. Canola is in late bloom and well podded in most fields in the region. Some effects of high temperatures are showing up in the canola fields. The soybean crop has reached the R3 stage, with 25 to 30% still flowering.  Peas and lentils are nicely podded, and corn is tasseling.  The flax crop is in bolls and still green.  No specific insect or disease concerns have been reported.
Rain last week benefitted forages in the region, particularly the areas around Dauphin, Ste. Rose, and Rorketon, which have been experiencing very dry conditions.  First cut hay harvest is still ongoing.  Feed testing has begun with initial tests showing average quality first cut.  Cereal silage harvest is just starting while second cut hay harvest by dairy producers has begun.  Pasture conditions vary depending on soil moisture conditions.  With poorer pasture growth in the eastern part of the region, the local auction mart has decided to start sales two weeks earlier this year.
Central Region
Mostly sunny, dry conditions with little to no rain reported across the region.  Precipitation is still needed to help satisfy the crop water needs for grain filling. Pockets of dryness remain in the Holland to Gladstone to Plumas areas as well as in the Altona to Emerson area.  Growing conditions have been dependent on moisture but crops are generally ahead of normal with the warm temperatures and fair soil moisture to carry crop growth and development. 
Winter cereals are ripe and harvest is starting.  Reported yields to date are below average.  Harvest of winter cereals is expected to progress this week provided weather conditions allow.  Wheat, oats, barley are changing rapidly and progressing into the dough stage with some of the earliest fields already ripe especially in areas experiencing dryer conditions.  Some barley has been swathed in the Altona area. Pre harvest applications have started on wheat and oats in the Carman to Morris areas where many of the cereal fields are ripe. The majority of perennial rye grass has been swathed with some harvested and lower than normal yields.
Corn is developing rapidly and most fields are in the silking (R1) to the start of the cob filling stage (R2).  Some reports of double cobs on corn plants.
Canola development varies but most fields are done flowering or near the end while pod development is progressing.  Some canola fields have been swathed in the Altona area with average to below average yield expectations due to the season’s dry conditions and high temperatures at heat sensitive stages of the crop. Bertha armyworm larvae feeding is evident and some spraying was done on limited acreage above the escarpment where damage warranted control measures.
Flax is done flowering and bolls are developing with as much as 30% brown bolls reported. Sunflowers are in late bud to flowering (R 5.5) and greater for the more advanced fields. Field peas are maturing fast and are being desiccated with some already harvested in the Holland to Treherne area with below average yields due to dry growing conditions.
Soybean fields are in the early pod (R3) to beginning seed (R5) stages and most advanced in the Red River valley. Dry conditions in the Morris area have taken their toll on this crop and fields are in need of rain.  Edible bean fields are mostly done flowering and pod development is progressing.
Irrigation continues on potato fields. Fungicide applications continue on a regular schedule for late blight prevention.
Pasture conditions are deteriorating from the lack of precipitation. First cut of alfalfa is done. Hay yields are well below normal due to the dryer conditions. Green feed is being put up to help make up for the hay crop shortfall as well as cutting of ditches and dried up sloughs.  Some second cut alfalfa was taken with good harvested quality where moisture was adequate but most fields have too poor regrowth to harvest. A good soaking rain is necessary to stimulate growth. Livestock producers are sourcing alternative feed sources to meet their needs. Livestock water supply is still considered adequate at this time but water levels are going down in dugouts.
Eastern Region
The week started out with normal to above normal temperatures, shifted rapidly to significantly below normal temperatures by midweek and then moved back to hot conditions to end the week.  Rainfall accumulations were low throughout most of the region, with the exception of Lac Du Bonnet, which received 15 mm.  Rainfall would be appreciated throughout the region.   
Soil moisture conditions on crop land were rated as about 90% adequate and 10% short in northern and central districts.  In southern districts, soil moisture conditions on crop land were rated as 50% adequate, 25% short and 25% very short. While the whole of the Eastern Region can be characterized as dry, southern districts are the driest with impacts on crop yield and the pace of crop maturity being the most severe. 
Crops advanced rapidly again this past week. Winter wheat is at the hard dough to harvest ready stage with swathing and harvesting occurring in southern districts.  General harvesting in central and northern districts is expected this week. Spring cereals range from soft dough to physiologically mature with preharvest applications ongoing this week. Some barley has been harvested in southern districts and swathing of oats and wheat has occurred. 
