Fair weather sees seeded cereal, canola crops quickly emerge

Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report for May 26

Southwest Region

Most of the southwest region received rainfall during past week and on the weekend. Thundershowers in some areas brought a significant rainfall in short period of time. Amounts are varied and can be viewed here. Some areas close to Boissevain and southeast parts of the region toward Killarney, already dealing with surplus moisture, will see seeding issues and field access persist.

Windy conditions are helping to dry out those areas but some continuous heat and dry days needed to finish. Overall 80% of the region has adequate moisture, while 20% has surplus levels of soil moisture.

Overall seeding is 40 to 45% done in the southwest region. Rapid seeding progress was made in most of the region except some high rainfall areas.

Many growers have finished cereals, now sowing oilseeds and other crops. Germination and emergence also picked up last week as temperatures were favourable. Weed growth is advancing quickly and farmers want to spray as soon as wind conditions allow.

Spring wheat and cereal crops are 90% complete in northern parts of the region and 60% complete in southern areas due to wet conditions. Overall 70% complete. Germination is good, and early seeded fields are at one to two leaf stage.

Winter wheat and fall rye continue to advance and getting benefit from these moisture events. Some weed control activities are occurring. Overall progress of winter cereals is slower than normal.

Field pea seeding is 90% done. Emergence is also excellent and in some early fields, peas are at 1- to 2-node stage. Canola is about 25 to 30% done. Very few fields emerged at this point, and no insect problems reported at this time. Flea beetles are starting to show up on volunteer canola, and producers are reminded to watch for defoliation thresholds. No reports of cutworm damage yet.

Soybean seeding is also picked up during last week with these warmer conditions. Overall 15 to 20% is done and more will be in this week as crop insurance deadline approaches. No reported germination to date. Silage and grain corn is about 45% done as early seeded crop start to emerge. Seeding of sunflower and hemp crops are also underway, estimated at 45% complete.

Recent rain and warmer weather has improved pasture and hay land. Many producers have cattle on summer pasture. Livestock water supplies are currently adequate. Fertilizer is being applied to hayfields. More silage acres are going in to the field due to previous year’s shortages.

Northwest Region

The Northwest region received a mix of temperatures throughout the week reaching the upper twenties. Some areas in the region received rain over the weekend, while others near Swan Valley and Roblin would benefit from a good rain. Ste. Rose area and south received 21 to 32 mm, Keld and Dauphin had 22 mm, while Fork River and The Pas had 10 to 13mm. The rest of the region received less.

Seeding was able to progress throughout the week in most areas, except for those areas that received precipitation and operations were halted for a day or two while fields dried.

Spring Wheat seeding is 95 to 100% complete, with the exception of The Pas where seeding operations continue. All spring wheat is emerged in Roblin; 70 to 80% emerged in Swan Valley and Dauphin areas. Canola seeding continues across the region and is 80% seeded in Swan Valley and Roblin areas and 55% completed in the Dauphin area; with 25% emerged in Swan Valley and Roblin areas and 10% in Dauphin.

Approximately 35% of soybeans in Dauphin are seeded; 80% seeded in Swan Valley and soybean seeding is complete in the Roblin area. Field Pea seeding is complete with emergence well underway. Flax seeding is complete in the region and 85% emerging in Roblin area. Corn in the Dauphin/Ste. Rose area has emerged.

Strong winds last week have caused stress on some young crops that were emerged. Weeds and volunteers continue to grow and some herbicide applications have begun in the region where crops have reached the appropriate stage and conditions have allowed. Strong winds throughout last week posed a challenge to applications.

Diamondback moth counts have been of no concern; there have been some reports of cutworms in peas in the Benito area where control was warranted.

Forage growth on hay fields and pasture has been minimal with moisture required for additional growth. Conditions are better in the eastern part of the region around Dauphin and Ste. Rose where some areas received significant rainfall on the weekend. Turn out of cows on pasture has started but supplemental feeding is needed if not grazing stockpiled forages. Livestock water supplies are adequate. Planting of corn silage and cereal silage/greenfeed continues.

