Manitoba harvest progress at 88 per cent, soybeans see rapid progress

Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report for October 6

Southwest Region

Sunny and dry weather dominated last week in the Southwest region, with one or two cloudy and windy days. Many producers have finished their harvest and doing some fall fertilizer application and other fieldwork. Some districts have inadequate topsoil moisture, which is making tillage challenging, as well as for fall anhydrous ammonia applications. Remaining unharvested crops include soybeans, corn, and sunflowers. Favourable weather has allowed a timely and rapid completion of harvest to date.

Overall harvest is 80 to 85% done in the Southwest region. Cereal harvest for many in the region is complete; overall progress is estimated at 95 to 100% done. Yields have generally been average to good; Straw has been baled following cereal harvest; some producers are spraying post harvest herbicide as temperatures are allow.

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Canola harvest is 80 to 85% done. Yield reports ranges from 30 to 55 bu/ac, depending upon the verity and growing conditions of that particular area. Yields were impacted by June storm and early frost damaged some quality of late seeded or reseeded canola fields. Flea beetles, grasshoppers, and cutworms were also issues for canola this year.

Flax harvest continues, with yields ranging from 20 to 30 bu/acre. Soybean harvest progress is estimated at 50 to 60% complete, with some producers just starting and others finished. Early yields reported in the 25 to 45 bu/ac range. Quality is good. There are scattered reports of green seed issues. Some yield and quality loss in edible bean reported in the region due to early September frost.

Sunflowers are at R9 stage, and desiccation continues. Harvest is expected to start in 7 to 10 days. Blackbirds are major issue in some areas for sunflower and grain corn. Corn silaging continues, with some areas complete. Yields are variable, depending on the area and moisture accumulation. Grain corn harvest is also getting started.

Producers continue to move cattle with calves starting to go to market. Hay and straw situation is good with most producers having enough and those needing are able to source locally. With little to no rain over the past month, some producers are starting to run into water shortages. Areas in the southwest corner, pastures are starting to powder in the fence corners and along the fence lines. Water supplies are short and possibly forcing herds to return to the yard for feed and water. Some burning underway. Frost caused corn to dry back and grain corn is relatively dry compared to most years or even a month from now. Warm weather allowing drying of corn with ease.

Northwest Region

Weather conditions were variable this week in the Northwest Region. There were a couple of nice warm days with temperatures near 20 C, but also some cooler, cloudy days and some windy weather. There was frost and heavy dew most mornings that delayed an early morning start to combining. There remain some fields that need to dry down for harvest. There were scattered isolated rain showers that slowed, but did not halt harvest progress.

Harvest of the spring wheat crop is generally complete across the region. Yields range from 60-90 bu/acre. Barley and oats are 95 to 99% combined.

There was steady progress of the canola this past week. Approximately 99% of the canola is harvested in the Roblin area; 80% at The Pas, 90% in the Swan Valley. Yields have been reported from poor to average across the region, with some fields doing well and averaging better. Yields for most of the region range from 40to 60 bu/acre.

Soybeans are ripe and harvest is 25% complete in the Swan Valley with yields ranging from 35 to 40 bu/acre. The crop remains standing in the Roblin area. Soybean harvest in the Dauphin region is well underway. Flax harvest is mostly complete in Roblin and Swan Valley region, no reported yields as of yet.

Fababean harvest is underway in the Swan Valley and lentils are harvested. Post-harvest field operations are well underway as time and conditions allow.

Corn silage harvest continues with yields reported as average to above average. Second cut alfalfa hay and late seeded green feed harvest is wrapping up. Those producers short on feed are trying to source locally to reduce freight costs. Pasture conditions are declining and producers are starting to supplement feed or haul cows home unless they have stockpiled pastures for extending fall grazing. Rainfall would help replenish soil moisture reserves. Livestock water supplies are low to adequate.

Central Region

Harvest is rapidly wrapping up, with only some soybeans, sunflower and corn remaining in the field. Harvest conditions continued to be favourable with little rain received in the 1 to 3 mm range for most areas, low to mid-twenties daytime high temperatures and moderate winds continuing. Many growers are done or nearly done harvest operations. Topsoil is dry and where tillage is done, it is sometimes causing lumpy surface conditions. Volunteer grain growth is poor given the dry topsoil conditions.

Crop residue from harvested cereal grain fields, even canola and sometimes soybean straw is baled, and are being removed from fields to allow for fieldwork. Cornfields are drying down following earlier frosts. Cornfields are in the dent (R5) stage to physiologically mature (R6 or black layer). Corn harvest is picking up momentum across the region with reports in the 130 to 140 bu/ac range and 20 to 27% moisture content.

Canola harvest is considered done in the region. Canola yields reported range from 40 to 50 bu/ac or in the average range with good quality grain. Flax harvest is also considered done with good yield reports in the 35 to 45 bus/a range. Industrial hemp harvest is mostly completed. Sunflower harvest has started as plants have matured and dried down. No yield report so far and harvest of that crop is expected to pick up this week.

Soybeans harvest is over 90% done with reported yields in the 35 to 50 bu/ac range depending on rainfall received. Edible beans harvest is wrapping up with only the odd field left to harvest. Yields reported are above average at about 1800 to 2000 lbs/acre. Later planted field beans west of the escarpment suffered frost injury earlier in September causing severe downgrade and a number of fields have been written off.

Potato harvest is winding down. Provincial potato harvest estimate is at 95% complete. Fall rye is being planted in many harvested potato fields to help prevent wind erosion in the spring.

