Producers welcomed some nice warm days during the past week. Several areas received precipitation, with some larger amounts reported in thunderstorms with high winds and hail in the Shilo and Glenboro areas. There is no shortage of moisture in most of the region. Drowned out spots are very visible due to wet weather conditions in the first part of the spring. Growing degree-days and corn heat units are close to normal or above normal in most of the areas, which is helping the crops to grow.
Most winter cereals are ripening. Low fusarium level in winter wheat and low ergot levels in fall rye being reported.
Canola is responding well to favorable weather. Staging of the crop is variable depending on the seeding date. Majority of the crop is coming out of flowering and at pod formation stage. There are some reseeded and late seeded fields, which are also started to coming out of flowers as well. Sclerotinia spraying is almost done and no reports of any insect damages at this stage. Bertha armyworm trap counts are getting low in the region. Majority of the fields are recovering well from moisture stress conditions.
Spring cereals like wheat, barley and oats starting to ripen. Later seeded fields are also advancing well. Most of the crop maturing well without any major issues. Fusarium head blight (FHB) is showing up, especially in non-sprayed fields of spring wheat, but incidence is vey low at this stage. Majority of the crop is at soft dough stage. Barley is ripening very quick with this hot weather conditions. Lots of producers could not get in on time in the field at FHB timing due to excess moisture in the fields and aerial applicators were overbooked.
Soybean crop is at R3-R4 stage of the development. Majority of the crop looks green and tall with recent moisture events and hot weather conditions. IDC conditions have been faded away. No reports of any soybean aphids yet. There are some volunteer canola visible in the soybean fields. Yield potential looks great if all conditions will be favourable in the coming weeks.
Field Peas are looking good other than drowned out spots. There are some root rot and leaf disease reports. Crop advancement is encouraging as most of the fields are at R4-R5 stage. Pods are filling nicely with more than average grains that could compensate the yield loss happened due to excess moisture.
Flax fields are starting to come out of flower. No major disease issues. Some lodging and yellowing is visible in low-lying areas.
Sunflower is start to flowering (R5). There are some reports of insect damage but no spraying yet.
Corn is advancing well and benefitting the hot and wet weather conditions Majority of the crop is in V10 stage. Some early seeded fields are at VT stage.
Grasshoppers visible everywhere in all crops and in the ditches as well. Loss in the crops is minor to non- significant. No reports of any grasshopper spray in the area.
Warm weather over the past week has let producers get some good quality dry hay rolled up. Several producers still wrapping bales. Yields look to average to above average. Drier conditions also helped pastures dry up in some areas making it easier for cattle. Pastures are rated good. Silage has started in some areas and yields look to be average to above average.
Dugouts are full.
General thundershowers, strong winds and temperatures above 25C this week through the entire region. A weather system that went through the region resulted in 62 mm of rain in the Grandview area and 29 mm along with small hail around Swan River. Rainfall amounts were in the mid-teens for the balance of the region. Soil moisture is adequate through most of the region with the exception of The Pas where soil moisture has been excessive with effects of saturated fields evident in all crops in the area.
Good conditions for growing with heat and sufficient moisture is really helping crops along. Earlier season concerns due to cold and dry conditions largely resolved, although some canola still looks poor.
Earlier seeded spring wheat, oats and barley are progressing into the early dough stage, approximately 20% of the spring cereals are still heading /flowering with the balance in late milk stage. Spring cereals are generally in good condition. Winter wheat and fall rye are in the dough stage; winter wheat is in fair to good condition while fall rye is in excellent condition. Fusarium head blight is present in fields where fungicide was not applied.
Hot weather and rainfall has advanced the canola this past week; 50% of the crop still flowering and starting to pod up. Some of the latest seeded or reseeded fields are still bolting. Fungicide applications continue in canola as stages and conditions allow; fields that are in various staginess due to patchy emergence have been a challenge. The canola crop condition ranges from poor to good; the crop is in somewhat better condition on the south end of the region. The soybean crop is flowering, in the R1 stage and is in good to fair condition. Flax and peas are in good condition. The peas are podding in the southern part of the region and in full flower in the rest of the region. Flax is 90% in the boll growth stage.
