Crop Report: Issue 23, October 7, 2013


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • A return to good weather allowed for harvest operations to resume across most of
  • Provincially, harvest of spring cereals is estimated at 85 to 90% complete, canola
    70% complete, flax 25% complete, edible beans 80% complete, soybeans 50 to 60% complete,
    sunflowers 5% complete and grain corn 5% complete. In some instances, crops have been
    harvested at higher moisture contents and either dried or aerated to safe storage moisture
  • Killing frosts over the weekend will aid in crop dry down. Fall field work, including
    tillage, baling of straw, and soil testing is on-going.


Southwest Region

In the Southwest Region, harvest resumed after widespread showers earlier in the week.
Rainfall amounts were generally scattered and less than 5 mm. Frost was reported on several
occasions; however, recent moisture and the gradual hardening of plants has limited injury to
just the most sensitive of plants. High winds mid-week caused some concern with shelling of
standing crop and blowing of swaths.
The spring cereal harvest saw limited progress with the majority of the grain harvested at
tough and damp moisture levels. The cereal crop harvest stands at 80 to 85% complete. Canola
experienced more moderate progress with again much of the grain harvested at tough moisture
levels. The canola crop harvest stands at 60 to 70% harvested. The flax harvest has just
begun with initial yield reports indicating average to slightly above average yields.
Scattered frost events stopped soybean growth and enhanced the dry down of the crop. Soybeans
in the more southern regions have generally reached maturity (R8), while in the more northern
locations the crop has reached the yellow to brown pod (R7) stage. Very little soybean
harvest has occurred to date. Most corn crops have also stopped growth due to the most recent
series of frost events. However, the frost is enhancing the dry down of the crop. Most corn
reached the full dent stage of development with the milk line having advanced beyond the
mid-point of the kernel. Sunflowers continue to dry down after recent frosts with the crop
now fully mature.
Winter wheat and fall rye plantings benefited from recent rains and above seasonal
temperatures; crops are fully emerged and in the 2 to 4 leaf stage.
Cattle producers continue to move cattle to fall pastures and harvested crop stubble.
Harvesting of second cut alfalfa has begun after the recent frost events. The corn silage
harvest continues with above average yields reported. Winter feed supplies are approaching
adequate levels with the above average silage and second cut alfalfa hay yields. Access to
additional slough hay and lower feed grain prices are also helping alleviate any feed
shortage concerns. Water levels in sloughs and dugouts remain at 50 to 60% of capacity in
northern and central regions and 75 to 80% of capacity in southern regions.

Northwest Region

Cool seasonal temperatures, cloudy conditions with scattered light rain showers and
occasional strong winds, hampered harvest operations in the southern areas of the Northwest
Region early in the week. Killing frosts where temperatures as low as -7 degrees Celsius
occurred Thursday and Friday. Temperatures and conditions improved by the weekend when
harvesting became more general. The Pas area received rainfall of 30 mm which brought harvest
to a standstill.
Overall, an estimated 80% of total acres are harvested. Because of the marginal harvesting
conditions this week, more of the crop was harvested at higher moisture contents and put
under air. An estimated 70% of canola acres are combined and 25% is in swath. High winds
through the Grandview area moved some canola swaths; however, losses are minor. The spring
wheat harvest is virtually complete; oats and barley is approximately 75% combined. At The
Pas, the wheat harvest is complete but no canola has been combined to date.
The soybean harvest is underway through Ste. Rose and Dauphin; yields are ranging from 30 to
45 bu/acre. Industrial hemp, corn and flax are drying down.
Winter wheat and fall rye are at three leaves to one tiller and benefiting from the improved
soil moisture.
Late second cut forage operations were underway just before and after the recent killing
frost. Straw and native hay are being baled. A forage supply shortage is expected at The Pas
and in the Westlake area.
Fall field tillage operations, baled straw and forage removal are ongoing.