Soil sampling is ongoing. Fieldwork is occurring as crops are harvested along with a start of fertilizer application. Manure is being applied to fields from livestock operations having suitable field conditions. Surface drainage maintenance is going on while field conditions allow. Winter cereal emergence is poor given the dry topsoil conditions at seeding and since.

The fall roundup has started on Manitoba’s community pastures and will continue through October. Producers are taking a late season second or third cut after the frost. Frost has producers concerned over nitrates in late green feed or crop regrowth intended for grazing. Corn silage harvest is nearing completion as the corn is drying down. Yields have been average to below average, and were hurt by the early frost. Most water sources on pasture will be adequate until the cattle go home. Cattle are being supplemented on pastures that are out of grass due to dry conditions and the lateness in the season. Grazing of stockpiled grass will continue into October where grass is sufficient. Cattle are moving off perennial summer pastures are grazing stubble and second cut on hayfields to extend the grazing season.

Eastern Region

Across the Eastern Region, significant progress was made with harvest and fall fieldwork. Overall harvest completion was estimated at 85%.

Canola harvest across the region was virtually complete with only limited unharvested acres remaining in some northern districts. Soybean harvest was about 95% complete with many producers finishing last week. Yield reports ranged from 35 to 60 bu/acre with the overall average yield for the region being at least 40 bu/acre. Quality of harvested soybeans was rated as good.

Grain corn harvest had just started in some parts of the region. Early yield reports were as high as 150 bu/acre with moistures around 22 to 25%. Early test weight reports were on the low side but are expected to improve as more fields are harvested. With the earlier killing frost this year, it is anticipated that yield, test weight and quality will vary by hybrid and on a field-by-field basis.

Producers continued to wait for further dry down in sunflowers before beginning harvest.

Good progress was made on fall fieldwork including fall banding or broadcast/incorporating of phosphorus and potassium. Limited fall nitrogen application had occurred thus far.

Across the Eastern region, overall feed harvest was close to complete. Good progress on baling of remaining second cut beef hay was made. Yields continued to range from 50% below average to average with good quality. Corn silage was complete. Pasture conditions continued to deteriorate being mostly fair or poor. In response, calves continued to be shipped to market. Feeding on pasture was becoming more general. Baling and hauling of straw was close to complete. Livestock water supply was rated as adequate.

Interlake Region

Harvest continues; many report being done or close to complete, ranging from 75 to 95% complete. A week of good weather would wrap up most acres, excluding sunflowers and corn. Good progress has been made on planned tillage operations, and surface ditching continues. Most areas are looking for rain – post- harvest – to benefit soil moisture levels for next year, and improve tillage conditions in some soils. Fertilizer application has started.

Temperatures have been variable, with daytime highs ranging from 5 to 6°C to high teens. Overnight lows dropped to as low as -5 to -8 C. Temperatures were below freezing for about half of the week. Average daily temperatures range from 5 C to 6  C. Frosts have aided crop dry down in mature crops. Forecast looks promising for the remainder of harvest.

Cereal harvest for most in the region is complete. Yields have generally been good; strong winds did cause yield loss in some circumstances. Straw has been baled immediately following cereal harvest; yield is better than recent years and supply is sufficient.

Some post-harvest weed spraying has taken place. Fall herbicide applications have begun.

Canola harvest is estimated at 90 to 95% complete. Yield reports range from 20 to 55 bu/ac; with average yields expected to be in the 35 to 45 bu/ac range. Disappointing yields are reported due to strong winds that caused damage to both standing and swathed canola, following a season of many stresses – cool conditions and spring frosts, dry conditions, and significant insect pressure. Some of the reseeded canola is yielding better, especially with timely rains early on.

Flax harvest continues, with yields ranging from 20 to 45 bu/acre.

Soybean harvest has progressed well; many areas in the region will wrap up acres this week. Early yields reported in the 20 to 55 bu/ac range. Average is expected to end up at 35 to low 40-bushel range, similar to canola. Some scattered reports of frost damage, mostly on longer season varieties or on headlands, and areas delayed by grasshopper injury. An area on the west side of the region stretching north from Warren had more extensive frost injury. Some of the later maturing varieties benefited from the late rains. Conditions for harvest much better than last year; reduced struggle with wrapping as straw is easier to handle. Some reports of green seeds in sample, currently not expected to be a problem. Some growers have been more aggressive at harvest following last year’s challenging harvest conditions. Frost damage reported on edible beans.

Most sunflowers are at R9. Harvest is just getting started, and will become more general as the week goes on. Some excellent early yield reports in an area receiving more rain. Corn silage chopping continues, with many areas complete. Yields are extremely variable, dependent on rainfall amounts through the growing season. Expected average to fall in the 12 to 14 tonnes/acre. Some silage corn will be left standing for combining, due to sufficient supplies. Grain corn is at R5, harvest is just beginning, with a few acres off. Moisture reported at 22 to 28%. Leaf browning due to frost is evident.

Alfalfa seed harvest continues, with early yield reports of 300 to 600 lbs/acre. Fall rye and winter wheat are in, with good emergence. Later seeded fields would benefit from rain to aid emergence; showers and heavy dews have been beneficial.

Forage shortages are expected, but supplies will be somewhat better than last year. Hay prices are more reasonable as a result. Many report adequate supplies for winter. Annual crop silage has taken the pressure off for many producers. Earlier rains helped pastures, but some cattle are now being taken off as pasture conditions decline. Some supplemental feeding, also some cattle moved onto harvested fields. Livestock water supply is currently adequate; some dugout levels have improved with recent rains, while others are reported as getting low.

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