Manitoba Agriculture – Some rainfall received in most regions but at very low levels, only delaying seeding operations by a few hours to a day.
All regions report good seeding progress made during the week with warmer temperatures and improving seedbed conditions. Approximately 50 to 60 per cent of seeding is done in Manitoba with the most progress made in Central region and the least in the North West and South West regions.
Many areas that had high water tables now have access to more and more fields as top soils are drying down. Light textured soils have dried up to the point that a rain would be welcome to assist with germination. Most cereals are planted, with the earliest fields emerging nicely. Good progress made with canola. Soybean planting is well underway and is expected to advance rapidly.
Many winter wheat fields are winter damaged in the Eastern and Interlake regions requiring re-seeding to spring crops.
Hay and pastures are growing slowly. Livestock water availability is considered good.
Ideal soil moisture conditions in the majority of the Southwest region. There were some showers early in the week but warm weather and high winds assisted in the dry down process. The region experienced near normal temperatures and cold nights with some frost last week. Good weather continued to improve soil surface conditions allowing field machinery access for seeding operations. Topsoil moisture conditions have changed to the point of being too dry for seed germination in lighter soil types. There are reports of soil blowing in lighter textured soils during the high winds on the weekend. Some precipitation would be beneficial to firm the soil surface and prevent soil erosion from wind.
The soil temperatures range between 12 to 15 C at 5 cm and 10 to 14 C at 20 cm.
Good seeding progress was accomplished last week. Overall seeding is approximately 30 to 35 per cent complete. About 40 to 50 per cent of the spring wheat and field peas are planted and about 20 to 30 per cent of the canola is in the ground. Some flax and corn is also planted, but the percentage done is low. Approximately 10 to 15 per cent of the soybean acres are planted. Barley and oats are close to 40 to 45 per cent planted. A few sunflower acres are also in the ground.
Early seeded cereals are emerging slowly due to moderate soil temperatures and colder nights.
Winter wheat recovery is looking good in most areas with little to no concerns at this time. Most crop is at two to three leaf stage with weed control measures likely to start being applied at the end of this week. There are reports of some water stressed fields in the southwest corner.
Diamond back moth traps are set up across the region and counts are coming in low in the Southwest at this time.
Conditions are good for weed growth and several producers are applying a burn-off treatment before or right after seeding.
Forages continue to advance with the warmer weather. Alfalfa is approximately 15 cm tall and the grasses are in the two to three leaf stage. Water levels have dropped on flooded pastures and hay lands. Dugouts are full.
Seeding progressed at a good pace in the Northwest Region, where conditions allowed. Soil moisture is rated as adequate in most parts of the region. There are low areas in some fields and some areas that have excessive moisture and wet fields. Top soil temperatures range between 5 to 10°C. There were rain showers throughout the region with amounts ranging from a high of 30 mm in The Pas, 13 mm in Swan River and Ste. Rose areas and trace amounts in the Roblin area. Temperatures remain cool with few days reaching a high of over 20 Celsius and overnight temperatures dipping down below zero Celsius.
There is continued progress on field operations including some harrowing, fertilizer applications, pre-seed herbicide applications, seeding of wheat, silage corn planting and some canola also going in the ground. Overall, seeding progress in the Northwest Region is estimated to be less than 40 per cent complete.
Approximately 50 to 70 per cent of the spring wheat crop is seeded in the Roblin and Swan River areas while seeding of peas is nearing completion. Canola seeding is underway with a start to soybean seeding however, many producers are delaying seeding soybeans and canola until after the middle of the month when soil moisture improves and risk of frost is reduced.
Volunteer plants, including cereals and canola, are evident in many fields. Weed growth including stinkweed, dandelions, hemp nettle, thistle, quackgrass and wild oats is general throughout the area. Insect activity level is low.
Forage growth remains slow across the region although this week’s forecasted warmer temperatures should accelerate growth. Producers continue to monitor perennial stands for winterkill with some brown root rot showing up.
Near normal temperatures with drying winds allowed for improved seedbed conditions. Daytime highs are in the mid twenties, with overnight temperatures above freezing on most days. Daily air temperature averages moved into the 10 to 12 C range and soils are warming. Seeding continues, with significant progress made in much of the region. Most areas saw around 10 mm rain early in the week; areas in the northwest received 20 to 25 mm, and an isolated area in Manitou received 25 to 30 mm.
Because of last fall’s wet conditions, many fields required heavy harrowing or cultivation prior to seeding. More than usual spring fertilizer is being applied, due to few acres being done last fall. Fall cultivation wasn’t possible, and in many cases, rutted fields needed to be prepared prior to seeding. The wettest areas have seen more than one harrow pass to improve seedbed conditions. Areas with high water tables were delayed with field operations but are now making good progress with all but the lowest spots being seeded. Some have seeded shallow into dry topsoil, yet extremely wet conditions remain below the soil surface. Some are hoping for rain to aid seed germination and even out machinery tracks. Lighter textured soils are now dry, and need rain for the crop to germinate.
