Very hot and windy conditions started the week. Blowing soil in much of the southern parts of the region on Thursday and Friday. Rain fell over the weekend, which was much needed in some areas. There is some standing water in low-lying areas from thunderstorms near Brandon. There are also reports of a minor hailstorm in the southwest corner of the region but no reports of damage.
Overall seeding is 80 to 85% complete. Fall rye is heading out and winter wheat is at flag leaf stage. Most herbicide applications are done in these fields. Rain will help progress growth. Winter wheat and fall rye look average with no major disease issues so far.
Spring cereal seeding is 95 to 100% done. Majority of crop looks good and benefiting from recent rains. 20 to 25% is at emergence stage and 75% crop is tillering. Producers are completing herbicide operations in early seeded fields.
Canola is 85 to 90% done seeded in most of the region. Melita area is finished seeding. The majority of canola is at emergence to cotyledon stage. Some early seeded fields are 2 to 3 leaf stage. There are some reports of flea beetle spraying in early seeded acres. Crop condition looks average to above average. Most producers are working on first pass herbicide applications.
Flax seeding is 90 to 95% complete. Corn planting is almost complete with some producers still planting some late corn for silage or grazing. There are some reports of wind damage on corn in the southeast corner of the region.
Soybean planting is 93% complete and some of the early seeded fields are emerging. Sunflower seeding is 95% complete. Field peas are looking promising and most of the fields are 4th to 7th node.
Overall, crops look good with only a few fields having standing water. Saturated toe slope areas have been left unseeded in many fields. Warm weather last week assisted in advancing crop development. Weeds are getting bigger and will need extra attention to herbicide active ingredients and rates that will provide control at larger stages, since early herbicide applications were largely limited by strong winds.
Flea beetles are an issue in most canola fields and producers are paying close attention. There are some reports of cutworm in cereals, but no spraying happening yet. Weekly diamondback moth counts are still very low in the region.
Rainfall and warm weather over the last two weeks has helped the pastures and forage stands. Cattle are on summer grazing pasture and producers are getting ready for first cut on some forage stands. Dugout remain at 80 to 100% full.
The week started out with warm weather reaching highs of 29 C; however much of the region also received high winds. Widespread rainfall events resulted in 13 mm precipitation throughout the region with northern areas of the region receiving upwards of 30 mm. There was a light hail event south of Swan River. This rain was welcome in many areas of the region where topsoil had dried out and was causing emergence issues. Cool weather arrived by the end of the week with lows hovering near zero.
Soil moisture is generally adequate to good throughout the region with the exception of The Pas where recent rainfall has saturated fields. Seeding is generally complete in the region with producers nearing completion at The Pas. Some reseeding has occurred in the Swan River area where pressure on emerging canola has included flea beetles, cutworms, dry soil conditions, wind, and poor emergence. Other crops continue to be assessed for damage.
Spring wheat and cereal seeding is generally complete in the region with 90% in the seedling/tillering growth stage. Cereals rated as 90 to 100% in excellent condition. Canola seeding is nearly compete, with some reseeding resulting in variable growth stages. The canola crop condition is variable with 75% of canola around Roblin in excellent condition, 25% in good condition. Around Swan River, canola fields are 40% good to excellent, 30% average condition and 30% very poor to poor condition.
Soybean seeding is complete and the crop is emerging; crop condition is average to excellent with crop condition better in the southern part of the region. Condition of the field peas is 95% good to excellent. Flax is 100% in the ground, in the stem elongation stage and rated as average to excellent condition.
Flea beetles and cutworms continue to be a concern and have required some control. Diamondback moth numbers remain low for the region. Strong winds have made pesticide applications challenging.
Forage growth will benefit greatly from the weekend’s rainfall. Cows continue to be hauled out, however the majority of pastures do not have sufficient growth to sustain herds and supplemental feed is needed. Cereal greenfeed seeding is wrapping up. Dugout water supplies are adequate. Alfalfa fields and silage corn putting on good growth as temperatures rise.
Warm, dry and windy conditions during the week allowed farmers continue to make good progress on remaining unseeded acres. Cultivation, fertilization, harrowing was done wherever possible to help dry topsoil in areas still too wet to seed. Strong winds blowing up to 80 km/hour on Thursday caused soil blowing and drifting in many parts of the region, especially on fields with little crop residue cover and dry soil surface. Over the weekend, thundershowers brought precipitation across the region. Most areas received 20 to 30 mm rain, but amounts varied from 15 mm in Pilot Mound to 64 mm at Emerson. Standing water in fields and runoff of excess water filling up ditches was reported in the southeast portion of the region where rainfall was the heaviest.
