Harvest 2016 continued across Manitoba, although wet weather, shorter days and heavy morning dews are impacting the number of acres harvested in any given day.
Many crops are being harvested at tough or damp moisture levels, requiring aeration or artificial drying to achieve safe storage moisture levels.
Some areas reported light frost events Thursday and Friday. Minimal impact to crops has been reported, largely due to temperatures and duration not sufficient to cause damage, and/or crops at or close to maturity.
Seeding of winter wheat and fall continues, with the earliest seeded acres emerging.
In the Southwest Region, some harvest progress was made over the past week between rain events. Several producers are combining grain at tough or damp moisture contents as the forecast is for more rain. There was frost on Thursday and Friday; however, most crops were past the stage where damage could occur. A larger rain and wind event happened Sunday evening, causing damage to swathed canola.
Cereal harvest was slow over the past week as producers focused on harvesting canola because it was drying quicker. Barley and oats harvest is pretty much complete and wheat harvest is about 70 per cent complete. Several producers are harvesting canola; yield reports vary from field to field. To date, average yields are estimated.
Soybeans are in the R8 stage and continue to develop with few problems. Sunflowers are progressing well, but are starting to see some disease issues. Corn silage continues with reports of average to above average yields.
Pastures are starting to dry up and producers are starting to look to fall pastures and stubble grazing. Most haying is complete and looks to be an above average hay crop. Dugouts in most areas are about 75 per cent full.
Warm weather and drying winds allowed the harvest to continue this past week throughout the Northwest Region. However, Sunday saw wet weather which has brought harvest to a halt. There were cool overnight conditions Thursday and Friday resulting in light frost throughout the region. There haven’t been any reports of significant damage. Cooler overnight temperatures and heavy morning dews also reduced the available harvest time window.
Crops are advancing with the spring wheat crops 90 to 95 per cent mature and harvest operations occurring, as weather permits, throughout the region. The red spring wheat harvest is 90 per cent complete in the Swan River and Dauphin areas, 80 per cent in Roblin and The Pas. Much of the grain combined over the last week required drying. Yields are variable ranging from 50 to 70 bu/acre. The barley harvest is also underway with 20 per cent of the barley acres combined in the Swan Valley area, and approximately 40 per cent of the barley acres are combined in the Roblin area. Approximately 10 per cent of the oats in the Swan Valley is combined, while 40 per cent is combined in the Roblin area.
Canola continues to develop with most canola in the region mature and much of it swathed. Some straight combining has occurred around the Dauphin area. In Swan Valley 30 per cent of the canola is combined, 50 per cent is combined in the Roblin area and 75 to 80 per cent is swathed in The Pas area with 10 per cent combined. Canola yields are variable with reports of 50 to 65 bu/acre in the Swan Valley. Field pea harvest operations are generally complete. Corn and soybeans remain standing. Some post-harvest fieldwork has taken place, dependant on time and weather conditions.
Good conditions last week allowed for continuing harvest of greenfeed and second cut hay. However, last night’s significant rainfall on the eastern side of the region will halt field operations. Feed samples are indicating variable quality with more poor quality hay than other years. Corn silage harvest is beginning this week in the more advanced fields. Pasture growth has slowed down.
Near seasonal temperatures through the week in the Central Region helped with maturing crops. Shorter days and heavy dews limited combining hours, as did scattered showers. However, harvest progress continues to be made when conditions allow. Areas that received the highest rainfalls on the September long weekend have seen minimal progress. Rains on Thursday evening and Friday resulted in more significant accumulations, with much of the region receiving 10 to 20 mm. Higher amounts were recorded in Fannystelle 75 mm, Elm Creek 50 to 75 mm, Carman 25 mm and Portage up to 25 mm. Snowflake, Manitou, Somerset and other areas above the escarpment saw temperatures drop to -1.5°C on Wednesday morning. No major damage reported. Strong winds may have some impact on swathed or standing canola.
Harvest progress in the Central Region is estimated at 65 to 75 per cent complete, dependent on mix of crops in the area and cooperation of weather conditions. The majority of the cereals are harvested. Drying and aeration is required. Hard red spring wheat yields range from 30 to 75 bu/acre, to date, and CNHR varieties up to 90 bu/acre. Protein is variable, with early reports of 12.5 to 15 per cent. Fusarium damaged kernels are reported as variable, ranging from 0.4 to 4.2 per cent. Barley is in the 70 to 100 bu/acre range; some has made malt, but reports of higher fusarium head blight in many fields are a concern. Fusarium has also been an issue in rye, limiting marketing options. Oat harvest continues, with yields also impacted by excess rains. Yields range from 80 to 175 bu/acre. Bushel weights are average to light.