Bertha armyworm monitoring is underway with three traps reporting numbers in the “uncertain risk” category, one in the Swan Valley (461), on NW of Bowsman (408) and another in the Durban (477) area. Armyworms have been reported in cereals and grass crops and producers are encourage to scout for these insects. There are reports of grasshoppers in the Parkland area.
Producers are still trying to complete first cut hay harvest as high humidity and spotty thundershowers slowed down hay drying last week. No rain in this week’s forecast should allow for good haying progress to be made, provided humidity levels remain low. Yields are variable and fields with delayed harvested resulted in more tonnes of forage per acre but quality will likely be reduced. The late cutting date will also have a negative effect on 2nd cut harvest dates as producers that normally take a second cut of alfalfa/grass before mid-August will now have to wait until after a killing frost. On hay fields that were harvested early, second cut growth looks good. Annual crops for feed are looking good with early seeded silage corn fields beginning to tassel. Pastures have responded to well to recent moisture.
Dugout levels are adequate.
Cool, cloudy and humid conditions at the start of the week turned sunny, very warm and humid later in the week to cool again on the weekend. Daytime temperatures were in the low 20s to start, reaching a high of around 30C on Friday and Saturday to cool down again. Nighttime temperatures were in the mid-teens for most of the week except on a couple of warmer nights, dews are generally heavy. A rain storm system brought heavy to moderate rains in the western side of the region on Wednesday and Thursday. Precipitation was highest in the Clearwater area with 45 mm received.
Gladstone to Plumas areas received 30 to 40 mm. The eastern half of the region missed those rains but is still considered fair to good for soil moisture and crops are growing well and advancing fast in maturity. Winds were moderate to calm on some days. Soil moisture conditions are rated as fair to moist for most of the region to wet in areas that received higher precipitation recently. Crop is yellowing to drowning out in some of those areas that had water for a while but damage to crops is limited given the small areas affected.
Fall rye is turning color as it is ripening fast. Some swathing noticed in the Austin area. Pre-harvest dry down products are being applied or will be applied soon to crops ripe enough. Many fields in the Red River valley are ripening quickly and harvest of this crop could began in the next week. Winter wheat is advancing into the hard dough stage.
Wheat, barley and oats are maturing rapidly. Those crops are rated as good to excellent condition. Cereal crops are standing up well and maturing evenly. Fusarium head blight symptoms is starting to show up in barley and wheat. Most corn fields are tasseling (Vt) while some are still progressing to that stage. More advanced fields are pollinating (R1). Corn crops are growing well with the favourable moisture and higher temperatures.
Canola staging varies according to the seeding date and ranges from full flower for late planted or reseeded fields to podded in most cases in the region. Fungicide applications to protect from white mold are done on canola. Flax fields are few and flowering. Fungicidal protectants are done to prevent pasmo, a foliar disease. Sunflowers are advancing well into the bud to head development R3 to R5 and earliest planted fields are R5.1 to R5.5. Fungicide and or fungicide and insecticide applications are occurring as warranted.
Field peas are growing well, some still flowering (R4) but many are more mature into the pod stage (R6). In the Altona area, field peas are quite variable and negatively affected from earlier rains drowning out parts of fields. Many fields look good while others have suffered from excess moisture.
Soybean fields are flowering in the R3 to R5 stage. Soybeans in the Carman area will need rain to help with pod fill. No reports of soybean aphids.
Edible beans and growing well and also flowering. Edible beans are in full flower with pod development starting. Some white mold being spotted in the Portage area on dry beans.
