Crop Report: Issue 18, September 3, 2013


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Strong weather systems passed through several areas of Manitoba over the Labour Day long weekend. High winds, heavy rains and hail associated with the systems resulted in some crop damage, including lodging of crops, shattering of standing and swathed canola and cereal crops.
  • Winter wheat harvest is nearing completion with generally above average yields and quality.
  • Harvest of spring wheat, barley, oats and canola continues. Reported spring wheat yields range from 35 to 80 bushels per acre, barley 60 to 110 bushels per acre, oats 85 to 160 bushels per acre, and canola 30 to 60 bushels per acre. 
  • Seeding of winter wheat has started in Manitoba.

Southwest Region

The above normal temperatures resulted in significant crop ripening and maturity throughout
much of the Southwest Region last week. Accompanying these warm and at times humid conditions
were isolated and severe thunderstorms that resulted in localized heavy rainfall and hail
which caused crop damage to matured crops in affected areas.
Most cereal crops are in the firm to hard dough stage of development with preharvest
desiccation, swathing and harvesting operations general throughout much of the region. Early
yield reports are indicating above average barley and spring wheat yields with good quality
and above average bushel weights. The winter cereal harvest is 60 to 75% complete with
average yields and quality. Regrowth of tillers in lodged cereal crops continues to be
problematic for many producers and is slowing harvest progress. Fusarium levels continue to
be found at low levels.
Winter wheat seeding began late last week in the more southern portions of the region with
seeding progress being delayed in central and northern regions due to the delayed harvest.
The majority of the canola crop ripened rapidly last week with swathing estimated at 50 to
75% complete; greatest progress was noted in the southern portions of the region. Although
only limited harvest has occurred to date, early yield reports are indicating average to
above average yields. Sclerotinia continues to be found at low levels with much of the
premature ripening a result of blackleg. Flax fields also continue to ripen rapidly with
preharvest desiccation reported on early seeded fields. Desiccation, swathing and harvest of
field peas continues with generally above average yields reported, although there are some
lower yields on fields that had a frequent history of field peas in rotation.
Corn and soybeans continue to benefit from the warmer temperatures and have seen crop
maturities advance last week. The majority of soybeans are entering the R6 stage of
development where full seed development is beginning within the top portion of the plant.
Some early maturing varieties in southern portions of the region are beginning to see pod
color change (R7). Most corn crops are in the late blister and early milk stage of
development (R3) with some of the earlier seeded fields just beginning to enter the dough
stage (R4). Sunflowers are continuing to come out of flower with the majority of the crop in
the wilting stage (R6) of development.
Insect activity last week was limited to grasshoppers with the highest numbers reported in
eastern and central areas.
The second cut alfalfa harvest is 75 to 80% complete with the remainder of the crop to be
harvested after the first fall frost. Greenfeed and silage continue to be harvested and are
75 to 80% complete. Slough and marsh hay continue to be harvested to supplement winter feed
supplies across the region.  Pasture conditions are generally stable due to shorter day
length and the resurgence in cool season grasses as a result of spotty showers. Water levels
in sloughs and dugouts are at 50 to 60% of capacity in northern and central regions and 75 to
80% of capacity in southern regions.

Northwest Region

Above normal daytime temperatures, higher humidity levels, and moderate winds continued
throughout the Northwest Region. During the midweek period, heavy morning fogs, cloudy
conditions and occasional light, scattered rain showers affected most of the area.  Soil
moisture remains sufficient in most areas to enable remaining later crops to mature and fill
Regionally, 90% of spring cereals acres are mature while 75% of canola acres are also mature.
Preharvest herbicide treatments are continuing. An estimated 65% of canola acres are in
swath, with 15% of spring wheat acres in swath and another 50% ready for straight combining.
Combining of wheat, oats and canola is completed on approximately 5% of total acres. 
Expected yield ranges from 35 to 65 bu/acre for spring wheat, upwards of 100 bu/acre for oats
and 35 to 50 bu/acre for canola. Soybeans continue to show sector variability in maturity
levels and yield potentials. In the Ste. Rose area, soybean fields are mostly at R6 stage
with some at R7; overall condition is rated as fair to excellent. More crop variability
exists in Dauphin and Fork River sector, while soybeans in the Grandview and Gilbert Plains
area are less advanced at the R5 stage.
With canola reaching maturity, sclerotinia is more evident; frequency levels however appear
to be average. Some concern of ergot in cereals is reported in the Roblin area.
Second cut hay harvest is mostly completed under favorable conditions; yields are average
with quality above average. Greenfeed harvest is also underway. The native hay harvest
continues as more fields are accessible.  Yields are average to below average and quality has
improved slightly under favourable weather conditions. Supplies of hay and greenfeed are
expected to be 25% short at The Pas and other early season moisture, impacted sectors. As
cereal harvest progresses, straw is baled, removed and fall field work is done. Available
straw supplies should meet area requirements, except for The Pas. Pastures are drying. Dugout
water levels are declining but still adequate in all areas.

