Favourable weather over most of last week gave producers a chance to complete seeding and some spraying. Limited rainfall, but some isolated thunderstorms brought rain to Kola and Dand area, recording the highest amounts at 30mm and 19mm, respectively. There was isolated reports of hail and very heavy winds over the weekend in the western parts of the region. Rain received was timely, except few areas south of Brandon where there are still issues with wet soils. Strong winds were the many topic again this week again, as most producers were struggling to spray during periods of calm.
Temperature fluctuation is also adversely affecting the crops. Overnight lows dropped into the single-digit range, but avoided frost.
Overall seeding is 85 to 90% complete as some late seeding and reseeding is happening. Fall rye is advancing with most of the crop heading at this time. Winter wheat is also advancing from flag leaf to heading. Fusarium head blight (FHB) fungicide spraying time approaching quickly.
Spring cereal seeding is 95 to 100% done. Spring wheat is at different growth stages depending on the seeding dates. Majority of the early seeded crop is at tillering stage and late seed crop is at 2 to 3-leaf stage. Oats and barley are at 3 to 5-leaf stage.
Majority of the early seeded cereals had herbicide operations done. There are some reports of cutworm in spring wheat but very few reports of spraying to date.
Canola seeding is 90 to 95% done. There are reports of some reseeding due to flea beetles, cutworms and soil crusting. Reseeding due to frost is not widespread in the region this year.
Most of the crop is at 2 to 4-leaf stage. Early seeded fields are moving past flea beetle damage window. Approximately 25% of the canola crop has been sprayed for weeds.
Soybeans are at 1st to 2nd trifoliate stage. In addition, some late seeded fields are still at hook stage. Producers are catching up first pass of the weed control. Some reports of wind damage to soybeans after rolling during high wind periods.
Corn and sunflowers are also progressing well. Most corn fields at V2 to V3. Herbicide applications are underway. Sunflowers are ranging from VE to V5.
Peas are looking well and most of fields are knitting the tendrils and nodulation looking very good at this point. There are no reports of any disease or insect in this crop yet.
Rain over the past few days has helped the forage stands. Once again, younger stands are better, with yields expected to be average to slightly above average. Pastures are improving from rain as well. Most cattle are on pasture. Dugouts are full.
Warm weather conditions this week reached highs of 25 to 32 C. However, there were areas of the region where temperatures dropped overnight to single digits. Minitonas received 13mm of precipitation, The Pas received upwards of 30mm; other parts of the region received scattered generalized showers. Strong winds were also widespread throughout the week in the region causing crop damage and challenges for timely spray operations. Soil moisture conditions have improved to 85% adequate and 15% short; however, soils at The Pas are saturated.
Seeding is generally complete in the region with producers waiting for soils to dry to allow for completion at The Pas.
Winter wheat and fall rye are heading/flowering and are in good to excellent condition. Spring wheat and cereal seeding is complete in the region with 100% in the seedling/tillering growth stage. Spring cereals are generally in good to excellent condition although weed control has been a challenge due to windy conditions.
Canola seeding is also complete for the region. However reseeding in Dauphin, Swan River and Roblin areas has occurred due to wind and dry soil conditions causing issues with emergence and timely pesticide applications as well as continued pressure from flea beetles and cutworms. Reseeding has resulted in variable canola staging and condition. The growth stage of the canola crop is ranges from 25% emerging, 65% in the seedling stage and 15% of the crop in the rosette stage. The condition of the canola crop is also quite variable with 20% of the canola fields rated as good to excellent, 60% fair and 20% in poor condition.
Soybean seeding is complete. Crop condition is average to very good; soybean condition is better in the southern part of the region. Field peas are seeded and are in the vegetative stage. Condition of the field pea crop is 95% good to fair in the Swan River area. Flax is 100% in the ground and rated as average to excellent condition. Canola, field peas and soybeans are starting to recover from extreme wind events earlier this spring, while some have been set back.
Flea beetles and cutworms continue to be a concern and have required some control as well as some reseeding. Diamondback moth monitoring continues with traps throughout the region; the highest numbers have been in a trap at The Pas. Strong winds have made pesticide applications challenging.
Most of the region received some rain over the past week, but more is needed for forage growth, particularly in the Swan River Valley where drier conditions remain. Cattle are out on pasture but growth is significantly behind normal and many pastures are in poor shape from overgrazing last season. Water supplies are currently adequate. Grasses are already going to seed and first cut hay yields will be below average due to the cool and dry spring conditions.