Potato heat units (P-Days) are over 400 units, slightly higher than normal. Early blight has been seen, even though spore trapping network did not detect any. Late blight risk values (DSVs) have crossed 18; and in the last week there was medium to high risk. No late blight reported yet. The >30C temperatures in July has resulted in heat stress and heat runners in many fields, with secondary sets of tubers being formed. Irrigation continues to maintain soil moisture at optimum levels.
Low numbers of aphids were trapped in 6 of 8 seed potato fields. European corn borers trapped in all of 12 sites, and stem borer injury in stems have been reported.
Pheromone baited traps for bertha armyworm moths emergence monitoring is ending. Accumulated trap counts remain in the lower to uncertain risk range at this point. Grasshoppers are noticeable in many different fields. In the Portage area there are reports of spraying for grasshoppers and armyworms. Population levels continue to be monitored as the crops are growing well.
Water and grass is adequate for cattle on pasture. Tame hay yields are 1.5-2.0 ton/acre on younger, better stands while older hay fields are 1.0-1.5 ton/acre. Hay quality in the swath has been affected by rainfall but overall quality is good. Beef producers are close to completing the first cut of hay with 2nd cut hay and cereal greenfeed/silage beginning.
Hay and pasture growth is being impacted by grasshoppers and drier conditions.
Rainfall accumulations in the past week ranged from none to over 25 mm occurring as isolated thunderstorms. The weekend in particular saw some intense but isolated thunderstorm activity that sometimes resulted in hail and crop damage although on very limited acres. Temperatures were hot and conditions humid for the most part. There continues to be areas in central and southern parts of the Eastern region where excess soil moisture has made haying and spraying difficult reducing forage yields and annual crop yield potential. At the same time, there remains districts in the north of the Eastern Region that are starting to experience overly dry soil moisture conditions. Areas of wilting soybeans were noted and warm season crops, particularly corn and soybeans, are at risk of reduced yield potential in these areas if rainfall does not occur over the coming weeks. Current soil moisture conditions on cropland, pastures and hayland in the region were rated as mostly adequate with the exception of previously flooded areas where soil moisture conditions continued to be surplus and excessive.
Herbicide and fungicide applications in the region have been completed. Winter cereals were expected to start receiving pre- harvest herbicide applications by this coming weekend. Spring cereals were mostly in the soft to hard dough stages. Some barley and oats fields were noted as maturing rapidly because of the warm temperatures. For these crops, areas of the field that previously had excess moisture and poorer root development were advancing very quickly. Canola was mostly pod filling with the exception of late seeded or re-seeded fields that were at the tail end of flowering. Soybeans were in the R2 or R3 growth stage with pods evident at the lower nodes of the mainstem. Corn was at the R1 growth stage (silking) with pollination ongoing. Sunflowers ranged from the R4 (inflorescence opening) to the early R5 (flowering) growth stages. Field peas ranged from mid R5 (beginning maturity) to mid to late R6 (mid maturity) and producers were monitoring fields for the timing of pre-harvest desiccants or herbicide applications.
Grasshoppers remained a concern last week in spring wheat and soybeans with sporadic spraying continuing to occur. Diamondback moth larvae in canola also became a concern for growers and agronomists last week. Many fields were being monitored with a few fields approaching threshold levels of larvae. It is expected that some spraying in canola will become necessary to control this pest.
Haying continued in the Eastern Region with producers striving to finish first cut. Thunderstorms continued to make it challenging to put up dry hay and delayed progress. Yields were variable depending on moisture conditions. In areas of the Eastern Region where flooding occurred, hay yield was reduced and quality was also poorer because of a delayed harvest. Across the Eastern Region, the quality of first cut silage and baled hay was rated as good on average but yields remained at about 60% of normal. Second cut of pure stand alfalfa by dairy producers was in full swing and about 50% complete. Yield reports indicated good quality with yields equal to or slightly better than normal second cut yields. Single cut hay was around 50% cut with limited progress on baling. Yields of single cut hay were only about 60% of normal. Pastureland conditions continued to show improvement. Stands that were not put under intense grazing pressure were still being rated as good although overgrazed stands were rated as fair. Beef producers continued to work with grain producers to purchase forage seed and cereal straw. Livestock water supply was adequate in the area and dugouts were full.
