Daytime temperatures across the Southwest region reached the mid- 30 C mark; average temperatures ranged from 18 to 21 C. The 37 C high over the weekend came with damaging winds. In general, most of the southern parts of the Southwest region received 2 to 10 mm. The majority of the northern districts of the region had less than 2 mm rain.
Overall, the entire region is dry. There is increased concern regarding inadequate rainfall in all parts of the region, particularly in the northern areas. Accumulated precipitation is well below normal for this time of the year. Dry conditions are an issue through the entire southwest – emergence has been effected because of dry conditions – crops that have emerged are showing issues of drought stress and a significant rainfall is needed over the next few days to offset any potential yield losses in cereals and peas.
Seeding is 95 to 100 per cent done. A few remaining acres are going to greenfeed. Some reseeding of canola continues. Multiple stresses, including extended dry conditions, high flea beetle pressure, and sometimes crusting from last weeks’ rain are the primary causes. Damaging winds are also big issue in some areas for emerging crops, tearing at sensitive cotyledons. Timely rains are needed to support all crops. Most crops have germinated, but areas of shallow seeded crops, canola in particular, sit in dry soil. Patchy germination is evident in cereal fields, especially on lighter textured soils, and stands are uneven. Topsoil moisture is adequate at the current growth stage for 40 per cent of crops and short for the remaining 60 per cent.
Emergence is rated as fair to good. Previous week rain has evened some fields up, and stands are starting to fill in. Peas range from 5th to 7th node stage. Spring wheat is 3- to 5-leaf and some early seeded are starting to tiller. Oats and barley are similar, and all acres that saw rain have improved in growth and colour. Most corn – both grain and silage – is planted, ranging up to the V3 stage. Colour is still pale green, and wind damage is evident in many fields.
Canola is cotyledon to 4-leaf, with reseeded acres germinating to emerging. The flax fields seeded have emerged and are doing well. Soybeans are at cotyledon (VC) to unifoliate (V0) stage. Some fields are showing the wind damage. Sunflowers are germinating well with some reports of cutworm in southern side of the region. Greenfeed acres are reported to be up significantly, with majority completed seeding.
Fall rye and winter wheat are progressing well but height is shorter than normal, with fewer tillers due to dry weather conditions. Weeds are more evident following the recent rain, and producers who were holding off spraying due to lack of weed pressure are now ramping up operations. Spraying will be general this week. Spraying progress is slower than average, due to challenging weather conditions and lack of weed growth. Up to 40 per cent of acres are complete in some areas, but well below that in others.
Bertha armyworm traps have been placed in canola fields, and monitoring will begin this week. Diamondback moth numbers are still low to date. An increasing number of fields have been treated for flea beetles, and currently entire fields are being sprayed. Populations vary widely over the region, but in some areas, as much as 30 to 40 per cent of the fields have been sprayed. Some reports of cutworms as well.
Forage and pasture land are showing the effects of the lack of rainfall. Pastures that were overgrazed last fall are showing severe stress. These pastures will not last much longer. With dry conditions, first cut is being affected and yields are going to below normal. Dugout levels are below normal and some producers are have been hauling water to fill dugouts. Regrowth of hay and pasture has been slow with dry conditions. Topsoil moisture is rated as 20 per cent adequate, 60 per cent short and 20 per cent very short.
There was an extreme weather change for this week as temperatures rose well above the 30 C mark compared to the frost events and cool temperatures the previous week. These high temperatures along with high winds caused stress on crops. With the exception of The Pas where rainfall over the weekend resulted in an accumulation of 10mm, the rest of the region had light localized showers that did not result in significant precipitation. With the heat, weeds are growing fast, however heat and wind is challenging herbicide and insecticide applications. Last weeks’ wind and heat dried soil out even further with surface moisture conditions in many parts of the region rated as dry. Lighter soils are more affected and are showing signs of lack of moisture.
Seeding is generally complete throughout the region with producers finishing the last few acres or where reseeding is taking place. There is some canola being reseeded due flea beetle damage, especially in the Swan River area.
Wheat is emerging nicely in the region with 90 per cent in the seedling/tillering growth stage. Nearly all other spring cereals, barley and oats, are in the same growth stage. Cereals are withstanding the heat, wind and dry conditions better than the canola and are generally in good to excellent condition.
Peas are growing and emerging well and are in excellent condition. In the Swan River area, 30 per cent are in the vegetative stage with peas further along in the Roblin area with 100 per cent in the vegetative stage.
Canola has been the most affected by the high heat and high winds over the last week. Flea beetles have been actively feeding with some producers making the decision to reseed severely affected fields. Wind and high temperatures have made insecticide and herbicide applications challenging.
