Crop Report: Issue 22, September 29, 2014


Weekly Provincial Summary

  • Above normal temperatures allowed for excellent harvest progress over the past week in Manitoba. Weekend rainfall did halt harvest operations, but they will resume once field and weather conditions permit.
  • Spring cereal and canola harvests are the most advanced, with producers making progress on soybeans, edible beans, potatoes, sunflowers, corn silage and greenfeed.
  • Fall field work, including tillage, baling of straw, and soil testing is on-going.


Southwest Region

Good harvest progress was made in the Southwest Region as above normal temperatures during the week allowed the moisture of most cereal crops to reach dry moisture levels. The cereal harvest is estimated at 50 to 60% complete; some areas within the region are almost complete, while other areas are just getting underway. The western areas of South Parkland have made the greatest progress, with areas from Newdale to Minnedosa experiencing significant delays. Quality to date is generally good; however, there are some reports of mildew and sprouting issues. Spring wheat, barley and oat yields continue to be at or above long term averages.

Approximately 25 to 30% of the canola acres are harvested with the majority of yields coming in at or above long term averages. There are some reports of yields ranging from 15 to 20 bu/acre, largely due to early season excess moisture stress. Overall, cereal and canola harvest are estimated at being 45 to 50% complete in the region.

The soybean crop benefitted from the above normal temperatures. Earlier light frosts resulted in leaf burn and subsequent leaf drop. The majority of the soybean crop is virtually at full maturity with 90 to 95% brown pod development. Yields may be impacted as poor weather conditions affected filling of top pods. Corn is showing the effects of frost as leaves are drying. Sunflowers are maturing.

With the warmer weather, majority of the second cut of alfalfa is harvested. Silage and greenfeed harvest is ongoing with average yields reported. Much of the silage corn is in the dough stage. Many producers are baling straw if it is available, but in some areas there is limited supply due to reduced seeded acres. Rain over much of the region on Sunday halted all harvesting and baling operations. Producers are starting to supplemental feed on pasture. Dugouts and sloughs remain full.

Northwest Region

Favorable weather conditions prevailed throughout the Northwest Region, resulting in good harvest progress for most producers. A few showers over the weekend contributed to wet field conditions in localized areas in the region. In the Ste. Rose, McCreary and Dauphin areas, a number of fields are unable to support harvest equipment.
Regionally, approximately 95% of the wheat crop is mature. The wheat harvest ranges from approximately 20% complete in the McCreary area to 99% in the Swan Valley. Regionally, the wheat harvest is about 65% complete. Good wheat yields and average quality are reported. 
About 80% of the canola crop is swathed and 30 to 35% is combined. There are a few reports from producers indicating they are waiting for the green seed count to decrease before combining. Reported canola yields range from 20 bu/acre to over 30 bu/acre. The quality of canola harvested to date is good. 
The majority of the soybean and flax acres are still standing with harvest likely a couple of weeks away for most fields, depending on weather. Some of the earlier seeded fields of soybeans are beginning to dry down. Harvest of the field pea crop is complete with average yields and good quality reported. Producers in some parts of the region are caught up on field work. At least a couple of weeks of favorable harvest weather are needed in order for producers to finish this year’s harvest. 
Hay harvest is on hold due to rains that began on the weekend. Greenfeed was harvested over the last week. Most cattle are still on pastures that were managed well over the grazing season, with the exception of those along the lakes that were inundated with water from the summer rainfall. Hay shortages still reported to be an issue for those producers along the lakes. Water supply is reported as good in all areas. 

