Crop Report: Issue 1, May 6, 2013

Reporting Area Map | Past Reports

Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Manitoba’s winter wheat and fall rye crops have resumed growth, with fertilizer applications to begin this week.  Field by field evaluations are currently on-going to determine winter survival and crop establishment.
  • Warm, dry weather conditions should allow field work and seeding operations to start later this week in several areas of Manitoba.
  • Pasture and hay growth was delayed this spring due to cool and wet conditions.  Some producers have moved cattle to pasture prior to adequate spring growth, while others continue to supplemental feed putting pressure on feed supplies.  

Southwest Region | Northwest Region | Central Region | Eastern Region | Interlake Region

Southwest Region

In most areas of the Southwest Region, the snowpack has disappeared rapidly over the past week and the only snow remaining is in the tree lines and headlands. Soils have generally absorbed much of the moisture due to lack of frost, the slowmelt and the losses associated with the overnight freezing temperatures.

Fall rye and winter wheat have initiated spring growth with some fertilizer applications occurring in southern areas of the region. The fall rye looks to be in good to excellent condition. The majority of the winter wheat crop is only now beginning to emerge, in part due to the poor emergence of the crop last fall. The delayed emergence will result in a delay in the growth and maturity of this year’s crop.

Field work is estimated to start in southern areas of the region by the middle of this week and by this upcoming weekend in northern areas.

Pasture and hay growth has been delayed significantly due to the cooler temperatures this spring.  This meant a delay in moving cattle to spring pastures. Some fertilizing of tame hay and pastures have begun. Hay shortages were reported throughout the region with many cattle producers using alternative feed rations.
Water levels in sloughs and dugouts are variable depending upon runoff amounts; in many instances they have not reached historical spring levels.


Northwest Region

At the start of last week, snow cover from the recent storm remained throughout much of the Northwest Region. Highest snowfall accumulations ranged from 20 to 30 cm east of the Escarpment, from Ethelbert through to Ste. Rose. However, warm temperatures and drying winds over the past weekend cleared the fields of snow.

Fields and hay fields are just beginning to dry; no field work has begun. Field moisture levels are slightly drier around the Roblin area.
Pasture growth has just begun in most areas. The delay in spring growth is increasing the concerns of available feed supplies for some producers.

Central Region

Cool, wet conditions prevailed through the start of last week. Heavy, wet snow covered much of the northern and western parts of the region last week, with amounts ranging from 2 to 15 cm, with some reports as much as 30 cm. Rainfall amounts in the region also ranged from 5 to 25 mm. Warm, sunny weather has melted most of the snow; any that remains is adjacent to shelterbelts or in treed areas.

In the majority of fields, moisture levels range from saturated in areas of highest snowfall or flooding, to adequate in areas where spring runoff is complete.  In areas where soil moisture levels were drier than normal going in to the winter, subsoil moisture is lower than in past years.

Some winterkill has been noted in winter wheat and fall rye crops; field by field evaluation will be necessary. With warmer temperatures, new top growth in fields should be evident this week. Fertilizer applications will start this week as field conditions allow.

Fields are drying with the warm, sunny weather. Field work and seeding should start towards the end of this week, while the majority will start through next week as conditions allow.

Some forage fields are just starting to resume growth. Pastures are rated as very poor to fair, either due to no growth as a result of cold spring conditions or in some cases excess moisture. In some areas of the region, pastures are currently short of moisture.

Dugouts are full or close to full in much of the region; those not on water runways are lower. There are some reports that water tables are lower than normal for this time of year.

Eastern Region

Varying amounts of rainfall occurred throughout most of the Eastern Region; cumulative amounts varied from 10 mm to over 25 mm.
Topsoil moisture levels on the majority of annual crop land in the Eastern Region is rated as adequate to slightly surplus given the slow spring snow melt. Reports of soil moistures being slightly lower than in past years has been noted in the southern areas of the region.

The condition of the winter wheat crop is still being determined. The earliest seeded fields seem to be in good condition, showing evidence of new growth. Later seeded fields are slower to respond but are resuming growth. Fields that did not emerge or germinate in the fall are being monitored closely. Fertilizer spreading will begin this week where field conditions will allow.
Field work should be possible on some fields during the week, with field work becoming more general towards the end of the week if the weather holds and good drying conditions persist.
In northern areas of the region, seeding by the end of this week may be possible on the best drained and lightest textured fields. Seeding operations will continue into next week across much of the region if favourable weather conditions hold.
The majority of hay lands are rated as good to fair, while pasturelands are rated fair to very poor.  Given the late spring, livestock in the northern part of the region continue to be supplemented, either in confined feeding areas or on pasture. In southern regions producers are starting to move cattle to pasture as feed supplies are tight.
Topsoil moisture on the majority of hay and pasture lands in the Eastern region is rated as adequate to slightly short.

Interlake Region

Cooler temperatures, combined with rain and snow increasing soil moisture levels, have led to a longer drying period throughout the Interlake Region. Parts of the North Interlake, along Lake Manitoba, received up to 10 mm of rain and 40 cm of snow. Snow can still be found on most headlands throughout the region, but is quickly disappearing with warmer temperatures.
Winter wheat crops look good in general, with warmer soil temperatures promoting new growth from the crown. It is still too early to accurately determine level of winter kill throughout the region.

In the South Interlake, seeding will likely occur in the next week to ten days, followed by areas in the North Interlake if warm temperatures continue.

Feed shortages have forced livestock to be moved to pasture to graze earlier then optimal growing conditions. Grass in pasture/hay fields has started to show signs of growth.

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