Canola ranges from the later pod filling to physiologically mature stage and pre-harvest applications may start by the end of the week.  Soybeans are mostly in the R5 growth stage but some fields are still in late R4.  Sunflowers are in the late R5 stage and finishing up flowering.  Field peas are physiologically mature and drying down rapidly. Corn is in the R1 and R2 growth stage. 
Monitoring for insect pests continues but few yield damaging pest populations have been found.  Overall, problem situations with insects or diseases continue to be infrequent in both short and long season crops. The most frequent concern expressed by growers is a need for rainfall to sustain the yield potential of soybeans and corn.  Instances of wilting and environmentally induced potassium deficiency in soybeans and wilting in corn have been reported. 
Hay and pasture land moisture conditions were rated as 50% adequate, 25% short and 25% very short.  Hay and pasture land crop conditions were rated as 40% good, 20% fair, 20% poor and 20% very poor.  Beef producers are 90% done first cut grass hay with below average yields (40 to 60% of normal).  Pastures are drying up fast with no or very little rain this past week and dugouts are about one third full.  For first cut hay, 5% is standing, 10% is cut and 85% has been baled or silaged.  Quality has been good.  Yields have been 0.75 to 1.5 tons/acre for alfalfa, 1 to 1.25 tons/acre for grass/alfalfa hay, 0.5 to 0.75 tons/acre for tame hay and 0.25 to 0.5 tons/acre for wild hay.  For second cut hay, 20% is standing, 10% has been cut and 70% has been baled or silaged. Quality has been good with a yield of 0.5 to 1 tons/acre.  No 2nd cut is possible in some fields due to a lack of rainfall and, at this point, at least 10% of the overall hay crop will not be harvested.  Most producers are only getting half to three quarters of what they got last year and are looking for more feed.  A few producers getting under half of the hay they will require.
Interlake Region
Temperatures were somewhat cooler last week, warming up by the weekend. Rapid crop advancement continues. Rainfall amounts continue to be variable, with most areas seeing only scattered showers amounting to less than five mm. Very isolated thundershowers dropped up to 20 mm in a few small areas.  All areas continue to look for timely rains, to sustain crops and replenish soil moisture. Some soybean and cornfields are exhibiting moisture stress symptoms; rain will be critical for grain fill.
Crops are advancing rapidly; harvest is around the corner.  Most crops are shorter than normal, a result of extended dry periods. Crops are drying up on ridges with lighter textured soil.   In the driest areas, the ground is still visible in wheat and oat fields; tillers will not contribute to yield.
Reports of some winter cereal harvest; no yield reports to date. Preharvest applications in spring cereals are expected to be more widespread by mid to end of week. Spring wheat and oat fields are maturing rapidly with the hot dry weather. Some are considering swathing instead of straight cut due to staginess of the fields.
Early seeded canola fields are fully podded and some color change is evident – swath timing is anticipated to be two weeks away.  Late seeded/reseeded canola is in full flower.  Soybeans are as advanced as R4 to R5; stands look good, but most are concerned about pod fill due to lack of rain in weather forecast. The first pea fields have been desiccated. Flowering is complete in flax; color change is evident in the earliest seeded fields. Most sunflowers are at R4 to R5.5. Weather conditions have been very conducive for corn, with rapid growth evident. Most fields are at the silking (R1) stage. Some grass seed fields affected by dry conditions have had limited seed set, and will be cut for hay.  Harvest has begun in fields with good seed set.
Diamondback moth larvae scouting will continue to be important in canola fields dealing with multiple stresses; a few fields with significant pod stripping were sprayed, but damage is limited in most fields, and larvae have moved in to the cocoon stage. Bertha armyworm moth numbers are low to date; trap monitoring has wrapped up. A few headlands have been sprayed for grasshoppers. No significant insect issues in most crops.
Hay, greenfeed and pasture crops continue to suffer from moisture deficit.  Grasshoppers are damaging hay and pasture growth.
Some hayfields are being partially cut; limited growth on ridges is not sufficient to windrow and pick up with baler.  Second cut is limited due to poor regrowth.  Corn silage fields are short. Some grain corn may go to silage due to lack of hay. Cattle are being turned out on to hayfields early as pasture is used up.  In some areas, grass is not actively growing.  Producers are hauling and pumping water for livestock consumption.