Central Region

Warmer temperatures, winds and a break from rain got harvest operations back on track in the Central Region. Shorter September days and heavy dews were limiting factors, but excellent progress was made. Rains on Saturday night and Sunday morning have halted harvest, and more seasonal temperatures and cloudy conditions will slow things down again. Most of the region saw accumulations of 5 to 10 mm, with the northwest seeing up to 15 mm. Harvest is reported as 70 to 80% complete, dependent on field conditions and percentage of longer season crops in a given area. The northwest part of the region is behind due to late seeding and wet conditions throughout the growing season.
Much of the cereal grain harvested last week was done at dry kernel moisture levels due to the favourable harvest weather conditions. Most cereals are harvested. Cereal grain quality has declined, with downgrading factors including sprouting, mildew, fusarium damaged kernels and ergot. Yields are above average. 
Canola is swathed, or left standing for straight cut. Harvest continues, with good yields and quality reported. Yields are averaging in the 40 to 45 bu/acre range; there are higher yields as a number of fields are yielding 50 to 60 bu/acre. However, where heavy rains caused the most damage, yields are lower at 15 to 20 bu/acre. Most of the canola is harvested.
Last week’s warm temperatures aided maturity in the longer season crops. The majority of soybean fields are seeing leaf drop and seed colour change. Harvest in the southeast part of the region is general. Yields are reported in the 25 to 55 bu/acre range; average yields are reported in the mid to high 30 bu/acre. Frost damage is more evident on the western side of the region; yield should not be impacted greatly but quality will depend on plant stage at time of frost.
Edible bean harvest continues with quality in the southern areas reported as good. Seed size of kidney and cranberry beans are reported to be large and pick is quite low. Undercutting operations continue. Yield reports include pintos at 1600 to 2100 lbs/acre and navies at 1700 to 2100 lbs/acre; good quality as well. Desiccation of sunflowers has started and will continue this week. Early sunflower harvest is also reported with yields at 2500 lbs/acre. Potatoes are being dug with very good yields and quality. Grain corn harvest is ten days to two weeks away. Yields are expected to be average to below average. A few early acres were harvested with high moisture content. Silage corn is being chopped with early reports of good yields.
Fewer acres of winter cereals are seeded, in part due to the later harvest. Acres seeded are emerging well with the excellent soil moisture conditions. Fall field work is progressing well. Early soil test reports indicate low nitrate levels and declining phosphorous levels. 
Second and third cut hay is still being harvested. Quality has been affected by the rainy weather. Straw baling continues. Forage testing has started. Growth on pastures is slowing. Hay and pasture remains flooded along Lake Manitoba, in the Delta, Lakeland, Westlake and Whitemud River areas. Most producers in southern areas of the region expect to have adequate hay supplies for the winter, with some small amounts of surplus reported. Some producers in the northwest areas of the region face less than adequate feed supplies.

Eastern Region

The weather was unseasonably warm throughout the Eastern Region, enabling producers to make good harvest progress. The above normal temperatures also aided crop maturity on later season crops and helped crop moisture contents dry down. However, early Sunday morning harvest was stopped due to rainfall, with accumulated amounts ranging from 8 to 15 mm. Harvest should resume shortly, dependent upon the weather.
Producers made good progress on finishing up most spring cereals, getting as much canola done as possible and also getting significant soybean acres harvested. Spring wheat yields are reported in the 60 to 80 bu/acre range and canola in the 30 to 50 bu/acre range. The majority of soybeans are in the R8 stage with 95% brown pods, with early yields reported in the 25 to 35 bu/acre range. Corn is progressing with black layer forming, indicating physiological maturity. Sunflowers are in the R7 stage with the back of the head starting to yellow.
Winter wheat seeding continued, while more acres may still be seeded in the coming days as canola is harvested. Some winter wheat was seeded into unseeded acres, or into fields that were terminated in the spring due to failed crop establishment. The earlier seeded winter wheat ranges from emergence to the first leaf stage. Fall tillage started on a more widespread basis.
With the good weather conditions producers were able to bale; 75% are done baling second cut grass hay. Pastures are still holding on as cattle are grazing regrowth on hay fields. Availability of livestock water is rated as 100% adequate.

Interlake Region

In the Interlake Region, warmer temperatures with no precipitation started the week off with promising weather to continue harvest. However, heavy morning dews, fog, and overcast skies slowed drying time throughout the week, limiting harvest. Precipitation on Sunday of 3 to 13 mm also slowed harvest.
Harvest progress is estimated to be 45 to 50% complete in the Interlake Region. Spring cereals and oilseeds continue to slowly get harvested. Downgrading in wheat continues as crops remain in the fields. Soybean harvest has begun in the south Interlake as producers are able to harvest the earliest maturing varieties; sunflower harvest also started but most fields continue to dry down. Alfalfa seed acres continue to be desiccated with some fields being harvested as well. Canola harvest also continues with moisture levels averaging 10 to 12%. Limited acres of winter wheat were seeded in the region due to delayed harvest and soil moisture conditions.
Pastures are still holding out reasonably well with recent rains. Some second cut alfalfa is being taken; however, it is a challenge to dry with intermittent rains. Ample water is available for livestock consumption.