Harvest and removal of over wintered crop material is nearly done. Seeding operations west of the escarpment were lagging the region but are now wrapping up.
Fall rye is in the heading stage and winter wheat is elongating. Winter cereal growth is rated as good to average. Overall seeding is 98% complete with some canola still going in the ground. Seeding of wheat, barley, oats and corn planting is reported as completed in all parts of the region. Emergence of wheat, oats and barley crops is rated as average to good with favourable moisture. The seedbed quality was not ideal in many situations where soil moisture was near saturation during pre-seed operations causing lumpy surfaces. Most cereals have emerged and earliest planted cereals are in the 3 to 4 leaf stage. Corn is most advanced in the Portage area in the V2 to V3 stage and rated average to good in the region overall.
Seeding of field peas is done and the emerged crops are doing well. Canola seeding is reported as 95 to 98% done with many fields emerging and some as advanced as starting to cover the ground. Some canola reseeding was done from Elm Creek to Starbuck as well as other localized areas that received heavier rainfall events causing surface crusting and emergence issues.
Some reports of flea beetle damage requiring insecticide treatment as well as some cutworm feeding reports. Flax and sunflower seeding is complete. Soybeans and edible bean planting is done. The earliest soybean fields are in the unifoliate stage. Soybeans and edible beans are rated as average with some sandblasting injury being reported from last weeks high winds. Some sandblasting of corn and canola as well, but crops appear to be recovering.
All commercial potato planting is done. Emergence is 5 to 7 days behind normal. Weed control operations are underway with wild oats being noted in some fields. Strong winds were causing erosion of hills.
Rapid weed emergence and growth occurring with warm and moist conditions. Limited herbicide applications occurred, given the strong winds during the week and rain on the weekend. Applications resume as conditions allow and crops progress into the right stage. Some inter-row cultivating of cornfields occurring.
Pheromone baited traps for adult diamondback moths indicated the arrival of this canola pest in the region around mid-May. Most sites report low to zero counts last week.
Water supplies are plentiful for cattle going to pasture. Hay and pastures are growing rapidly with pastures sufficient for grazing. Alfalfa hay is 20 to 25 inches in height and in bud stage. Grasses are starting to head out. Mid June is when pastures maximize growth with the long days & moisture. All cattle have moved to pasture and most will not need supplementation. Dairy hay is nearing first-cut and southern districts have started.
Rainfall was received throughout the Eastern region over the weekend and into Monday. Rainfall accumulations in central and northern districts ranged from 10 to 25 mm with most of that occurring as part of thunderstorms. In southern districts rainfall accumulations ranged from 40 to 250 mm as part of severe weather that included heavy thunderstorms and very strong winds and localized hail. The highest rainfall reports were received from areas south of Vita toward Arbakka. The municipalities of Piney, Emerson- Franklin and Stuartburn were the most adversely affected with the RM of Stuartburn declaring a state of emergency. In these areas, overland flooding and ponding of water washed out roads, fields and pasture access. Approximately 20 to 30% of the land in southern districts was still unseeded and will now likely remain so due to the flooding. Some July-planted greenfeed may occur on these unseeded acres if the land is able to dry out over the coming weeks.
Crops already seeded in the worst affected areas will likely drown out as whole fields are under water. Pastures and hayland in affected areas are also flooded and forage productivity is expected to be severely impacted. First cut will not be occurring in these areas.
For areas not affected by flooding, the warm temperatures promoted rapid crop emergence and development. Soil moisture conditions on cropland, pastures and hayland in central and northern districts was rated as mostly adequate while being surplus and excessive in southern districts.
Seeding is considered complete across the Eastern region including in southern districts where seeding of remaining acres was brought to a sudden end. Reseeding due to frost damage in canola and on a limited number of soybean acres was also complete. Herbicide applications were the most advanced in cereals with up to 50% of acres covered in some areas. On average, canola was at the 2 leaf stage with late seeded and reseeded crop emerging or at cotyledon. Progress on canola herbicide application was expected this week if weather is favourable.
Weed emergence is expected to accelerate given the rain received. Soybeans ranged from emerging to the unifoliate leaf stage. Up to 50% of soybean acres in some areas had received an herbicide application although this included both pre- emergent and early post emergent spray timings. he rainfall was expected to help ensure more complete emergence in both canola and soybean crops. On average, corn was in the V2 to V3 growth stages. Uniformity in corn emergence was better than expected given spring weather conditions. Field pea post-emergent herbicide applications were mostly complete with some crops developing beyond their spray window. A limited amount of herbicide application in sunflowers were done with more progress expected in the coming weeks. In some northern districts that received the lowest amounts of rainfall, spraying resumed Monday although wheel tracks evident.
