Crop Report: Issue 4, May 26, 2014


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Favourable weather conditions prior to the weekend’s precipitation allowed for good seeding progress. Seeding is estimated to be 25 to 30% complete in the Southwest Region, 25% complete in the Northwest Region, 60% complete in the Central Region, 50% complete in the Eastern Region and 40% complete in the Interlake Region.
  • There are areas where seeding progress is not as advanced. Producers are modifying their initial seeding plans to account for field availability and seeding date. Heavy precipitation in some areas will further delay seeding.  However, in areas where little rainfall was received, seeding operations should resume with minimal delay with favourable weather conditions.
  • The earliest seeded crops, including cereals, canola and corn, are emerging.
  • Pasture and hay growth improved with the last week’s warm temperatures.

Southwest Region

Rainfall amounts varied throughout the Southwest Region over the past week, with several areas reporting 5 to 10 mm. However, on the weekend heavy rainfall amounts of 25 to 40 mm were reported in areas north of Boissevain and south of Elgin, and through the Oak Lake and Killarney areas.

Seeding progress is variable with crops planted to date being primarily field peas, spring wheat and barley. Canola seeding just started and is estimated to be less than 10% complete. North of Highway #1 in the areas of Hamiota, Rivers, Birtle, Russell and Binscarth, seeding is 20 to 40% complete. South of Highway #1, cereal seeding progress is 15 to 20% complete and canola 10 to 15%. Some producers are considering alternative canola seeding techniques, such as broadcasting, on some excessively wet fields. Pre- and post-seeding burn-off herbicide applications are now taking place. Some early seeded cereal crops are starting to emerge. Winter wheat and fall rye crops benefitted from the sun and warm temperatures.

Pastures and alfalfa fields have finally begun to re-grow with the warmer temperatures. Cattle are being moved to pasture as feed supplies are becoming low. Winterkill in alfalfa is becoming more apparent with late second cut fields the most impacted. Water levels continue to be extremely high in dugouts, creeks and low lying areas. A significant amount of pasture and hay land continues to be underwater.

Northwest Region

Rain showers and thunderstorms in parts of the Northwest Region over the past week hindered seeding progress, particularly in the Dauphin, Ste. Rose and The Pas areas. Drying winds picked up over the weekend and temperatures warmed up significantly allowing producers to resume seeding operations in the rest of the region. Approximately 40% of the wheat crop and 10% of the canola crop are seeded. The most seeding progress for was made in the Swan Valley and Roblin areas where some producers are finished seeding wheat. Less than 5% of the soybean and field corn acres are planted. Seeding conditions are generally not ideal with wet fields throughout the region. Perennial and annual weed growth, as well as volunteer crop growth, improved over the past week.

Substantial rain over the past week kept pastures and hay fields significantly wet. Forage growth is relatively slow; however, the recent warmer temperatures increased development. Dugouts and water sources are full to capacity. Many cattle have been moved to pastures due to relatively low supplies of feed and wet conditions in wintering areas.

Central Region

Rainfall amounts over the weekend were extremely variable across the Central Region with reports ranging from 10 to 75 mm.  Heavier precipitation fell in the areas Culross, north of Elm Creek, Elie, Headingly, Plumas and Austin. Hail was reported in the Austin and Plumas areas. In areas of highest rainfall, there is standing water and producers are draining fields.

Sun, wind and warm temperatures late in the week allowed producers to make good seeding progress. The south and eastern parts of the region report 70 to 85% complete with some producers finished seeding. Western areas report progress at 70 to 80% seeded, while Portage area is 40 to 50% seeded and Gladstone area is 0 to 15%. The most advanced areas of the region are finished seeding cereal crops. Corn planting is also complete in the southern area of the region, but continues in other areas as conditions allow. Rain on Saturday and Sunday stopped seeding operations and in some areas it will take a few days of drying to resume seeding. In the southern and eastern areas of the region, three or four good days would result in seeding completion. Wet conditions in the northwest part of the region have made seeding a struggle.

Cereal crops are emerging with crop stage up to early two leaf in the earliest seeded fields, and canola is in the cotyledon stage. Corn has started to emerge.

Very little pre-seed burn-off has been done due to limited weed growth prior to seeding and desire to not delay seeding. Pre-emergent applications are being made where possible. Wild oats, volunteer cereals, winter annuals and wild buckwheat are emerging. In canola, spraying of volunteer cereals and wild oats has started. Little insect activity is reported, other than the presence of wireworms in isolated fields. Flea beetle activity is limited to volunteer canola and wild mustard; no reports of emerging canola being affected.
Winter wheat fields continue to be terminated due to winterkill, with reseeding to spring wheat, canola or soybeans occurring. In some cases, producers are reconsidering reseeding as a fair winter wheat crop may be better than a late seeded spring crop, especially in areas where little seeding progress has been made.
High temperatures over the weekend resulted in significant growth in hay land and pastures. In fields rated as good, alfalfa growth is up to 15 cm in height. Producers continue to assess alfalfa stands; early reports indicate winterkill is not widespread although some winterkill did occur. Some hay land and pastures are impacted by wet conditions. Cattle are being moved to pasture with supplemental feeding continuing. Availability of livestock water is adequate.

Eastern Region

Varying amounts of precipitation occurred throughout most of the Eastern Region with cumulative rainfall amounts varying from 15 to 80 mm.

Seeding continued across the region once the fields dried from rain early last week. Producers were able to seed before more rain fell on the weekend. Progress varies widely, but it is estimated seeding is 50% complete in the region. Approximately four to five more good seeding days are needed to get the crop in. Many producers are focusing on planting corn, soybeans and canola acres, while the cereals are being left until last. Producers in heavier rainfall areas, including Beausejour and southeast parts of the region, continue to have seeding operations stalled by excess moisture.

Winter wheat grew rapidly during the past week while fields with poor stands are being terminated and reseeded to canola or soybeans. There are a few reports of fields that have significant wireworm damage, particularly those direct-seeded into terminated hay stands.

Hay and pasture conditions are rated as good to poor. Fertilizing of hay fields has started. Grass growth is slow with standing water in many pastures. Hay supplies are fair. Pasture and hay growth would benefit from warm and sunny weather.  Availability of livestock water is rated as 100% adequate.

Interlake Region

Scattered showers mixed with thundershowers occurred throughout the week in the Interlake Region. Over the weekend, reports near Stonewall, Balmoral, Teulon, and west of Ashern had thundershowers bringing 20 to 40 mm of rainfall along with strong winds and severe lightning. Precipitation amounts throughout the week ranges anywhere from 20 to 60 mm. Most acres have become too wet to seed in parts of the Interlake.

Seeding progress in the Interlake Region is approximately 40% complete. Field selection for seeding is quite limited as soil conditions have stayed cool and wet for many parts of the region. The earliest seeded spring wheat and other cereals, as well as flax, canola, corn and peas, are slowly starting to emerge.

Cattle are being moved to pastures. Rains are improving grass growth; however overall growth is a bit below normal because of cool and wet spring conditions. Dugout conditions are rated as good.