Crop Report: Issue 19, September 8, 2014


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Rainfall and cooler temperatures continue to slow harvest progress, haying operations and crop development. The recent weather is also impacting crop quality in some winter wheat, spring wheat, oats and barley fields.
  • Harvest is most advanced in the Central Region with average yields reported for spring cereals and canola.
  • Grain corn, sunflowers and soybeans continue to mature with forecasted temperatures a concern.
  • Minimal acres of winter wheat have been seeded to date.


Southwest Region

 The Southwest Region received 30 to 50 mm rain over the past week, along with cooler than normal temperatures. Standing water is visible in most low areas of the fields. Lodging is also an issue due to the wet weather and heavy winds. The frost forecasted for this week is a major concern for most producers. 

Very little harvesting occurred last week due to the poor weather conditions. Winter wheat yields are below average with higher than average levels of fusarium damaged kernels in harvested samples. Spring wheat yields are 45 to 60 bu/acre with low levels of fusarium head blight. Bleaching is evident in the early seeded spring wheat and barley. In the late seeded crops, the wet weather is having less of an impact. Pea harvest is underway with yields well below average due to root rot.  
Canola swathing occurred throughout the region. Blackleg and root rot are the major diseases in the area, while symptoms of sclerotinia are also visible in most untreated fields. There are no reports of canola being combined.
Soybean development slowed due to the cooler temperatures. Most soybeans are still in R6 to R6.5 stage with pod and full seed development occurring on the four upper most nodes on the main stem. Some of the earlier maturing varieties are just entering the early R7 stage of development. It is estimated soybeans are approximately 15 to 20 days from full maturity for even the earliest varieties. Most corn is filling well and crop stage is R4 to R5. Sunflowers are in R7 stage of growth.
The second cut of alfalfa is in the early to mid flower stage of development with most producers waiting for a break in the weather before harvesting. Silage operations in barley crops are starting with average yields reported. Silage corn is in the late milk to early dough stage of development. Native hay fields are wet again which will further delay harvesting. Straw baling has begun but is sparse. Pastures are benefitting from recent rains but low areas are getting damaged from hoof action. Some pastures are showing signs of overgrazing. 

Northwest Region

Unsettled weather over the week resulted in windy days and varying amounts of rainfall throughout the Northwest Region. Most parts of the region received over 25 mm with the highest rainfall amounts reported in the Dauphin district. There were a couple of days where combining was possible for some producers, predominantly in the Roblin and Swan River areas. Regionally, approximately 25% of wheat is in the dough stage of growth and about 75% is mature. Combining began on some wheat fields that had been treated with a preharvest application, but less than 5% of the wheat crop is combined. Early reports indicate wheat yield and quality as average.  

About 60% of the canola crop is swathed and less than 1% is combined. The majority of the soybean crop has completed blooming and is podded. Approximately 90% of the field pea crop is combined with average yields reported. Most harvest operations in the area are at a standstill because of rain and wet conditions.

Pastures are slowing in growth and around the lakes producers are considering pulling livestock for supplemental feeding due to high lake levels and accessibility. Haying has been shut down due to considerable rainfall and wet conditions. Accessibility to hay fields and other fields is limited. Localized feed shortages are expected.


Central Region

Cooler to seasonal temperatures, along with heavy dews and rain showers, resulted in little harvest progress this week in the Central Region. Scattered hail caused some crop damage. Much of the region reports concerns with quality loss in swathed crops, causing problems with delayed harvest. Some reports of sprouting in both cereals and canola. Road access is a concern in many areas due to amount of rainfall and field operations are a struggle. Grain carts are transporting harvested crop to trucks parked on gravel roads as fields and dirt roads are too soft. Weather conditions improved over the weekend allowing most of the region to continue harvest. 

Winter wheat harvest is complete, with yields averaging 50 to 70 bu/ acre, ranging from 40 to 80 bu/acre. Quality is below average. Crop residue is being baled and removed from harvested fields. Fall rye is harvested, with yield reports of 50 to 60 bu/acre.

Spring wheat harvest continues with early yields in the 45 to 80 bu/acre range. Good quality is reported, with early protein contents ranging from 11 to 13.5%. There is some downgrading in spring wheat due to mildew. The impact of fusarium damaged kernels is far less evident in the spring cereals, although there are a few reports of fields with high ergot levels. General purpose wheat varieties are yielding in the 80 bu/acre range and higher. Preharvest applications continue on the later seeded cereals.