Seeding overall ranges from 40 to 95 per cent complete, with progress most advanced in eastern and southern parts of the region. Progress is less advanced in areas to the north and west. A significant number of producers have wrapped up seeding operations.
The majority of cereals are in. Most fields are germinating to one leaf, with the most advanced wheat in the two leaf stage.
Canola acres range from 30 to 95 per cent complete, with progress most advanced in areas to the east and south. A few flea beetles, both striped and crucifer types have been spotted during warmer days, but no significant feeding evidence on volunteer canola to date. Canola is germinating to as far as the cotyledon stage.
The majority of field pea acres are seeded. Corn continues to go in, ranging from 60 to 100 per cent complete, and sunflowers and flax range from 40 to 60 per cent done. Soybean acres range from 20 to 80 per cent complete, with the south and eastern parts of the region most advanced. Seed germination continues, and a few lighter textured fields report emergence.
Potato planting continues. Edible bean planting has begun, with the majority of acres expected to go in after the long weekend.
Winterkill is a concern in some winter wheat and perennial ryegrass fields, ranging from minimal in the west and northwest, to 30 to 80 per cent in eastern areas. Re-seeding has occurred where damage was considered too severe. Hybrid fall rye has generally fared better than winter wheat. Fields with good survival are growing and tillering well.
Higher than normal level of winter annual and annual weeds are noted, including chickweed, shepherds purse and volunteer canola, along with perennial weeds like dandelion, Canada thistle and foxtail barley. Annual weeds including wild oats, smartweed and wild buckwheat are emerging to two leaf stage. Post-seed and pre-emergent herbicide applications are a challenge due to windy conditions.
Fertilizer applications are being done in alfalfa/hay fields that are dry enough for field machinery to operate on.
Pasture conditions are rated as fair; but range from poor to good. Excess moisture is a concern for some pasture and forages with a small percentage needing a good rain. Forage growth in pasture and hay fields progressed well last week with the warmer temperatures and adequate moisture. Pasture growth is not yet adequate to turn cattle out. Livestock water supply is considered adequate.
Precipitation across the region this past week was very low with only 0 to 1.2 mm received. Soil temperatures at 5 cm are between 7.5 C and 12 C and trending higher. By the weekend there were no soil temperature limitations for seeding any crop type. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region are rated as adequate. Soil moisture conditions of hay and pasture land are rated at 10 per cent surplus, 80 per cent adequate to 10 per cent short.
Now that winter wheat field assessments are complete it is determined that almost none of the crop has survived. Some producers are trying to keep enough field area together for seed for next year. Fields are being terminated and reseeded into spring wheat, canola or soybeans.
The weather last week was very favourable for field drying and field operations. There was a lot of seeding progress done with virtually no rainfall. Forecast of rain this week is motivating growers to put in as many acres in as possible while conditions allow. The majority of producers could be wrapping up seeding operations by the end of the upcoming week if the weather holds.
Across the region, it is estimated that 80 per cent of spring seeding is completed. Spring wheat, other cereals and corn are almost done being seeded and are beginning to emerge. The remaining acres are expected to go in this week.
Planting of soybean and sunflowers are underway and are expected to be near completion by the end of the week into next week. Producers are expected to continue making rapid seeding progress if favourable weather continues.
Producers are starting to move livestock to pasture as some pastures are in the four leaf stage and 15 cm tall. Fertilizing of hay and pastures continues as producers can operate machinery on those fields. Some producers are saying that some of their fields are dry and are hoping for rain soon. On average across the region the majority of hay and pasture lands are rated in good to fair condition. Reports have been received of hay stands having suffered winter damage in Northern parts of the region. Some producers are terminating stands and replanting. Availability of livestock water is rated as adequate.
Rainfall in the Interlake region ranged from 4 mm at Selkirk to 17 mm at Narcisse in the last week delaying seeding and field work. In the south Interlake, seeding is approximately 80 per cent completed with 90 per cent of the spring cereals, 70 per cent of the canola, 65 per cent of the soybeans, and 60 per cent of the corn seeded. Some spring cereals have emerged on higher ground while there is delayed emergence on lower, wetter, colder soils.
In the north Interlake seeding is approximately 30 per cent complete, with 40 per cent of the spring cereals in, 15 per cent of the canola, 5 per cent of the soybeans and 75 per cent of the peas seeded.
Soil temperatures at 5 cm depth ranged this past week from 3 to 18 C, with the warmest soils at Selkirk which has also had the least amount of rain since May 1.
The majority of winter wheat fields are being terminated in the Interlake and re-seeded to spring crops. Fall rye has fared better with fields being patchy and 10 to 15 per cent dead areas; however most of these fields have not yet been taken out of production.
Native and tame pastures are providing very little feed from new growth so far this spring. It is considered best to delay putting cattle on pastures for a couple more weeks. Grazing other than stockpiled grass would hinder forage production going forward. There is adequate water available for livestock consumption.
Rains this past week have most hayfields and pastures at or near field capacity for soil moisture. Warmer clearer weather and some drying winds would be welcome.
Alfalfa hay and alfalfa seed fields have varying degrees of winterkill. Some of the worst damaged fields will likely be terminated. Evaluations are ongoing.