Warm, dry and windy conditions continued during the week allowed farmers to finish seeding what was left on the west side of the escarpment. Overnight lows dipped as low as 4 to 5 C mid-week, but no frost reported. Winds were strong for many days of the week and peaked over the weekend in the 60 to 70km/hr range. A rain system touched the southeastern corner of the region early in the week, with 15mm rain recorded in Emerson, with higher totals into the Eastern region. Given the recent warm and windy conditions, soil surface is getting dry and some rainfall would benefit topsoil moisture.
Fall rye is developing well and passed the flowering stage while winter wheat is heading out and starting to flower. Winter cereal growth is rated as good to average. Overall seeding is considered 99% done with the last of it being done in the St. Claude area, which is still contending with moisture issues. The heavy rains received in the southeastern corner of the region caused surface crusting requiring re-seeding to some canola and soybeans.
Most wheat, barley, oats are in the 2 to 3-leaf stage for the later planted fields while they are more advanced in the Red River Valley with good ground cover and canopy closure evident. Emergence and development of wheat, oats and barley crops is rated as average to good. The seedbed quality was not ideal in many situations where soil moisture was near saturation during pre-seed operations causing lumpy soil surface. Corn is in the V1 to V4 stage and growing well. Corn is most advanced in the Portage area in the V3 to V5 stage and rated average to good in the region overall. Sunflower staging is in the V4 to V6 stage.
Field peas are in the 5th to 7th node stage and growing well. Most herbicide application to field peas is done. Canola staging varies according to the seeding date and ranges from the cotyledon stage for late planted or reseeded fields to the 5- to 6-leaf stage and covering the ground well. Reports of flea beetle damage requiring insecticide treatment as well as some cutworm feeding reports come from many areas of the region, reseeding has been required in some cases. Soybeans and edible bean range in development from the unifoliate to the first trifoliate leaf stage. Rolling of soybeans now in the first trifoliate stage is progressing as conditions are favourable.
Emergence in potato fields ranges from not emerged to 25cm in height. Some blackleg/soft rot and dry rot affected sprouts are being noticed in some fields. Cutworms have also been found in some fields.
Weed growth is rapid with warmer temperatures prevailing. Herbicide applications were challenging to do given the strong winds. Applications proceed as conditions allow and crops progress into the right stage.
Pheromone baited traps for adult diamondback moths indicated the arrival of this canola pest in the region around mid-May. Most sites have reported low adult moth counts last week and for most of the trapping period.
Water supplies are plentiful for cattle on pasture. Hay and pastures are growing rapidly with pastures sufficient for grazing. Alfalfa hay is 25 to 30 inches in height and starting to flower. Grasses are heading out. Forages would benefit from a rain to maintain growth. All cattle have moved to pasture. Some alfalfa weevil damage is evident in fields. Dairy hay is being cut.
Rainfall accumulations over the past week in the Eastern region ranged from less than 5mm to excess of 40mm. Intermittent rainfall in the form of showers or light thundershowers was experienced throughout the region from Tuesday to Friday last week. During this period, daytime temperatures were often below seasonal levels with temperatures approaching freezing overnight Thursday and Friday. On Monday, bands of thunderstorms moved through the region with severe thunderstorms occurring northeast of Beausejour. In this area, significant rainfall accumulations of 30mm or more within an hour occurred. Fields were temporarily flooded as drainage was overwhelmed and standing water remains. Some hail also occurred. Extent of damage is still being assessed. The municipalities of Piney, Emerson-Franklin and Stuartburn remain adversely affected from previous severe weather. Overland flooding, ponding of water in fields and pastures and a lack of access to land due to washed out roads and field approaches continues.
Crops already seeded in the worst affected areas have drowned out. Pastures and hayland remain flooded. Other surrounding areas like the RM of de Salaberry are experiencing flooding issues as the excess water moves along rivers and creeks. Damage assessments across the whole area affected are ongoing. For areas not affected by flooding, the warm temperatures over the weekend promoted rapid crop 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.
