Little harvest progress, snowfall causes lodging in standing crops

Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report for October 9

Southwest Region

Unseasonally cool and wet weather swept the region with rain and snow, precipitation amounts between 10 to 45mm.  Soils also still cooling and are at 5C. Northern parts of the region got more moisture as compared to southern parts. Wasagaming had 45mm, Newdale, Shoal Lake and Oakburn areas had 25mm. Air temperatures were also well below than normal and reached as low as -14C in some areas.

No harvest progress in the region this past week, with crops remaining in the field and 75 per cent harvested completed. Soybean, canola, flax, oats, wheat, dry bean, sunflower, grain or grazing corn are among those crops still in the field.

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Snow falling on the farm

Soybeans are the majority crop still remaining in the field. Several hard frosts have terminated most annual crops.

Some water accumulations in lower spots depending on location.  Heavy snow had caused moderate to severe lodging in cereal and standing canola crops near Melita, Bede, Souris, Hartney, Newdale, Elphinstone and Oakburn areas.

Snow has melted for the most part, but fields becoming rather wet and chances of getting stuck with equipment have increased.

Corn silaging still ongoing, but wet conditions making it hard to do a good job.

Producers looking for custom drying and custom combining. Some producers getting ready for fall fertilizer application.

The southwest has remained cool and wet. A good killing frost of -9 C for a few hours has stopped forage growth. Cattle are mainly being fed or fed on pasture. Producers securing feed, selling and culling extra stock to meet feed supplies. Feed grain should be available due to the poor harvesting conditions over the last three weeks.

Northwest Region

Harvest was stalled this week in many parts of the Northwest Region due to rain and snow.  Daytime temperatures were down into the single digits with nighttime temperatures dropping well below zero throughout the entire region.  Rain and snow accumulations were highest on the south and east sides of the region with Roblin area getting around 17mm and around McCreary receiving the most precipitation at 35mm.  Precipitation amounts were minimal in the northern part of the region, including Swan River and The Pas, allowing harvest to progress.  The crop in the northwest region is estimated at 80 per cent harvested.

Spring wheat crop is mostly harvested throughout the region with the exception of some later seeded fields that remain standing. Yields are good ranging from 65 to 85 bu/ac. Fieldwork is being completed as conditions allow; weed growth has been slow.

The wet weather has been a challenge for producers trying to combine their canola crop.  Any canola harvested this past week came off tough or damp and will need to be dried down for storage.  There are reports of damage to standing canola fields in the Dauphin area due to heavy snowfall.  Around Swan River the canola harvest is about 50 to 55 per cent complete with yields of 45 to 60 bu/ac; harvest of canola in the Roblin area is at 40 per cent complete with yields of 50 bu/ac; the canola harvest is well underway at The Pas.

The lentil and pea harvests are complete with yields of 45 to 50 bu/ac and 50 to 70 bu/ac respectively.

Harvest of soybeans started in the Northwest Region with reported yields of 35 bu/ac.

Continued precipitation of rain and snow has resulted in little dry forage/straw being put up with some swaths being down for over a month.  The majority of cows are being fed on pasture to allow for browsing of available standing forage thus minimizing the dry matter required from already low hay stores.  Producers with reduced forage production continue to source alternative feeds and make winter feeding plans. Corn silage harvest is wrapping up in the region.

Central Region

Another week of cool, cloudy, rainy conditions resulting in marginal harvest progress. Monday and Tuesday conditions allowed for some harvest progress, but turned to rain and snow on Wednesday.  7 to 12cm of wet snow accumulated bringing 10 to 25mm of water equivalent in the region averaging around 15mm. Most of it has melted leaving top soil conditions too wet to operate farm equipment since. Daytime temperatures remained below normal hovering in the single digit all week while night temperatures stayed just above or below the freezing mark.

Most harvest progress made early in the week was with soybeans. Much of the soybean harvest done, but some areas still have significant acres to complete. Reported yields vary widely ranging from 7 to 60 bu/ac, but averaging in the mid 30’s. Green seed content is also wide ranging with as much as 40 per cent green seed in the driest pockets of the region East and South of Carman.

Planted winter cereals are growing slowly with the cold and cloudy conditions. The earliest planted fields have up to three leaves.

Wheat, oats and barley harvest considered done as well as much of the canola. Remaining canola fields harvested are coming off tough to dry but have good seed quality.

Flax harvest 70 to 80 per cent done. Sunflowers are ripe and coming off somewhat tough but with good seed quality. Good test weight reported and yields are excellent. Little progress made last week for sunflower.

Corn harvest progressed slightly and much of the corn crop remains to be harvested. Grain moisture wide ranging being reported in the 16 to 25 per cent to higher.

No significant harvest progress made on edible beans which is about 80  per cent completed. Field peas harvest is done.

Potato harvest reported complete in Carman/Morden/Winkler, 70 to 85 per cent complete in Portage la Prairie, 50 to 70 per cent complete in Carberry/Glenboro/Holland area with good yield reports in the 300 to 350 cwt/ac.