Central Region

Sunny, warm conditions combined with strong southerly winds helped dry soil surface. This allowed improved machinery access.

Over the weekend, a band of thundershowers fell across the region bringing variable amounts of precipitation. The majority of the region received in the 15 to 25 mm of rain but amounts vary widely from 1 mm in the Altona area to 65 mm in the Starbuck area and even over 150 mm in a localized area near Elie. The extreme precipitation reportedly caused temporary standing water and rapid runoff from the fields. Damage is being assessed and reseeding may be required of fields or portions of fields. Low-lying field ditch areas are expected to drown out in localized fields.

With the recent rains, topsoil moisture is considered adequate to excessive with standing water in low-lying areas of fields. Soil temperatures have improved and all crop types are being planted.

Cultivation, fertilization, harrowing are being done wherever possible to help dry topsoil. The high water table and springs make it challenging to operate farm machinery. Topsoil may be dry but saturated or near saturated subsoil causes tracking and soil packing. In some cases, machinery became seriously stuck.

Overall seeding is considered to be around 45 to 65% complete, with a higher proportion done in the eastern part of the region and less west of the escarpment. Seeding progress ranges widely with some growers reported done to almost done while others have not started yet. An area from Rathwell to St- Claude is reported to have wet field conditions with about 20 to 25% seeding progress so far.

Seeding progressed well for all crop types as conditions improved during the week. Seeding of wheat, barley, oats and corn planting is reported 85 to 95% or more done in the in all parts of the region. Even, uniform emergence of the wheat, oats and barley crops is evident with the favourable moisture. Earliest planted cereals are growing well and in-crop weed control is starting. Seeding of field peas is considered done. Canola seeding is estimated at 30 to 50% done. Flax and sunflowers are being planted as conditions allow. Soybean planting ranges from 20 to 45% done with the higher proportion on the eastern to north central portions of the region. Dry bean planting is underway and reported in the 20% done in the Altona area. Potato planting continues with 80 to 90% of the acres in the ground. No emergence has been reported yet but early-planted fields should be coming through soon.

Weed growth is accelerating with warm moist conditions. Herbicidal treatments have been difficult with the high wind conditions.

Since the rain started Saturday evening, field operations stopped and it will take a few days of drying conditions to resume except for areas with lighter rains as in the southeastern and north central portions of the region.

Pheromone baited traps for diamondback moths are indicating arrival of this canola pest in the region. Most sites report low to zero counts to date except in the Gladstone area where over 50 adults were captured in one week.

Overall dugout recharge and water supplies are adequate for cattle going to pasture. Hay and pastures are growing well since temperatures have warmed up. Cattle are on summer or spring transition pastures with supplemental feeding. Cattle started moving onto the Portage community pasture last week. It is now just over half full and will be at carrying capacity by next week. Some of the community pastures have cut back their allocations due to two consecutive dry summers and a lack of grass regrowth.

Eastern Region

Warm and sunny weather last week allowing seeding to proceed rapidly. Day and nighttime temperatures were often above normal and soil temperatures at seeding depth were optimal for seeding, ranging from 15 to 20°C.

Rainfall moved into the region over the weekend but was highly variable and localized. Rainfall accumulation amounts ranged from only two to over 40mm with most areas receiving only light rainfall. While field access was significantly improved, there were still some fields or field areas where access is limited due to excess moisture. Some burning of crop residue was still occurring as producers worked to get these remaining fields seeded. Some direct seeding into unworked fields was attempted as a way to make progress. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region were rated as adequate. Soil moisture conditions on hay and pasturelands were also rated as adequate.