Overall, about 50% of herbicide applications were complete. On average, spring cereals were at the 4 to 5-leaf stage with one or two tillers and early seeded crop was past its spray window. Herbicide applications on cereals were at least 75% complete. On average, canola was at the 4 to 6-leaf stage with late seeded and reseeded crop at cotyledon to one leaf. Herbicide application progress in canola was limited to about 15% complete as producers focused on more advanced crops. Appropriate environmental conditions for canola herbicide application have also been infrequent which has held up progress. Most soybeans ranged from cotyledon to first trifoliate leaf stage. Overall, about 20% of soybean acres have received a herbicide application. An increase in weed emergence and growth is expected given recent rainfall and growing conditions. Some yellowing in soybean fields was noted and attributed to the onset of iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) or the initiation of nitrogen fixation by soybean plants which is often accompanied by a short period of nitrogen starvation.
Flea beetle damage continues to be found on most canola fields, but crop development on earlier planted fields is now starting to outpace the damage and spraying to control flea beetles is becoming less frequent. Cutworms continue to be found on many fields of cereals and sunflowers but spraying continues to be limited and sporadic. Accurate scouting and sizing of cutworm populations within individual fields has become important. Some fields have been found to have significant populations of small cutworms that could still cause economic damage leading to continued monitoring and concern. High populations of grasshopper nymphs in headlands and on field margins were noted in some areas and insecticide applications to field borders is expected to begin this week. Monitoring of grasshoppers to better assess the threat continues.
Temperatures warmed through the weekend, hitting highs of 30 C by Monday. Overnight temperatures dipped again at the weekend, minimal frost was reported, with little damage if any. Soil temperatures at seeding depth continue to trend upwards, with averages between 15 to 22 C. Precipitation for the week was <5mm for most areas. Rainfall for the region has been 20 to 50% of normal. Moisture stress has been noted in a few more advanced some canola fields. A general rain would be most welcome for almost the entire region, as dry conditions become more of a concern. Surface moisture is short to very short for most of the region. Flooding in a small strip in extreme southwest corner of the region required reseeding of canola, but most cereals are okay and soybeans poked through the crust.
At this point, most estimate that seeding is complete. Field conditions continue to be variable. Strong winds continue to be a concern, interfering with spraying operations but also damaging crop stands and drying out the soil surface.
Most spring wheat, oats, and barley are in the 2 to 6-leaf stage, with the more advanced fields tillering. Peas are up and looking great, and are as advanced as the 6th to 7th node. Fababeans are emerged. Canola reseeding continued over the weekend. A combination of stresses is at fault, including frost injury, flea beetle damage, poor germination in dry conditions, wind and crusting. Some fields have been reseeded twice. Staging canola is difficult due to the number of reseeded fields, and is mostly cotyledon to 4-leaf, with some fields close to cabbaging. Many fields have uneven germination, due to seed stranded in dry soil. Rain would help to fill in some of the gaps.
Most soybeans in are in the unifoliate to early second trifoliate, with some as advanced as third trifoliate. Sunflowers look good at V4. Flax is up to 7.5 cm tall; stands look great. Corn is all out of the ground and is as advanced as V3 to V6.
Weed spraying continues to be a challenge due to strong winds. Some phytotoxicity noticed in wheat sprayed in the timeframe when overnight lows dipped close to zero; especially with extra surfactants added. Pea fields have been sprayed.
Canola acres, including reseeded canola, continue to be sprayed for flea beetle control. Insecticide is being added to herbicide applications in some fields. Some note that slight frost damage seems to encourage flea beetle feeding. A number of fields have been reseeded due to heavy flea beetle feeding, combined with other stresses. Spotty cutworm injury has been reported in several crops, including canola, peas, cereals, sunflowers, ryegrass, corn and soybeans. Peat soils have seen the most injury. There are now fewer reports of cutworm damage, but some control measures continue, and crop has been reseeded where damage was greatest.
Grasshoppers are emerging to nymph stage and are becoming more of a concern. Some flax and newly established alfalfa fields have been sprayed. Most are currently able to spray headlands for control. Where pressure is lower, producers are waiting for more to hatch. Some entire fields will be sprayed where egg masses are easily found throughout the field.
Diamondback moth trap numbers are increasing, but quite variable due to the fluctuating temperatures and winds. Trap numbers this week have ranged from zero to 61. Warren area remains the highest with an accumulated count of 179. Bertha armyworm moth traps are out; first counts are zero to two.
Pastures continue to struggle. 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. First cut dairy hay is ongoing; no yields reported. No beef hay done. In general, first cut hay yields are expected to be poor at best. Frost injury to alfalfa and other forages has been greater than first expected; stands are recovering. This adds to the concern for forage availability.
Livestock water supplies are currently adequate.