Pheromone baited traps for diamondback moth monitoring are out in fields throughout the region. There are some moths showing up in traps around Grandview and north of Roblin however, numbers remain low. Flea beetles have been actively feeding on emerged canola; windy conditions have moved their feeding down to the canola stems. Feeding damage has resulted in reseeding activity primarily in the Swan River area.
Producers are starting to move cattle to summer grazing although pasture growth is still slow. More moisture would be welcome for more heightened growth and continuation throughout the grazing season. Dugouts and water supplies remain low. Alfalfa fields under good fertility and management are progressing well. Grasshoppers are starting to appear and should be monitored.
Sunny skies and southwesterly winds prevailed last week, bringing well above normal temperatures. Strong westerly winds on Saturday reached up to 97 km/hr near Somerset, moved soil and temporarily reduced visibility. Daytime temperatures ranged from a high of 41 C in Gretna late in the week to 21 C over the weekend. The accompanied thundershower activity brought precipitation to the western part of the region and southeastern areas with amounts varying form trace to as much as 17 mm in Morris but next to no precipitation in the northern parts the region. Topsoil moisture is fair to poor, depending on where rain showers hit in the last couple of weeks. Rain is in the forecast this week and many growers hope it will improve soil moisture conditions as crops grow and evapotranspiration increases.
Winter wheat, fall rye and perennial ryegrass fields are growing well as temperatures have warmed and moisture sufficient to support growth. Development varies with some fall rye fields ranging from early head emergence to beginning flowering. Drought-stressed crops where rainfall has not been sufficient are thinner and with fewer tillers.
Wheat, oats and barley seeding is considered done; the frost, heat and wind have caused some leaf tip burn. Cereal emergence is good to fair, but is spotty in fields that received little precipitation to date. Earliest seeded cereals emerged well, and development stage varies from four to six leaves. Herbicide application is ongoing in cereals as conditions allow. Wireworm feeding damage has caused plant stand reduction in some wheat fields.
Corn is growing well with 1 to 3 leaves (V1 to V3, collar method) developed. Field peas are growing well and development ranges from second to seventh node. Some canola fields seeded in the first half of May have struggled with emergence due to poor topsoil moisture as well as flea beetle feeding sometimes requiring more than one insecticide application. Canola planted in the latter part of May are emerging well but areas with more rainfall have suffered crusting issues requiring reseeding in some cases. Most canola has escaped earlier frost damage. Less than 5 per cent of canola acres are expected to be reseeded due to a variety of causes. Some heat canker symptoms are noticeable, or canola that emerged through scorching soils last week will be reseeded. Seed supplies are sufficient.
Flax is growing in the 5 to 10 cm tall. Sunflowers are growing well and no major issues reported to date. Soybean planting is done, with many fields emerged but some variability reported in areas with poor moisture conditions. Stage varies from breaking ground to second trifoliate developing. Herbicide applications have started on soybean fields. Dry bean planting is done. Overall seeding in the region is around 98 per cent complete, with only reseeding required in some areas.
Weed growth is evident with the warmer temperatures. In-crop herbicide applications are underway as crops are progressing well into the proper development stages. High temperatures and strong wind conditions are making spraying challenging. The closer-to-normal temperatures forecasted this week should allow spraying operations to progress well.
Potato planting is considered done and 50 per cent of fields now emerging. Herbicide application and hilling is in full swing, irrigation is ongoing. Recent rains helped with topsoil moisture recharge but more is needed.
Pheromone baited traps for diamondback moth and true armyworm, potential pests of canola and cereals respectively, are setup to monitor their arrival from southern latitudes. Most monitoring sites continue to report zero or very low counts of either pest so far. Flea beetle activity on canola is aggressive with warmer conditions and control measures applied where needed. Wireworm and cutworm activity has also been noticeable in a variety of crops.
With dugouts lower than normal to start the grazing season there is concern how long the water will last. Producers are considering or are setting up alternative watering systems to improve water quality and conserve limited water supplies. Others are planning to haul water or clean out and deepen existing dugouts or construct new ones. Most cattle have been moved onto pasture but a few of the community pastures have moved the cattle turn out dates back until mid June to allow the grass to grow. Hay and pasture affected by frost and hot, dry conditions is suffering and needs more moisture to continue growing. Low-lying wild hay and alfalfa froze in the Alonsa area where frost was more severe. The younger, fertilized alfalfa fields are doing well and up to 20 inches in height.