Central Region

In the Central Region, cool and damp weather conditions early in the week delayed harvest
until the latter part of the week when conditions improved. Light frost damage is evident in
some corn and soybean fields and is helping the dry down of those crops. Very strong winds on
Wednesday caused some moving and scattering of canola swaths, probably causing some seed
Across the region, harvest progress is as follows: spring wheat 95 to 100% complete; barley
95 to 100%; oats 90 to 100%; canola 85 to 100%; edible beans 20 to 60%; flax 40 to 60% and
soybeans 15 to 60% complete. Harvest progress is slower at this time of the year with shorter
days, but continues as conditions allow. Most areas should have the harvest done within a few
days of good weather conditions. Most grain is harvested tough at this time of year and is
put on aeration or dried to ensure proper long term storage. Rutting due to wet conditions is
a problem in some fields in the northwest part of the region.
Yields and quality have generally been good for cereals and oilseeds. A few quality issues
reported on spring wheat due to lower protein levels, downgrading of the later harvested
wheat due to rains, also some issues with ergot on the earlier harvested grain. Levels of
fusarium damaged kernels are lower than normal. 
Edible bean harvest continues with yields in the 2000 lb/acre range. Flax harvest is
progressing. Buckwheat harvest has started. Sunflowers are maturing and desiccation has taken
place in some fields.
Majority of corn fields are close to maturity or mature; harvest is starting in the Red River
area. Harvested grain corn moisture contents are reported in the 18 to 28% range. Soybean
harvest continues across the region, with yield reports of 30 to 55 bu/acre and most in the
35 to 40 bu/acre range. Silage corn harvest continues with good progress made over the last
week. Potato digging is underway with above average yields in the 350 to 450 cwt range.
Winter wheat and fall rye are emerging. Germination is average to good, and improved as
compared to 2012.
Baling of straw has limited crop residue burning. Post harvest weed control is complete for
the year. Tillage operations continue as conditions allow. Good volunteer crop regrowth has
been noted. Anhydrous applications are starting as soil temperatures have cooled. Soil
sampling continues. 
Livestock producers are finishing harvest of greenfeed and cereal silage. Western producers
have been struggling to put up dry straw, although supplies should be abundant this year
which will help rebuild depleted straw supplies from the 2012 winter. 
Haying continues as conditions allow. Producers who have hay fields with sufficient regrowth
are taking a last cut now that the critical period has passed. Yields are expected to be
average for most areas. Winter feed supplies will be adequate for most producers. Pasture
growth is slow to none with cooler conditions; limited supplemental feeding is taking place.
Water level in dugouts has gone down but remains adequate for watering livestock.

Eastern Region

A total of 0 to 5 mm of rain fell in the Eastern Region over the past week. Harvesting
resumed in soybeans by later Tuesday afternoon and continued unabated right through the rest
of the week. Weather promoted drying of crop and soil surface. Harder frosts on the weekend
will aid in plant dry down of corn and sunflower. 
Harvest is estimated at 85% complete. Average yields for the region are as follows: winter
wheat 70 to 80 bu/acre, spring wheat 45 to 60 bu/acre, barley 80 to 90 bu/acre, oats 100 to
125 bu/acre, canola 40 to 60 bu/acre, soybeans 40 to 50 bu/acre and corn is averaging between
120 to 160 bu/acre.
Soybean harvest is at about 90% complete. Most producers will finish in the next couple of
days if good harvest conditions continue. A few concerns have been noted, including  short,
low podded beans impacting harvest efficiency, dry seed moisture contents, lower yields in
areas impacted by hail, and seed quality issues including discoloration on the seeds.
In central parts of the region, early yields of 120 to 160 bu/acre are being reported at
moisture between 18 to 22%. More corn in the central area of the region will be harvested
this week if the weather holds. In northern parts of the region, moisture contents range from
30 to 35% with stalks still tough; however, rapid dry down is expected this week if weather
is as forecast. 
Sunflower fields were desiccated last week and it is expected harvest will begin this week
once soybeans are done.
Winter wheat fields are at the 2 to 4 leaf stage with 1 to 2 tillers. Tillage operations in
harvested fields continue.
Winter feed supply status has hay at 5% surplus, 70 to 80% adequate, and 15 to 30%
inadequate; straw at 100% surplus, greenfeed at 100% adequate and feed grains at 5% surplus,
90% adequate and 5% inadequate. Pasture conditions in the region are rated as 40% good, 40%
fair and 20% poor. Livestock water, including dugouts, is rated at 90% adequate and 10%

Interlake Region

Cool seasonal temperatures, along with rainfall, slowed down harvest during the earlier part
of the week in the Interlake Region. Most areas of the region have been going below 0 degree
Celsius during the evenings.
Acres of spring wheat, oats and canola are still waiting to be harvested in the North
Interlake. Soybean harvest is in full swing across the Interlake Region. Alfalfa seed
production fields are still being desiccated and harvested. Tillage is progressing throughout
the region as most cereal and canola fields have been deep tilled. 
Corn silage is coming off with reports of good yields. Livestock producers are feeding
animals on pastures as pasture growth has been poor the last couple weeks.