Crop Report – for Aug. 26, 2010

SOUTHWEST REGION

Harvest of cereal crops began in the southwest region. Spring wheat yields range from 30 to 40 bushels/ acre with average quality as fusarium head blight is a concern in some samples. South of Highway #1, barley harvest is 40 per cent complete with reported yields of 40 to 70 bushels/acre; barley harvest has just started north of Highway #1. Winter wheat harvest is about complete in the southern areas of the region with yields ranging from 30 to 65 bushels/acre. In the northern areas winter wheat harvest is just starting with reported yields of 60 bushels/acre. Fusarium head blight is the main downgrading factor.

Pea harvest is 50 per cent complete with yields ranging from 25 to 50 bushels/ acre. Hail that was seen in some areas of the region has reduced yields and quality. Several producers are swathing canola. Wet conditions in some areas of the region are causing harvest problems as equipment continues to get stuck. Producers have started second cut and some are trying to get at native hay; biggest issue remains the wet conditions. Pastures are doing well but are being overgrazed in high areas. Low-lying areas have matured and cattle are not interested in grazing those areas. Foot rot continues to be a major issue.

NORTHWEST REGION

The weather conditions were generally good early in the week with an overnight temperature reaching to 4 C. Through the weekend, unsettled conditions brought variable showers and some scattered thunderstorms across most of the region. Cereal development ranges from 50 to 60 per cent mature with 10 per cent swathed and seven per cent combined. Initial wheat yields vary from 25 to 50 bushels/acre. Winter wheat yields are also variable, ranging from 30 to 55 bushels/ acre. Approximately 20 per cent of the canola acres are swathed.

Rutting is visible from swathing and harvest operations. Pre-harvest herbicide treatments are underway. Disease pressure cont inues to be a concern in some wheat and canola crops. The first-cut hay harvest has been completed in most areas with the exception of Winnipegosis, the Westlake area and northeast of Swan River, which have 30 to 40 per cent remaining. Yields are 20 to 30 per cent above normal with quality slightly below normal. Very little second cut has been harvested. The native hay harvest prospects continue to be negatively impacted by wet land and the high lake levels.

CENTRAL REGION

The week star ted with cooler-than-normal temperatures but increased gradually during the week providing favourable harvesting conditions. Most of the small cereals grains are mature or near maturity with the wheat harvest ranging from 30 to 70 per cent complete. Most spring wheat samples are grading #1 and #2. In the Portage la Prairie area, heavier rains have caused some further downgrading of wheat. Barley and oat harvest is underway with variable yields. On the western side of the region, yields are average to above average with good-quality grain reported. The canola crop is ripe or ripening fast in the region and harvest of the earliest-planted fields are progressing well with 25 to 40 per cent of the canola acres already harvested. Canola yields are quite variable in the Red River Valley mostly due to excess moisture earlier this season. On the escarpment, canola yields are average to above average with good grades reported.

Flax is ripening with about 20 to 30 per cent of the crop already ripe. Warm-season crops like corn, soybeans, field beans and sunflower are doing very well with near-normal temperature conditions to date. Soil moisture remains good for those later-maturing crops which should help in the filling of the grain. There are some reports of defoliation in the soybean crop due to green cloverworm, as well as reports of white mould. Winter wheat seeding will begin this week in the Red River Valley area as time and conditions allow.

Second-cut hay is underway with good yields expected. Prevailing favourable weather conditions should provide for good-quality hay harvested. Pastures are keeping up with grazing given the good soil moisture status.

EASTERN REGION

Precipitation last weekend followed by a few days of cool weather earlier in the week caused some delays in haying and harvesting for many producers in the eastern region. As warmer seasonal temperatures improved throughout the week, harvest was in full force by the weekend with significant progress made in cereals and canola acres.

Considerable progress was made in spring wheat as harvested acres reached 75 per cent with yields ranging from 15 to 60 bushels/acre with FHB levels ranging from zero to three per cent. Yields appear higher and quality consistently better in southern districts of the eastern region where less damage from excess moisture was experienced. Oat harvest is underway with approximately 15 per cent of the acres complete and 30 per cent in swath.

Oat yield improved from last week with reports of 110 bushels/acre harvested with good test weights. Some harvesting difficulties due to uneven crop staging continue to be an issue. Winter wheat harvest is now complete with yields ranging from 40 to 70 bushels/acre and FHB levels ranging from one to 17 per cent.

Canola harvest increased to 10 per cent complete with yields ranging from 30 to 40 bushels/acre in southern districts of the region while the average yield expectations in northern regions ranged from 10 to 20 bushels/acre. Canola quality is very good with no green seed issues being reported.

Sunflowers transitioned from flowering to seed filling but sunflower condition and yield potential still vary greatly because of earlier excess water damage. Flax continues to ripen steadily with very few acres harvested in the region.

Hayfield condition ranges from poor to fair in northern areas to good in southern areas with second cut completed and anticipation of a third cut for many in the southern areas. Producers in northern areas of the region continue to struggle with haying but recent warm, dry weather has allowed them to make some progress.

Hay quality is rated as below average across the whole region. Hay yields are reported as 50 to 85 per cent of normal with drowned out areas. Pastureland conditions are rated from fair to good.

INTERLAKE REGION

Rainfall early in the week delayed field operations. The central and western Interlake areas that received significant precipitation early last week had almost no harvest activity during the week. Warm and windy weather on the weekend provided good drying conditions and allowed for good harvest progress.

Harvest of spr ing cereal crops is general with reported yields variable. Canola swathing is nearing completion. Many crops have variable crop development. Soybeans and sunflowers continue to thrive due to the warm weather. Producers are scouting fields for soybean aphids and disease. Haying progress has been slow in some parts of the region due to lack of drying weather. In the north and central areas, many low areas have been left uncut as water remains standing in those areas. Second-cut haying continues as silage or haylage and yields are above average. Wild hay harvest remains a concern as field traffic continues to be hampered by wet conditions. Forage quality on wild hay is very poor.

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