Crop Report – for Aug. 12, 2010

SOUTHWEST REGION

Rainfall amounts varied over the past week with no major accumulations. However, some heavy thunderstorms with hail were reported. Harvest of winter wheat and fall rye began this week with the winter wheat reporting average yields with quality varying because of fusarium. Fall rye yields are average with good quality. Preharvest of early-seeded wheat acres has started and producers will be looking at harvest near the end of the week depending on weather. Early-seeded barley is being swathed.

Disease pressure is still very high on cereal crops, which may impact yield and/or quality of the later-seeded crops. Peas are maturing quickly and are showing issues with root rot and other diseases. Producers are looking at preharvest treatments on peas and lentils and several fields will be sprayed this week if the warm weather continues.

Sunflowers and corn crops are looking good and have really progressed with the warm weather. Sunflowers are flowering and some fields are showing rust. No major insect issues to date.

First cut of hay is complete and several producers have started second cut of alfalfa. Overall yield was above average on first cut however the quality is below average. Second cut has seen some rain as well. Pastures are starting to show areas of overgrazing as cattle keep grazing the dryland areas.

NORTHWEST REGION

Much of the region continued to experience scattered thunderstorms with hail reported in the northern areas of the Swan Valley. Approximately 85 per cent of the wheat crop is in the dough stage. Preharvest spray applications to early-seeded wheat crops have begun. Swathing in the region has begun with some canola being swathed in the San Clara area. Generally the canola crop has finished blooming and 80 to 90 per cent is podded and filling.

With the more favourable warm conditions and ample moisture, silage corn in the region is beginning to tassel. Varying incidence of disease is evident in many field crops. Weed escapes resulting from difficult conditions at application time and reduced crop competition are becoming more obvious. Unseeded acres and areas of excess moisture are being managed with herbicide and/or tillage. Pastures continue to be rated in good condition. Haying operations are approximately 75 per cent complete. Hay yields are average to above average while quality is average to below average.

CENTRAL REGION

Intermittent showers resulted in little accumulation across much of the region. Monday night’s hailstorm damaged fields from south of Carman, through Brunkild, to Fannystelle and Sanford. Winter wheat harvest continues with yields ranging from 65 to 90 bu./ac. Areas hit hardest by excess moisture are running lower at 30 to 50 bu./ac. Fusarium in winter wheat is extremely variable, ranging from 0.5 per cent to 20 per cent.

Yields in fall rye range from 40 to 70 bu./ac. Barley harvest continues. Preharvest applications continue in spring wheat; the earliest-seeded fields are being harvested with early yield reports in the 40 to 50 bu./ac. range. Oats are turning and some fields may be harvested this week.

Forage grass seed is being harvested with average to good yields. Canola swathing continues; some fields are receiving preharvest glyphosate applications due to extremely weedy conditions. Barnyard grass, lady’s thumb, and wild buckwheat are most common. Some canola has been harvested in eastern parts of the region. Flowering in late-seeded canola is starting to wind down. Sclerotinia and blackleg are evident in many fields.

Earliest-seeded flax fields are turning and are close to ripe. Flowering in later-seeded fields is almost complete. Soybean crop is R2 to R4 with pod fill starting. Fields are being monitored for soybean aphids and there are some reports of white mould. Sunflowers are flowering at the R5 to R8 stage and are being monitored for insects and rust. Corn is growing well with recent heat and development ranges from R1 silking to R2 blister. Edible beans are R2 to R5 stage and pod fill beginning.

White mould is evident in edible bean fields and second application of fungicide has been applied on fields with higher yield potentials. Much of the second cut of alfalfa has good yield and quality; growers will be planning for a third cut of alfalfa given the rain and warm weather. Fields of slough and native hay in the Gladstone/ Plumas area still have excess moisture and may not be harvested; tame hay in this area is reported to be of poor quality. Pasture has adequate growth with the recent rains and warm weather. Some greenfeed fields are ready to swath. Dugouts are in good shape.

EASTERN REGION

Hot, dry weather during the week was welcomed by all producers in the eastern region. Crop development remains variable due to excess moisture throughout the growing season. Spring wheat harvest started this week with yields in the range of 50 bu./ac. with low levels of FHB. The majority of the wheat crop will be cut or harvested next week as it reaches maturity. Oat fields are approaching the hard-dough stage and are filling out nicely.

Fields are ripening quicker than expected as a result of the recent increase in temperatures. Winter wheat harvest is nearly complete with reported yields of 40 to 65 bu./ac. with FHB levels ranging from one to 17 per cent. Canola is approaching 50 per cent swathed as plants reached maturity quickly as a result of the recent warm weather. Late-seeded canola fields are 100 per cent podded.

Corn and soybean fields continue to thrive in the warmer temperatures. Corn has started to blister with very good cob development in many fields. Flax is maturing at a steady pace with immature bolls developing nicely. Sunflower development is variable due to excess moisture. Hayfields are upgraded from fair to good for this week as many areas of the region reported very little precipitation. Producers made substantial progress as second cut is nearly complete. Pasture land conditions are once again rated as good. Alfalfa yields are ranging from 1.5 to 2.25 tons/ac. for second cut and alfalfa/grass stands producing approximately two tons/ac.

INTERLAKE REGION

Rainfall varied across the region with the heaviest accumulations around Woodlands and an area northwest of Riverton. Hot and humid conditions were present throughout the week. Winter wheat harvest continued this week. Yields range from 40 to 70 bu./ac. with downgrading occurring due to fusarium head blight infection; fusarium levels range from three to eight per cent. Preharvest glyphosate application on spring wheat is underway. Some barley has been harvested.

Canola swathing is general in the southern areas of the region, but has only just started in the northern areas. Many acres have been worked down in the North Interlake due to flood damage and subsequent low yield estimate. Haying progress for the week was hampered by intermittent showers and high humidity. Field access and traffic are restricted in many areas due to excess moisture. Producers who are harvesting are leaving low areas. Pasture conditions are slightly improved but remain hampered by overgrazing and flooding.

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