Harvest of canola continues. More canola is being straight cut than in previous years. Canola yields range from 10 to 60 bu/acre, with average in the 30 to 40 bu/acre range. Acres completed range from 50 to 95 per cent, depending on the area. Some producers chose to harvest canola before cereals.
Flax is being harvested, with initial reports 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.
Corn is maturing; most fields are at R5 (dent), with some almost at physiological maturity. Dry down is noticeable. Rapid change is seen in soybeans. Fields range from R7 to R8, with significant leaf colour change, and leaf drop. Harvest has begun, with some excellent yields of 45 to over 50 bu/acre. Harvest continues in edible beans as conditions allow. Early yields are slightly below average, ranging from 1200 to 1800 lbs/acre. Quality so far has been good. Most sunflowers are in the R7 to R9 stage, with colour change evident. Desiccation continues. Potato harvest is in full swing. Yields are above average and quality is average.
The majority of winter cereal seeding is complete. Conditions are good with warm soils and decent topsoil moisture for an early establishment. Heavy rains following seeding resulted in some thin stands, especially in low areas. Anticipated acres are similar to last year’s seeded acres.
Straw is being baled and removed from cereal fields. Fall tillage continues. Good progress has been made on cereal and canola fields. Good regrowth is beneficial to limit potential for volunteers in next year’s crops.
Some last hay cut is being taken on fields with good regrowth and yield potential. Forage growth on pastures has slowed, and some is rated fair or poor. The recent rains have improved some pastures. Producers are considering extended grazing options for the fall, including second cut hay fields, stubble or swath grazing. Livestock water supply is adequate.
In the Eastern Region last week, daytime temperatures were cool to seasonal. Rainfall accumulations varied from 10 to 90 mm with the greatest accumulations occurring in southern districts. Rainfall events were highly variable both in terms of intensity and location. Weather conditions allowed for limited drying and harvesting. Remaining spring cereals and canola are mature and ready to combine. Cereal crops that have remained out are seeing some quality degradation. Producers are anticipating progress on remaining canola acres if good drying weather occurs this week. However, areas that experienced persistent excess moisture throughout the growing season continue to struggle with field access. Crop yields in these hard hit areas have thus far been significantly lower than Eastern Region averages.
Harvesting of spring wheat is almost complete with only a few fields remaining. Yields range from 45 to 75 bu/acre with an average yield of 55 bu/acre. Quality is good with much of the crop graded as #2. Fusarium head blight levels are lower than expected. Canola harvest is estimated at 85 per cent complete. Yields range from 20 to 50 bu/acre range with an average yield of 30 bu/acre.
The soybean crop is mostly at the R8 growth stage (fully mature) and drying down. Some long season varieties or June seeded fields are at late R7 stage. Good drying weather this week would see a start to soybean harvesting. Sunflowers are mostly in the R9 growth stage (physiologically mature) and desiccation applications have been ongoing. Most corn is at the R6 growth stage (physiologically mature). Winter wheat seeded earlier this fall is at the tillering stage of development.
Across the Eastern Region, the majority of pastureland is rated as in good condition. Availability of livestock water is adequate. There was very limited movement on haying last week as fields were wet. 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.
Top soil moisture levels range from adequate to surplus in the Interlake Region. Most areas would welcome some warm drying weather for combining and late season haying/silaging. The region received rainfall amounts ranging from 1 to 10 mm last week. This rainfall occurred throughout the week making it difficult to get onto the fields. However, towards the end of the week producers were able to resume combining.
Harvest is approaching completion with just soybeans, corn and sunflowers remaining. However, there are still scattered acres of spring cereals and canola/flax left to harvest. Spring wheat yields vary from 50 to 60 bu/acre, oats 90 to 130 bu/acre and barley 60 to 80 bu/acre. Canola yield is estimated to be around 40 to 50 bu/acre, not including fields impacted by excessive moisture.
Corn is in the R5 (dent) stage, and sunflowers are in the R8 stage and turning colour. Soybeans range from R7 to R8 with some very late fields still in the late R6 stage. Producers have started harvesting earlier season varieties of soybeans. No reports of yield or quality to date. Alfalfa seed fields are waiting for warm dry weather so producers can start to combine. Fall tillage is ongoing throughout the area.
Producers continue to ensile greenfeed and alfalfa/grass stands. Some native and grass hay is too wet to travel on. Pasture growth is slowing with shorter days and cooler temperatures. Generally, there is adequate pasture growth for the time of year. There is adequate water for livestock consumption.