Crop Report – for Aug. 25, 2011

SOUTHWEST REGION

Scattered rainshowers across the Southwest Region at the beginning of the week brought 10 to 30 mm in isolated events. Winter wheat and fall rye harvest is 60 per cent complete with yields reporting in the 40 to 70 bushels/acre range. Most areas are reporting average quality.

Producers will be starting to plant winter wheat and fall rye. Harvest of some early-seeded cereal acres has started. Peas are being harvested and yields to date are below average with good quality.

Producers are swathing canola and crop looks to be below average. Most flax fields have completed flowering and are starting to turn. Sunflower crops are flowering. Most producers have completed first cut of hay with above-average yields. Some producers are finished second cut with yields average and good quality. Pasture land is starting to show some stress from overgrazing and dry conditions. Low areas are drying up; however, in most cases grass is dead or very poor quality.

NORTHWEST REGION

Cooler night temperatures, some high winds, and general rains from 20 to 55 mm of rain occurred early in the week. Thunderstorms resulted in heavy precipitation. Local reports indicate amounts ranged from 100 mm south of Ochre River and Grandview to amounts as high as 200 mm north of Inglis where heavy hail caused high crop losses.

Winter wheat harvest is complete with average yields. Quality of winter wheat was very good with the exception of the later harvest which was impacted by some bleaching from the previous week’s rains.

Crop growth is generally good. Canola is 10 to 30 per cent swathed. Flax, hemp, buckwheat and soybeans are developing well under the good growing conditions. As crops mature, drownouts, disease and root development issues are becoming more apparent.

Soil moisture levels are rated as very good due to the recent precipitation. Field activities on unseeded acres continue. While some silage corn shows stand variability, rapid growth is occurring in response to higher temperatures and moisture. Second cut of forages is nearing completion with good yields and quality. Newly seeded forage grass seed and greenfeed crops are also responding favourably.

Seasonal pasture conditions have benefited with the rains. The native hay harvest is continuing with average or above yields.

Flood-impacted, low-lying or poorly drained native forage and pasture lands adjacent to lakes Mani toba, Winnipegosis and Dauphin are continuing to dry where water levels have receded. On these lands, forage productivity remains very poor and is negatively impacted with invasion of non-forage plants.

CENTRAL REGION

The Central Region received light rainshowers resulting in very little accumulation. Producers are still looking for rain for late-seeded crops. Cereals are being harvested with yields ranging from 45 to 60 bushels/acre for wheat, barley 50 to 80 bushels/acre and oats 75 to 100 bushels/ acre. Quality in cereals is average to below average due to lower proteins in wheat and light weights in oats. Cereals have lower disease levels in grain samples which may be attributed to the drier summer. Canola yields range from 10 to 55 bushels/acre.

Soybeans are filling pods and at growth stage R6. Aphid numbers appear to be staying stable which can be attributed to cooler temperatures and beneficial insects keeping numbers down. Edible beans are filling pods and good number of pods on each plant. Sunflower fields are close to finished flowering and heads are a good size.

Winter wheat seeding has begun with more seeding to take place in the coming weeks. Winter wheat acreage is expected to increase from previous years because of unseeded acres as well as an earlier canola harvest. Potatoes are being irrigated and crop yields are expected to be good. Early table potatoes are being harvested on limited acreage. Second-cut haying is taking place and quality is good. Pastures would benefit from rain or producers will be feeding hay earlier than expected.

EASTERN REGION

Weather in the Eastern Region was sunny and warm last week but with localized instances of precipitation and hail. Hailstorms associated with these storms did cause significant damage to swathed canola, especially in northern areas. Soil moisture was rated as dry throughout the region. Drought-stress symptoms and indications of lost yield potential were apparent last week in later-seeded crops and in long-seasoned crops like soybeans, corn and sunflower.

Swathing and harvesting of hard red spring wheat and oats is proceeding. Spring wheat yields are above average at 40 to 55 bushels/acre with continued reports of low levels of fusarium-damaged kernels. In oats, yields are in the 70 to 100 bushels/acre range with some thin kernels and low bushel weights occurring. On average, about 85 per cent of the canola crop was ripe by the end of the week. Some canola harvesting occurred and yields are in the 17 to 25 bushels/ acre range which is less than producers were expecting. Lygus bugs continued to be a prominent concern last week in the later-seeded crop.

In early-seeded flax, some swathing has begun while the later-seeded crop continues filling and turning significantly. Soybean crops are in the R5 to R6 growth stage. Soybean aphids at threshold levels were found in some areas and spraying occurred. Infestation levels vary greatly from field to field requiring constant monitoring. Reports of natural predators present within the crop and declining soybean aphid numbers as the week went on.

Early-seeded sunflowers are in R6 stage while later-seeded crop is at the end of R5 and moving into R6 stage. Insect monitoring continues, especially for lygus bugs. Corn maturity ranges from R3 to very early R5 stage. Hayfield condition ranges from poor to good across the region. Continued concern is expressed about low yield potential for the second cut attributed to low rainfall levels. Pasture land conditions are rated as fair.

INTERLAKE REGION

Scattered showers fell throughout the Interlake Region but minimal accumulation amounts were reported. There was hail last week in the Warren area; some cornfields are being inspected by MASC. Hail was also reported in the Eriksdale area. Winter wheat harvest went well with good samples and yields averaging anywhere from 50 to 95 bushels/acre.

Harvest is well underway for most early-seeded canola and spring wheat crops. Canola yields are less than expected; averaging anywhere from 10 to 30 bushels/acre. There are some later-seeded fields that are expected to yield 35 to 40 bushels/acre. Oats swathing is now starting to occur in Arborg and surrounding area. Oats in the Teulon area are averaging 40 to 80 bushels/ acre, with weights anywhere from 30 to 36 lbs./bu.

Spring wheat yields to date are 30 to 40 bushels/acre with little to no fusarium-damaged kernels. Winter wheat seeding should start late in the week or early next week on summerfallow acres and late next week on canola stubble. Secondcut hayfields are finished with reports of yields being below average. Some areas are not expected to have a second cut due to the lack of moisture.

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