Across the Eastern Region, approximately 85% of overall seeding completed with the greatest amount of progress in warm season crop types occurring in northern districts. About 90% of spring wheat and oat acres were planted with remaining fields expected to be seeded in the next few days. Approximately 85% of canola was seeded with progress on seeding accelerating last week as growers finished other crops like corn and cereals. Grain corn planting was about 85% complete. Rapid progress last week was possible as the problems of low soil temperatures and field access improved. Around 75% of soybeans were seeded with producers intending to complete seeding before the end of the week, weather permitting. Sunflowers were about 90% planted with remaining acres going in as soon as possible.

Rapid emergence of earlier seeded crops was noted. Field pea growth stage ranged from emergence to the VS (scale leaf). Earlier seeded cereals were within their spray window leaf stages with post- emergent herbicide applications expected later this week, weather permitting. Pre-emergent herbicide applications in soybeans occurred last week and will continue. Later seeded cereals ranged from emergence to the first leaf stage. Earlier seeded canola ranged from the emergence to cotyledon growth stages. Emergence of corn and sunflowers was also noted. Concerns about emergence uniformity in earlier planted cornfields, given the soil temperatures at time of planting, mean that stand assessments are ongoing. Overall producers were very pleased with their seeding progress last week and many hoped to complete seeding by the end of this week. However, in some areas, rainfall of at least 15 to 25 mm was desired to ensure rapid and uniform crops emergence, particularly for canola seeded into lighter textured soils.

Pastures and hay growth continued to be very slow. Some winterkill on alfalfa was observed. Cows continued to be let out onto pastures as feed supplies were running low. The conditions of hay and pasture lands were rated as 75% good and 25% fair. Availability of livestock water was reported as adequate for the region.

Interlake Region

Temperatures in the 25 to 28°C range last week allowed for rapid germination and emergence. Canola has emerged in as little as four days, and soybeans in six days – a much different picture than 2019. Significant seeding progress has been made this past week in much of the region. Average temperatures for the previous week climbed rapidly to 18 to 19°C. Average soil temperatures are in the mid- to high teens. While much of the region received trace or minimal amounts of rain, the southern strip saw as much as 25 to 50 mm in parts of St. Andrews, 20 mm in Stonewall, and 10 to 25 mm in Woodlands area.

At this point, most estimate that seeding in the region is 70 to 80% complete. Field conditions continue to be variable. Many producers have completed seeding; some have to pick and choose fields, while some in wetter pockets have struggled to make progress. Crop residue on untilled fields was a problem for many, and unplanned tillage took place to dry out fields. Strong winds and sun have dried out the soil surface, but soils remain wet and hard underneath in many cases, particularly heavier soils. Some have commented they are seeding through dust into muck.

Conditions for germination and emergence have generally been excellent, although rain is needed to ‘fix’ some of the crop that was mucked in. Peas are seeded, germinating to early second node. Fababeans are in. Seeding of spring cereals is close to wrapping up, with 90% of the crop in. Spring wheat is emerging, and up to the 2- leaf stage. Canola continues to go in, with estimates of 70 to 75% complete. Canola is germinating to early 1-leaf stage. Most soybeans are 50 to 75% done; ground crack to early emergence is noticeable. Sunflower seeding is complete. Grain corn is in, with the most advanced fields up to early 2-leaf. Silage corn ranges from 60 to 80% complete.

In-crop herbicide applications continue in winter cereals. Some pre-emergent herbicide is being applied; in-crop applications will start soon, with accelerated weed and crop growth. Conditions for applications have improved following the strong winds of last week.

Diamondback moth traps are out, with some increase in numbers with south winds. Insecticide for flea beetle control has been made to the odd canola field, seeded early into cold soils, where seed treatment might no longer be effective.

Pasture regrowth has improved with warmer weather and scattered showers. Majority of pastures rated in very poor to fair condition. Hay is rated from fair to good. First cut may be lower due to shorter growth with the extended cold weather. Forage availability is a concern for those impacted most severely by dry conditions in the last two to three years.

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