While rainfall levels were excessive in southern districts, many producers in northern districts were disappointed with the limited amount of rainfall received given how dry the soil was.
Flea beetle damage was noted on most canola fields. In areas hardest hit by frost, up to 25% of canola acres have had insecticide applications to limit further damage. Assessments of the flea beetle feeding continue as plant growth is expected to accelerate in the coming week. Cutworms were found on many fields of cereals and sunflowers but spraying was limited and sporadic. High populations of small grasshoppers in headlands and on field margins were noted in some areas and insecticide applications to field border areas may begin once weather and soil conditions allow. Monitoring of to continue to better assess the threat.
Pastures and hayland in southern districts were either saturated or flooded after the severe weather of the weekend. The productivity of pastures and hayland will be severely impacted and a first cut of hay will not occur in many areas. Feed supply shortages both now and for overwintering are very concerning at this time. In northern and central districts, hay and pasture growth continued to be very slow with concerns about adequate feed supplies for cattle on pasture and for overwintering.
Weather conditions across the Interlake last week were generally warm and sunny at the beginning of the week, with temperatures up to 27 to 31 C, followed by cooling to the mid teens by Friday. Frost again hit areas in the north part of the region on Saturday morning, with temperatures dropping to -1.1 to – 1.5 C in the Narcisse-Poplarfield- Fisher Branch areas. Frost damage has been extremely variable throughout the region. Additional canola is being re-seeded following the weekend frost, a combination of frost and flea beetle damage. Oats, fall rye and alfalfa have also been affected; some fall rye is being reseeded to canola. Precipitation was welcome, with most districts receiving 10 to 18 mm rain; more is necessary. Most of the region has received rain less than 50% of normal, other than the extreme southwest corner. Rain did perk up crops, and has helped with germination of small seeded canola stranded in dry soil.
At this point, most estimate that seeding in the region is over 99% complete. Field conditions continue to be variable. Strong winds have continued, drying out soil surfaces and interfering with spraying.
Conditions for germination and emergence have been good for most crops, excluding canola, and are a definite improvement over 2019; rain has helped even out stands, allowing for rooting down to moisture. Early seeded cereals went in to moisture, and are looking good, especially in areas that received earlier rains.
Cereals are generally shorter than normal. Most spring wheat is in the 2 to 4 leaf stage, and starting to tiller, with some as advanced as 6 leaf. Oats and barley are similar. Peas are up and looking great, and are as advanced as the 4th to 6th node. Fababeans have emerged. Canola continues to go in; reseeding accounts for a sizeable portion of acres. A combination of stresses is at fault, including frost injury, crusting, flea beetle damage and poor germination in dry conditions. Most canola is germinating to 4 leaf, with some fields more advanced. Many fields have uneven germination, due to seed stranded in dry soil. Soybeans are emerging, with most in the cotyledon to unifoliate stage. The most advanced fields are in the early first trifoliate. Sunflowers have emerged. Flax has emerged; stands are rated as excellent. Corn continues to emerge, and is as advanced as V3 to V4.
Weed spraying continues. Applications have been delayed due to minimal weed growth; more growth is expected following the weekend rain. Strong winds have limited progress as well. Spot spraying continues on wild oat patches in canola and soybean fields. Some corn has received first application. Most cereal fields will be sprayed by next week. Many pea fields have been sprayed.
Diamondback moth trap numbers have increased with warmer temperatures. Numbers are relatively low, with the Warren area seeing an accumulated count of 135 adult moths. Canola acres continue to be sprayed for flea beetle control. Insecticide will be added to herbicide applications in some fields. Some note that slight frost damage seems to encourage flea beetle feeding. Spotty cutworm injury is being reported in several crops, including canola, peas, cereals, sunflowers, ryegrass, corn and soybeans. Peat soils have seen the most injury. Most cutworm numbers remain below threshold, but some control required.
Pasture regrowth is developing slowly; recent rain has been beneficial, more is necessary. Majority of pastures rated in fair to very poor condition. Hay is rated from good to poor. First cut will be lower due to shorter growth with the extended cold weather and lack of rainfall. Frost injury to alfalfa and other forages has been greater than first expected, and is just starting to recover. This adds to the concern for forage availability.