Barley in the eastern areas of the region is harvested, with yields ranging from 70 to 100 bu/acre; western areas report 55% complete. Oat yields range from 90 to 140 bu/acre with good test weights. Most fields are averaging 120 to 140 bu/acre.

Swathing of canola continued, and all but the later seeded fields are swathed. Harvest continues, with yields in the 40 to 45 bu/acre range and higher. A number of fields are coming in at 50 to 60 bu/acre. Where heavy rains caused the most damage, yields are lower at 15 to 20 bu/acre. Some straight cutting has been done. Some standing canola has been affected by wind.  

The majority of soybean fields are seeing leaf colour change. Most fields in eastern areas are up to R7.5 stage, while western areas are close behind. Leaf drop is evident. Edible beans continue to mature; desiccation continues, especially where late season weed pressure could cause quality issues. Undercutting operations continue, and harvest has begun. No yield reports to date. Corn is variable; with most acres in the dent stage. Flowering is complete in sunflowers.
Rust is reported in sunflowers, along with a few reports of the start of head rot. Blackleg lesions are evident in many canola fields, as well as symptoms of sclerotinia. Brown girdling root rot is reported in some fields. Some leaf spotting is evident in soybeans, including brown spot, bacterial blight and downy mildew. Root rots are also present.  
Low levels of soybean aphid continue to be found but crop staging for many fields is past the point of economic impact. Control measures continue for grasshoppers where numbers and feeding injury warrant.
Heavy dew and sporadic rainfall is continuing to create issues with hay harvest. Temperatures are cooler in the evenings, with predicted lows for the upcoming week near freezing raising concerns about nitrate levels. The rain benefitted pastures, but growth slowed with the cooler temperatures. Roadway and ditch grass hay is baled. Wild hay along Lake Manitoba will not be harvested after recent rains. Hay, pasture and some crop is flooded along Lake Manitoba.

Eastern Region

Recorded rainfall in the Eastern Region ranged from 0 to 30 mm with temperatures cooler than normal. Topsoil moisture level on the majority of annual crop land is rated as adequate to surplus.  

Across the region, weather conditions slowed warm season crop development and prevented annual cereal and canola swathing and harvest operations due to either wet fields or damp grain. In central areas of the region that received less precipitation, harvesting commenced last weekend in canola and wheat as fields dried up considerably from the previous rainfalls. Moisture contents in wheat were considered damp which require drying prior to putting into storage. Some quality losses are noted on standing spring cereal crops. More favourable weather would see producers back on the fields starting mid-week. The forecast for frost this week is a concern.
Haying is slow due to the light rains. Cattle are doing well on pasture; pastures benefitted from the recent rains. Winter feed supplies should be adequate with a slight surplus in hay supplies. Availability of livestock water is rated as 100% adequate across the region. 

Interlake Region

Cool, wet conditions prevailed for the majority of last week in the Interlake Region. Showers resulted in 15 to 35 mm of precipitation throughout the region. Isolated areas had hail which caused damage in canola fields; no reports on the extent of the damage.
Due to the weather throughout the growing season, most crops are behind the normal harvesting period. Reports of peas, wheat, and oats sprouting while standing or in swaths are occurring. Some winter wheat fields are still standing and sprouting is reducing its priority for harvesting. There are reports of harvested spring wheat with mildew issues, resulting in a downgrade to feed grade. Quality of harvested canola is good as most of it is grading #1 Canada. 
Field conditions are saturated with excess moisture making travelling across fields difficult. Producers are looking for special tires and rear wheel drive kits to help aid with harvest. Forage grass fields not yet harvested have either shelled out or begun to sprout in the swaths. However, on Sunday producers were able to get onto the fields to harvest some of their crops. Most crops being harvested are coming off tough which will need drying, adding additional costs to average and below average quality crops.
Rains throughout the week stopped hay harvest. It is now a challenge to travel with machinery on tame hay fields; native hay fields not yet harvested probably will not be harvested this season. In areas that were most affected by excess moisture, reports from producers indicated feed supplies and quality are below average. Pasture conditions are fair to good. Availability of water for livestock is rated as adequate.