Central Region

Rainfall, wind and hail occurred over the weekend in the Central Region. Rainfall amounts
ranged from 25 mm up to 75 mm west of Portage. Hail and strong winds were reported in many
areas of the central region including Altona, Treherne, Notre Dame, St.Claude, Haywood and
Winkler. Hail the size of golf balls was reported in the St. Claude region. Damage to crops
varied; assessments are on-going.  Harvest progress was slowed due to the precipitation;
warmer weather forecasted for this week will be welcome.
Cereal harvest is well underway in the Central Region. Harvest progress on cereals range from
30 to 50% complete. Yields for spring wheat vary from 50 bu/acre to upwards of 80 bu/acre.
Protein levels range from 12 to 14%. Oats continue to be harvested with yields ranging from
90 to 160 bu/acre. Barley yields in the region range from 90 to 110 bu/acre. Baling of straw
is being done, with little to no crop residue burning reported.
Canola yields range from 40 to 60 bu/acre throughout the region. Hail resulted in shattering
in canola swaths and strong winds spread some swaths across fields which will make harvest
Soybeans are beginning to mature with some fields in the R7 stage. Generally, the crop is
rated as good with reports of white mould showing up in various fields around the province.
Most fields in the region are between R6 and R7. Grain corn growth stage ranges from R4 dough
stage to early R5 dent stage. A few more weeks of frost free weather is needed for soybeans
and corn to reach maturity.
Edible bean harvest will begin shortly with some of the earliest types to be harvested later
this week. A few fields have already been undercut; late season white mould is present in
some of these fields.
Haying continues with a number of producers trying to finish up with second cut. Yields are
expected to be average for most areas. Winter feed supplies may be inadequate for some
producers.  Dugouts are full.

Eastern Region

Rainfall amounts ranged from 0 to 90 mm last week in the Eastern Region. Rainfall was again
varied due to the spotty showers that moved through the region.
Harvesting continues in the region. Winter wheat harvest is complete with many producers
close to finishing the spring cereals and canola. Initial average yields for the region are
as follows: winter wheat 70 to 80 bu/acre, spring wheat 45 to 60 bu/acre, barley 85 bu/acre,
oats 100 to 125 bu/acre and canola 40 bu/acre.
Corn is in the milk (R3) to early dent (R5) growth stages.  Soybeans are in full R6 stage
with some showing the start of leaf drop or leaf yellowing (early R7 Stage). Sunflowers in
the region are in R7 stage.
Grasshoppers continue to be an issue in the southern areas of the region.
Winter feed supply status has hay at 5 to 10% surplus, 80 to 90% adequate, and 5 to 10%
inadequate; straw at 100% adequate or surplus; greenfeed at 100% adequate and feed grains at
5 to 10% surplus, 80 to 90% adequate and 5 to 10% inadequate. Pasture conditions in the
region are rated as 60% good, 30% fair and 10% poor.  Livestock water including dugouts is
rated at 100% adequate.

Interlake Region

Precipitation fell throughout the Interlake Region, with amounts ranging from 5 to 35 mm; in
isolated areas, 40 to 45 mm occurred. On Friday night in the North Interlake, a strong storm
system resulted in crop damage. Hail and strong winds shelled out standing and swathed canola
and also laid down standing cereals crops in areas. Canola swaths were spread across fields
due to the strong winds, making harvest more challenging.
Harvest is in full swing across the region with canola and spring cereals acres being
combined. Most crops are yielding better than expected, with the exception of areas that were
impacted by excess spring moisture. Early maturing soybean varieties are starting to show
signs of maturing with color change and leaf drop. Corn crops are in the dent (R5) stage.
Some second cut hay is occurring throughout the region. North of Ashern, producers are still
working on completing native hay harvest. South of Ashern, producers completed native hay
harvest and are working on second cut hay in some areas. Pasture and dugout conditions are