Precipitation accumulation recorded at the weather stations ranged from 5 to 30 mm across the region. Moderate to severe thunderstorms that ranged from isolated to widespread brought variable amounts of rainfall, standing water in fields is evident in some of these areas. Both daytime and nighttime temperatures were well above normal throughout the reporting period. Soil moisture situation still favourable in most parts of the region given past rainfall events. There has been adequate moisture for the reseeded crop to germinate. Most producers would welcome further rainfall even those where the moisture situation is adequate now. Well-timed rainfall will be needed in the coming weeks.
Seeding is wrapped up across the region aside from canola reseeding efforts due to the frost and high flea beetle pressure. Winter wheat and fall rye is at the flag leaf to early head emergence stage, and rapid growth occurred this past week. Spring cereals are at the 3- to 6-leaf stage with 1 to 3 tillers and growing well. Corn is at the V2 to V3 stage and has grown out of the recent frost damage. Field peas are at the 5th to 8th node stage. Sunflowers are at the V2 stage. Canola is at the cotyledon stage on re-seeded acres and at the 2- to 4-leaf stage on original acres. Flax is at the third whorl of stem extension stage. Soybean is at the cotyledon on re-seed acres and first unifoliate leaf stage on original crop.
Reseeding of canola and soybeans due to frost damage was completed last week. As reported previously, somewhere between 5 and 10 per cent of soybean acres were reseeded because of frost while <5 per cent of canola acres were reseeded.
Flea beetle damage to canola has become a serious concern in northern districts. Approximately 10 to 15 per cent of canola acres have been reseeded because of extensive flea beetle damage. Crops being set back because of various levels of frost damage coupled with the recent high temperatures have been blamed for the outbreak of flea beetles. Insecticide spraying is ongoing with some fields being sprayed multiple times to prevent further feeding damage.
Herbicide spraying was ongoing, despite the challenge of scorching temperatures. For the most part, producers were being as careful as they could, spraying whenever temperatures had cooled down and trying to select product/crop combinations to minimize damage. Even so, some crop damage has occurred although expectations are that affected crops will recover over time. Weed growth was advancing quickly in the heat and producers are concerned about yield loss if the situation is left unchecked. Across the region cereals were about 35 per cent done, soybeans were 30 per cent done first pass, field pea herbicide application was completed. First pass on corn and sunflower was close to complete and flax was completed first pass applications. Less than 5 per cent of canola acres were sprayed with herbicide because of concerns over crop damage. Producers were busy assessing flea beetle damage or applying insecticide to canola crops.
Hay and pasture soil moisture conditions across southern districts are rated as 50 per cent adequate and 50 per cent short. Hay and pasture condition is rated good to fair. Severe thunderstorms rolled through his weekend bringing much needed moisture. Precipitation varied from 5mm to 50 mm depending on location and severity of thunderstorm. Some wind damage reported. Pastures need more moisture and ones that had cows let out early on them are suffering and not producing. Dairy producers have started first-cut alfalfa and early season greenfeed forages like fall rye. Livestock water availability is rated as adequate. Haying has not yet started in the northern districts. Supplemental feeding is occurring, and any potential forage regrowth will not make up earlier shortfalls over the rest of the season.
Scattered showers and thundershowers continue, with much variability in rainfall amounts. Most weather stations registered 7 mm or less, with Lake Francis at 13 mm. Limited acres received as much as 20 to 25 mm; crops have jumped with hot weather, in areas with higher rainfall. Although the majority of annual crop acres are still rated as adequate for topsoil moisture, frequent rains will be needed to sustain crop growth through the season.
Dry conditions continue. Most crops have recovered from frost injury, but re-seeding continues, especially where multiple stresses affect crops, canola in particular. Temperatures continue to be extremely variable, with most of the region seeing highs ranging from 32 to 35 C, and some areas in the north part of the region saw overnight temperatures drop below 0 C. Some producers have seeded deeper into moisture; those crops have been slower to emerge, with patchy emergence. Any rain is improving crop condition. Some crops have been laid flat during the heat of the day.
Reseeding has not been as extensive as first expected, to the relief of many producers. Evaluations continue to see if reseeding is warranted. Strong winds continue to cause problems, with crop injury from blowing soil. Damage has been most evident on fields with low levels of crop residue, and on fields that have been rolled. Dust continues to kick up following field operations in some fields.
Seeding progress has been excellent, with the last fields going in – mostly annual crops such as oats, millet and sorghum for green feed. Reseeding continues as crop stands are evaluated following frost – generally canola that is also impacted by dry conditions, injury from wind and high temperatures, along with significant flea beetle pressure. Almost all crops have stagey emergence.
