Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report: No. 23

Conditions as of October 3, 2016

Favourable weather conditions of warmer temperatures and minimal rainfall allowed for good harvest progress across most of Manitoba over the past week.

Winter wheat and fall rye are emerging with excellent germination and stand establishment reported.

Fall field work including post-harvest weed control, fall fertilizer applications, tillage and soil testing is on-going.

Southwest Region

In the Southwest Region, seasonal to above normal temperatures and generally dry conditions allowed for good harvest progress until showers occurred late in the weekend. Rainfall amounts ranged from 5 to 25 mm.

Harvest of cereal crops is 90 per cent complete with some wheat still to harvest in isolated areas. Reports are average yields and quality. Canola harvest is 90 per cent complete, with the remaining crop the later seeded fields. Flax harvest has begun with progress at 20 per cent complete. Soybean harvest is 50 per cent complete with average to above average yields so far. Sunflowers are maturing with some desiccation occurring. Corn silage is 80 per cent complete with above average yields.

Winter wheat and fall rye is emerging. Producers have started fall work.

Growth on pastures is declining and producers are moving cattle to fall pastures. Dugouts are 80 per cent full.

Northwest Region

Harvest operations continued steadily through the week with good progress in the Northwest Region. Widespread showers over the weekend brought harvest operations throughout the region to a halt on Sunday. Although amounts were not significant, with cool overnight temperatures, fog and already wet conditions, it was enough to stop operations. Generally, rainfall amounts ranged from 3 to 10 mm.

Producers are pressing forward with harvest operations with the red spring wheat harvest nearing completion in most areas of the region. It’s virtually complete in the Swan River and Dauphin areas and 90 to 95 per cent comlete in Roblin and The Pas. Much of the grain combined over the last two weeks was harvested at tough moisture levels that required drying; quality is average to below average. Spring wheat yields are ranging from 50 to 70 bu/acre. Progress on the barley harvest is steady with 90 per cent of the barley acres combined throughout the region. Yields are average at approximately 80 bu/acre. Roughly 90 per cent of the oats in the region is harvested.

The canola harvest continued with steady progress throughout the week. Approximately 70 per cent of the acres in the Swan River and The Pas areas are complete, with 80 per cent complete in Roblin. Canola yields are variable and quality is average with reports of 50 to 65 bu/acre.

The soybean harvest is underway. Corn remains standing. Weeds are actively growing and some post-harvest fieldwork has taken place, as conditions allow.

Second cut alfalfa harvest continued when weather allowed. Shorter days and cooler temperatures are slowing down drying time; therefore, much of it is being put up as round bale silage. Corn silage harvest is underway with above average yields reported but harvest has been challenging with equipment having difficulty traveling on wet fields. The majority of pastures are still in good condition for this time of year but some herds have been moved to grazing stubble.

Central Region

In the Central Region, harvest was slow to start after the previous weekend’s rains, but excellent progress was made as conditions improved throughout the week. Light frost was reported Tuesday above the escarpment. Warmer than normal temperatures were seen Friday, Saturday and Sunday with many acres harvested. Shorter days and heavy dews limit combining hours, so the exceptional weather was very welcome.

Standing water is still a concern in many fields. Ruts made during harvest are filled with water, limiting post harvest cultivation in the wettest areas. Soil conditions are still very wet in some areas, which make harvest and field work very challenging.

Harvest completion is estimated at 80 to 95 per cent, dependent on mix of crops in the area, and cooperation of weather conditions. The majority of the cereals are harvested. A few fields remain that are too wet to combine. Straw is being baled and removed from cereal fields. Harvest of canola continues, with all but the last seeded acres complete. Canola yields range from 10 to 60 bu/acre, with an average in the 30 to 45 bu/acre range. The majority of flax is harvested. Yields are reported in the 25 to low 30 bu/acre range; higher yields of over 40 bu/acre are reported in the central part of the region.

Soybeans are mature in all areas. Soybean harvest is 70 to 75 per cent complete. Pod height this year has allowed for excellent pick up of bottom pods. Harvest continues, with some excellent yields of 45 bu/acre, up to 65 bu/acre in areas less impacted by excess moisture. Fields that were severely affected by rain have reported yields of 10 to 20 bu/acre. Harvest continues in edible beans as conditions allow. Harvest is estimated at 80 per cent complete in the Altona area, and 70 per cent complete province-wide.