Rapid crop advancement continues with warm weather and high humidity. Temperatures were back up to the low 30°C range, with average temperatures around 20°C. Rainfall continues to be extremely variable with scattered thundershowers. Amounts this past week ranged from trace or nothing for most of the range, while Arborg and Narcisse saw 12 to 25 mm, Poplarfield 25 mm, Fisherton 50 mm, 85 mm at Taylor’s Point. A strip around Fisher Branch saw as much as 100 mm. Although there is crop damage from excess moisture in isolated areas, the three-year trend of dry conditions continues for many, and much of the region continues to register significantly lower than normal. Rain would be very welcome for pod and head fill in most of the region.
Crops are generally looking very good, but premature ripening is evident in the driest areas, especially on lighter textured soils. Cereals are starting to turn. Colour change in wheat awns is very noticeable; maturity is at the late milk to soft dough stage. Most of the lodged cereals have come back up; the northwest corner reports more lodging that is significant.
Early fall rye harvest has begun. Forage grass seed crops harvest continues.
There has been tremendous change in the pea crop; pods are filling well and early fields are starting to dry down. Premature ripening where conditions are dry will see early harvest. Fields that were on the drier side have smaller pods and seeds. Most peas are at R4 to R6, and many fields look excellent.
Sunflowers are in R3 to R4, and as advanced as R5. Canola varies widely – some fields look terrific with a nice even stand; others are thin and stagey. The earliest seeded fields are fully podded; a number are still flowering. Environmental conditions have influenced pod colour change; no reports of any seed colour seed to date. Flax continues to flower. Full boll in the earliest seeded fields.
Soybeans have seen tremendous growth with heat and moisture. Flowering continues; most fields are R2 to R3, with pods forming at bottom and mid plant. Minimal signs of iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) remain.
Heat and moisture have been great for both grain and silage corn; many fields are fully tasseled.
All crops are generally shorter than normal, but there has been quite a change in recent weeks.
Successful establishment for under-seeded forages has been variable, due to significant stresses – dry soils, small seed, and insect feeding.
Areas where water stood following heavy rains are now more evident as plants die off due to lack of oxygen and disease damage.
There have been reports of armyworms in a number of fields including perennial ryegrass, fescue, timothy, spring cereals and hay fields requiring insecticide treatment. Currently numbers are below threshold and regular scouting continues.
Grasshoppers continue to be a problem throughout the region. Headlands are being sprayed where possible, but more entire fields have been sprayed, especially in the southwest part of the region, as well as Armstrong, Bifrost-Riverton and Fisher. Many are also spraying the adjacent ditches. All crops have been affected, including newly established alfalfa and forage grass seed fields. Head clipping is evident in some wheat fields.
No other significant insect concerns to date. Some diamondback moth larvae are being found in canola; crop growth is sufficient that significant damage should not be a concern with the first generation of larvae. Bertha armyworm moth trap counts have increased, but total numbers continue to be low.
Insecticide costs are a much larger proportion of crop input costs for many this year. Products that protect beneficial insects are being used; producers hope this approach will reduce numbers for next season.
Some pastures have been in better shape after rains, but are declining again due to lack of precipitation. Without rain soon, some producers may have to take cattle off pasture, especially to avoid further damage. Native hay yields will be poor in most areas due to lack of rainfall. First cut hay is essentially complete, although some beef hay has not been cut. Much of the hay saw rain prior to baling. Although better than last year in many cases, yields will be below average for most. Well- fertilized fields have fared better. Second cut dairy hay continues, and some second cut beef hay has started. Forage shortages are still anticipated, the outlook has improved somewhat.
Livestock water supplies are adequate.