Crop Report: Issue 2, May 12, 2014


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Despite continuing cool and wet conditions across Manitoba some limited seeding took place, as well as tillage operations and fertilizer applications.  For other areas, warm and dry weather is needed in order for field work and seeding operations to start. 
  • Manitoba’s winter cereal crops continue to be assessed for winter survival and establishment as fields break dormancy and resume growth.  Winterkill and injury is being reported in some fields, although it is too early in some areas to determine the extent of the damage.
  • Pasture and hay growth continues to be slow due to the cooler weather conditions, and in some cases excess moisture.  Some producers are moving cattle to pasture.


Cool, wet weather continues to delay seeding progress throughout the Southwest Region. Rainfall amounts ranged from 10 to 25 mm in Hamiota, Russell, Souris, Melita and Virden areas and 30 to 35 mm in the Carberry, Brandon, Forest and Minnedosa areas. Some of this moisture was wet snow as 5 to 10 cm fell on Sunday in areas surrounding Riding Mountain National Park.
A few fields were seeded on higher, lighter soils in the Rivers, Neepwa, Binscarth and Russell areas. There was very little field work and seeding south of Highway #1. Weeds are growing slowly, especially winter annuals. Soil temperatures continue to be relatively cool. 
Winter wheat and fall rye crops continue to break dormancy and some fields are at the two to three leaf stage with healthy crown roots.  However, growth is slow due to the cool temperatures. It is anticipated most of the fall seeded crops have survived, but fields with reduced or uneven snow cover may have experienced some winter injury.
Pasture growth continues to be slow due to continued cool conditions. Runoff has subsided on all of the minor creeks and tributaries, although major rivers are still running above channel capacity. Feed shortages continue to be an issue.  In the southwest corner of the region, significant rain over the weekend has dugouts, sloughs and low lying areas full to over-flowing, with some overland flooding in localized areas.


Unfavorable weather conditions prevailed throughout the Northwest Region; cool temperatures and localized rainfall is delaying the start of spring field operations.  The Pas and Dauphin areas report the highest surplus soil moisture conditions. There is localized ponding on many fields across the region. Winter wheat survival ranges from good to fair; majority of winter wheat acres are located in the southern part of the region. Weed and volunteer crop growth is very slow. 
Growth on pasture and hay fields is limited due to cool conditions over the past week.  Cattle continue to be supplemented with feed on sacrifice pasture areas.  Very wet conditions predominate on pasture and hay fields. Water supplies are sufficient to excessive.


 Sun, wind and warm temperatures late in the week allowed for some seeding progress in the Central Region. Cooler than normal conditions continue to prevail, but soils are gradually warming.  Rain early in the week saw much of the region receive  5 to 15 mm. Higher accumulations included Treherne with 17 mm, Pilot Mound 23 mm, Gladstone 20 mm, and Carberry 38 mm. Soil moisture is adequate to surplus. Field work continues where conditions allow.  
Seeding activity picked up towards the end of the week, with many producers in eastern areas able to seed at least a field or two. Seeding ranges from 5 to 10% in the eastern areas of the region, with Carman and Winkler areas reporting up to 15% of the crop in. Most progress was made with cereals, canola and corn, with a few fields of soybeans seeded. 
Continuing cool weather conditions are impacting the evaluation of winter wheat and perennial ryegrass fields, although there are more reports of rotting crowns and no new root growth in some fields. Early indications are that fields with good snow cover due to adequate stubble and density are faring better, although severe cold after snow melt may have compromised some stands. It is anticipated that winterkill will result in a number of fields being reseeded. Fertilizing continues where conditions allow. 
Growth is resuming in tame pastures and hay land.  Lower lying hay land and pastures have surplus moisture.  Cattle are being taken to pasture and being supplemented with feed. Dugouts are full.


Varying amounts of rainfall occurred throughout the Eastern Region, along with lower temperatures. Cumulative rainfall varied from 0 to 25 mm. Fields in the southeast part of the region are starting to see standing water.  Topsoil moisture level on the majority of annual crop land in the Eastern Region is rated as adequate.  Soil temperatures in the past week have fluctuated from 5 to 130C.

Temperatures continue to be below normal and soils remain relatively cool. Intermittent light rains and drizzle kept producers from doing field work including pre-seeding tillage.  Minimal seeding has taken place to date; a few reports of wheat, canola and corn being seeded over the weekend. There are reports of some producers considering a switch from planned grain corn acres to canola as seeding gets delayed into mid-month. 
Winter wheat is being fertilized where travel across fields allows it. Winter wheat development is very slow due to the cold weather.  Some producers are concerned about winter wheat survival. Field inspections, which involves assessing root growth and crown health, not just above ground growth, is on-going across the region.  Most producers are focused on getting fertilizer applied once field and weather conditions allow.
The majority of hay and pasture conditions are rated as good to fair.  On most farms, producers are preparing to move cattle out to pasture. Pasture growth is minimal due to the cool weather so cattle will need to be supplemented with feed. Hay supplies are fair and there is feed available for purchase in the area.  Availability of livestock water is rated as 100% adequate.



Cooler temperatures throughout the Interlake Region delayed the drying of fields.  Rain showers middle of the week resulted in 4 to 12 mm.  Soil temperatures increased throughout the week averaging 5 to 100C in the region.  Snowdrifts are still present in the North Interlake. 
Producers are waiting for soil temperatures to increase and for field conditions to improve.  Broadcasting fertilizer on forage seed and winter wheat fields has started but progress is slow due to wet field conditions.  Select fields in the South Interlake were dry enough to be seeded but the majority of fields are still too wet.
Hay and pastures are slowly starting to show signs of new growth.  Livestock that have been moved to pasture are being fed because of the poor growing conditions this spring.  Dugout conditions are good.