Most sunflowers are in the R7 to R9 stage, with colour change evident. Some early harvest reported, with low yields due to damage from storms and high winds. Corn is maturing; fields range in development from R5 (dent) to physiologically mature. Drydown is noticeable. Harvest has begun in the Winkler, Morden and Carman areas. Other areas report moisture contents in the 28 to 30 per cent range. Corn silage harvest continues with favourable results.

Conditions have been good for early establishment of winter cereal crops, with warm soils and decent topsoil moisture. Heavy rains in some areas of the region following seeding resulted in some thin stands, especially in low areas. Some herbicide applications for broadleaf weed control have been done. It is estimated acres are similar to last year’s seeded acres.

Anhydrous ammonia and dry fertilizer applications have begun where conditions allow. Soil testing is on-going. Weed growth continues, supported by the constant moisture in fields. Postharvest herbicide applications are being done. Fall tillage continues. Good progress has been made on cereal and canola fields where conditions allow.

Some last hay cut is being taken on fields with good regrowth and yield potential. Good quality is reported. Forage growth on pastures has slowed. Producers are considering extended grazing options for the fall, including second cut hay fields, stubble or swath grazing. Livestock water supply is adequate.

Eastern Region

Very little rainfall fell in the Eastern Region this past week. Drying conditions were not ideal but harvest resumed on Thursday afternoon and continued through the weekend.

Canola harvest is estimated at 99 per cent complete with reported yields ranging from 20 to 50 bu/ac, with an average yield of 30 bu/acre. Progress was made with the soybean harvest and is estimated at 50 to 60 per cent complete. Reported yields to date range from 40 to 50 bu/acre with an average yield of 45 bu/acre. However, harvest progress and yields were dependent on soil moisture conditions. In areas receiving excessive rainfall throughout the season, harvest operations are impacted and lower yields are reported. Tough straw is making harvest a challenge for some producers as well.

Sunflowers are in the R9 growth stage (physiologically mature) and desiccation is complete. Corn is in the R6 growth stage (physiologically mature). Corn harvest is expected to begin in a week or two, depending on weather.

Winter wheat seeded earlier this fall is in the three leaf, one to two tiller growth stage.

Across the Eastern Region, the majority of pastureland is in good condition. Some second cut grass hay is yet to be cut and baled as most fields are wet. Livestock are starting to graze regrowth of hay fields with the odd producer feeding on pasture. Winter feed supplies are rated as 20 per cent surplus and 80 per cent adequate for hay and 100 per cent adequate for straw, greenfeed and feed grain. Availability of livestock water was adequate.

Interlake Region

In the Interlake Region, early in the week saw cool, seasonal temperatures with rainfall amounts ranging from 5 to 15 mm; in the Ashern area 30 to 40 mm of rainfall was recorded. However, producers throughout the region were able to resume field operations later in the week and continue harvesting.

Harvest progress is estimated at 75 to 85 per cent complete. Some late seeded spring cereals and canola still remain in fields waiting to be harvested. Soybean harvest continues as plants reach maturity. Most fields are at the R8 stage but some later seed fields still have 10 to 14 days before plants reach maturity. Yields range from 35 to 50 bu/acre, and moisture contents ranging from 12.5 to 15.5 per cent. Sunflowers have been desiccated as fields reach maturity. Alfalfa seed fields continue to be harvested. Re-growth has started to become an issue for producers as they try to finish combining their alfalfa acres. Reports of yields vary from 150 lbs/acre to 500 lbs/acre.

Winter wheat growth stages range from 2 to 3 leaf, one tiller. Field tillage is on-going.

Haying is 95 per cent complete. Fall work and fertilization of forages continues. Soil moisture levels range from adequate too surplus. No killing frosts have been reported in the region yet. Pasture growth is fair to good with shorter days and cooler temperatures; as a result some pastures are done for the season and cattle are being moved to hay fields or starting to be fed stored feeds. There is adequate water for livestock consumption.

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