Winter survival has been good for annual crops, and perennial forage seed crops, although growth is significantly limited by dry conditions. Fall rye and winter wheat are heading out. Extended cold and dry conditions have resulted in short stands. Some frost damage to fall rye that saw heavy frost for several hours. Frost has been the final stress for a number of forage seed fields, with reports of significant damage along the west side of the region, towards Lake Manitoba.
Wheat is mostly 2- to 4-leaf and 2 tillers, with many more reporting 5- leaf to 6-leaf. Barley and oats are slightly behind on leaf stage. Many comment that cereal stands have bounced back well, and are looking great, particularly the early seeded crops. Peas range in stage from 4 to 6+ nodes, and although short are looking good. Most herbicide applications are complete.
Canola emergence has been slower due to deeper seeding, in some cases, as well as cool soils and dry conditions. Frost damage was limited in many cases, as 30 to 50 per cent of the seeds had germinated and emerged, with enough coming to make a decent stand. Close monitoring has continued, due to multiple stresses, particularly flea beetle pressure. This additive pressure has resulted in continued reseeding. Seed treatment on later seeded and reseeded canola is keeping flea beetle damage in check.
Canola is generally in the cotyledon to first or second true leaf stage, with scattered plants as advanced as 4-leaf. A number of comments that canola is ‘stuck’ – other crops have bounced back and are doing well, but canola is the exception. Root systems are not well developed, and are often sitting in dry soil. Some seed has been sitting in dry soil for as long as 3 to 4 weeks without enough moisture to germinate. Some cutworm damage has been reported in the north part of the Interlake.
Most soybeans escaped frost damage, as deeper seeding and cool soils limited emergence. Yellowing of cotyledons was evident in a number of emerged fields. Many fields emerged after the frost. Some of the earliest seeded fields in the south sustained frost damage, with reseeding required on <10 per cent of acres, in smaller areas. In areas of hardest frost, damage has occurred even to beans at the ground crack stage. Damage is less than expected in most fields.
Corn has been slower to recover, but new growth is evident. Some fields have been reseeded, to either canola or corn, with some going to a greenfeed crop. Some fields sustained minimal injury. Flax sustained frost damage, and while some fields have been reseeded, most fields were showing regrowth within a couple of days. Growth stage is variable, as with all crops, with the most advanced up to 3 inches in height (7.5 cm). Sunflowers are mostly 2 to 4 leaf, with patchy emergence; some plants are still coming through. Plant counts are adequate for a crop. Some fields have been sprayed with Coragen for cutworms.
Flea beetles continue to be a concern in canola, and are being closely monitored, especially with recent high temperatures. Insecticide has been applied in many fields, particularly with multiple stresses. In some fields, more than one application has been made. Challenges have occurred, as control is poor with temperatures over 25 C. Grasshoppers are emerging, and some pasture has been sprayed. Diamondback moth traps are still seeing low numbers, with accumulated counts less than 20 in Interlake traps.
Herbicides are being applied where weed growth warrants. Retails are busy with herbicide being picked up. Some applications are just starting, but as much as 60 per cent of cereal acres have been covered in the south part of the region, with many expecting to wrap up this week. First-pass Liberty applications have begun on canola, although flea beetle control has been the focus. Grassy weeds are most prevalent, broadleaf pressure in all crops is low. First pass glyphosate is being applied to soybean fields; Xtendimax is being applied on dicamba-tolerant soybeans. Herbicide applications have been pushed back on flax due to high temperatures, an easier decision with low weed pressure. Good progress has been made, as producers work around windy conditions. Majority of applications should be made this week and next, weather conditions allowing.
Although forages are greening up, dry conditions and now frost continue to limit pasture and hay regrowth. Many alfalfa fields have been hit hard by frost. The majority of hay and pasture is rated as poor to fair. Alfalfa is budding at 20 to 25 cm in height, due to drought and frost. First cut will be average at best, and minimal in many cases. Some producers are buying feed; some are running out of feed, and are contending with poor pastures. Winter forage supplies were improved this past winter as compared to the previous year. Producers switched from annual cash crops to feed crops to make up anticipated shortfalls. Silage and greenfeed acres have again increased; concern about potential yield in the driest areas. Some producers are securing first and second cut hay sources.
Livestock water supplies are currently adequate for most, but concern about lack of supply continues to increase. Water levels are low, particularly in shallow dugouts, with more reports of being completely dry. Well drilling continues, to secure water supply and some producers are hauling water. Dry conditions and frost in many parts of the Interlake has set back and reduced potential hay and pasture yields. Summer pastures are still not growing as fast as cattle are consuming the grass. Pasture in bush areas is fairing better than more open areas, due to better snow catch. Rain is needed or feed and pasture shortage is imminent in parts of the Interlake, particularly in north Interlake on poorer soils.