Post-harvest tillage progressed earlier in the week until the snow came. Soil sampling continues during the fall fertilization period. Manure application continued but field conditions have been difficult due to wet soil surface.

Improved topsoil moisture conditions have helped to green up pastures but growth is stopped as temperatures cool and the lack of sunshine. Many producers have been supplementing hay in pastures and it is expected that cattle are to come off pasture soon for the winter feeding period. More than usual feed sampling and testing to measure feed quality and determine nitrate level as potential feeding risk. Livestock producers are sourcing alternative feed sources to meet their needs.

Livestock water supply is poor and holding with water levels in the 25 to 35  per cent range in dugouts with poorer water quality.

Eastern Region

Rainfall accumulation continued to vary across region this week. Accumulations varied from 13 to 30mm.  Soil moisture conditions on crop land were rated as 80 per cent surplus and 20 per cent adequate in northern districts. Central districts are rated 40 per cent surplus and 60 per cent adequate. In southern districts, soil moisture conditions on crop land rated as 10 per cent adequate, 60 per cent short and 30 per cent very short. Producers returned to harvest on Monday and Tuesday of last week before being shut down again due to rainfall on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  Both day and night temperatures remained below normal and cloudy skies throughout most of last week did not help with soil and crop drying.  The focus was on the soybean and corn harvest, producers made the most of the time that they had.

Harvest progress estimated at 80 per cent complete.  Cereal harvest is wrapped up.  Yields and quality were both very good this year. Spring Wheat yields range from 50 to 80 bu/ac, with good quality and protein levels ranging from 13 to 16 per cent.  Oat acres reported yields ranging from 80 to 130 bu/ac.

Canola harvest complete with yields ranging from 35 to 60bu/ac with good quality.

Soybean harvest is estimated at 80 per cent complete as an average for the region (Northern districts are at 65 per cent complete while Central and Southern districts are at 95 per cent complete). Harvest is on-going with yield reports in the 30 to 50 bu/ac range. Soybean variety choice is having some influence on harvest progress this year with those growing more of their acres in shorter season varieties being farther along.

Sunflowers are all at the R9 stage and are ready to harvest, weather dependent.  Corn harvest is on-going and estimated at 25 per cent complete. Yields have been reported in the 100 to 140bu/ac range, but quite variable.  Producers did harvest some acres this past week but progress has been slow.

Hay and pasture land moisture conditions were rated as 10 per cent adequate, 60 per cent short and 30 per cent very short.  Pasture land conditions were rated as 30 per cent fair, 40 per cent poor and 30 per cent very poor.  Feed supplies in the area will be tight as not all producers have enough feed are going to move calves early and cull harder to make sure they have enough feed for the winter. Thanks to the past months rain, livestock producers are getting a second cut on fields that have hog manure applied during the summer and pastures have regrown giving livestock more grass to graze.

Dugouts are also starting to have water in them a quarter to a third full. Winter feed supplies of hay are rated at 50 per cent adequate and 50 per cent inadequate, straw is rated at 80 per cent adequate and 20 per cent inadequate.  Greenfeed, feed grain supply and livestock water all rated as 100 per cent adequate.

Interlake Region

Accumulated rainfall of 12 to 30mm along with snow this past week has continued to hamper harvest progress. Little progress change since last week, but producers took advantage of small windows of favourable conditions when possible.   Much of the crop harvested has to be aerated and/or dried, to keep grain in condition for storage and reduce spoilage.

Cereal harvest is 99 per cent complete with a wide range of yields.

Canola harvest is now 98 per cent complete. Soybean harvest varies from 20 to 75 per cent complete; yields from 15 to 50 bu/ac. Grain buyers report fewer soybean samples coming in with high green seed content.  A few samples show signs of hail damage.

Fall rye is seeing increased acres, due to good contracts available.

Some flax remains to be harvested and may be delayed until the ground is frozen.

Little or no combining of sunflowers so far; grain corn about 10 to 15 per cent done.   Moistures have dropped; harvest will commence as soon as field conditions allow.  Some corn is past the window for silage, and may go for grain.

Seed alfalfa yields typically range from 150 to 350 lb/acre.  Most seed alfalfa fields are now desiccated and awaiting drier weather to be combined.

Phosphorus, potash and sulphur fertilizers are being applied, particularly on fields intended for soybeans or canola next year. Little nitrogen fertilization so far. Soil testing and some fieldwork continues.

Cattle have been turned out onto hay fields since recent frosts.   Cattle on pasture are receiving supplemental feeding.  Sourcing of hay for cattle and horses continues.

Tame haying mostly complete. Native haying is shut down, and may start up again if weather permits. Forage samples are being submitted for nitrate analysis.

Early weaning and pregnancy checking occurring in livestock due to feed/pasture shortage and low dugout levels.

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