Crop Report – for Aug. 4, 2011

SOUTHWEST REGION

Rainfall over the past week varied from 10 to 25 mm, with most happening in isolated events. Growing conditions over the past week have aided in crop development. Cereal crops are heading with early-planted crops starting to turn. Most canola crops are going out of bloom with some of the later crops in full bloom. Peas are turning and we may see some harvest in a couple of weeks. Fusarium is showing up in wheat crops. No other major disease issues showing up to date.

Winter wheat and fall rye are turning and if weather stays the same we may see some harvest by the end of next week. First cut of tame hay is almost complete with several producers reporting average to above-average yields with good quality. Pastures are drying and producers are reporting good growth however pasture land that was under water for a long period of time has no growth. Reports of some hay land being fenced for grazing.

NORTHWEST REGION

Scattered showers accumulated up to 35 mm through Roblin to The Pas, with lesser amounts of 10 to 15 mm in other sectors of the region. Temperatures and relative humidity levels were average to above seasonal levels. Soil moisture reserves are generally good to fair, with good growing conditions advancing crops favourably. Best yield potentials are through the Swan River and Roblin areas, where canola is up to 95 per cent podded and wheat has advanced into dough stage and filling well.

East of the Escarpment to Lake Manitoba, where the wet spring delayed seeding, crops are developing well, but with yield potentials remaining below average. Many of the fields have variable staging and uniformity. Canola to 70 per cent pod stage and wheat is 50 per cent into dough and filling stages. Greenfeed acres continue to develop with the favourable growing conditions. Winter wheat is beginning to ripen.

To a limited extent, seeding of perennial ryegrass and timothy has also occurred in excess moisture areas. Bertha armyworm trap numbers are decreasing and remain at low risk. Durban, is the exception at moderate risk and canola fields are being monitored for larvae. A true armyworm infestation occurring at Bellsite required control on wheat was reported. There are limited reports of crop diseases.

First-cut haying operations of improved forages is complete, with the last of the harvest reduced in quality due to weathering. Some producers have proceeded with destruction of excess-moisture-impacted forages. The native hay harvest is beginning with average or above yield potentials on accessible lands that were not flooded. Additional native hay acres are not recovering as flooding impacted low-lying or poorly drained native forage and pasture lands adjacent to lakes Manitoba, Winnipegosis and Dauphin.

CENTRAL REGION

Rainfall during the week consisted of general showers with some localized events of higher amounts of 25 to 30 mm on July 26 in Somerset/ Pilot Mound areas and in the Holland area on August 1. The hot/humid weather is helping to advance a number of crops. Winter wheat harvest is occurring, with early yields reported at 65 to 85 bushels/acre with good protein and low fusarium.

Most of the fall rye and a few fields of early-seeded canola have been swathed and harvest should start soon. Spring cereals are maturing quickly given dry conditions and will be harvested in the next couple of weeks.

Late-seeded cereals and canola are showing signs of moisture stress and maturing faster than normal. Corn is at the tassel stage, sunflowers are starting to bloom, soybeans and edible beans are flowering and podding. Potatoes are flowering and being irrigated for yield and quality.

Fungicide applications on canola and edible beans have been reduced due to dry conditions. Soybean aphids are being monitored and few fields have been sprayed for control. Diamondback larvae have been noticed chewing on canola leaves and pods with some control measures being taken to lessen damage. Unseeded fields may be seeded to winter wheat or fall rye while other fields are being worked to prepare for next spring.

Hay is being harvested with good yields and quality. Pastures receiving rain are growing while pastures in drier areas are turning brown and needing moisture.

EASTERN REGION

Weather sunny and warm and soil moisture was rated from dry to good. An inch of rain, followed by another drier period would be welcome as drought-stress symptoms are becoming more evident, particularly on light textured soils. For example, some barley turned very quickly and took on a white to light-yellow “burnt” appearance; late canola is dropping dried flowers and soybeans are showing wilt unrelated to disease.

Early-seeded spring wheat is in the mid-to firm-dough stage, with rest of the crop at the soft-dough stage. Earlierseeded oats are starting to turn. In late-seeded spring cereals, head emergence is complete and filling continues. Winter wheat harvest is occurring, with initial yield reports of 85 to 95 bu./acre with proteins as high as 11.5 per cent. Seeds are thinner with bushel weights around 60 lbs., and low fusarium levels. Last week most grass seed crops including timothy and ryegrass were swathed and harvesting occurred over the weekend. Later-seeded canola is past 50 per cent flower.

Spraying for diamondback moth larvae continues, but infestations vary dramatically from field to field. Earlyseeded flax crops are starting to turn and later-seeded crops continue to flower. Soybean crops ranged from R2 to R4 with aphids found at low levels. Corn continued in R1. Early-seeded sunflowers are at R5.2 with later-seeded crop in R3. Some distorted sunflower heads are appearing as a result of sunflower midge larvae feeding. Also, lygus and banded sunflower moths are occurring in low numbers and some verticillium wilt is obvious.

Hay condition ranged from fair to good with the first cut by beef producers complete and dairy producers were working on the second cut. Pasture land conditions were rated as good.

INTERLAKE REGION

Hot/dry conditions prevai led through the week with scattered thundershowers on the weekend. Rainfall amounts ranged from zero to 11 mm. A soaking rain would be appreciated. Crops are advancing rapidly. Winter wheat harvest is just getting underway in the south Interlake.

Preliminary reports are of above-average yields with low fusarium and excellent quality. Early canola is finished flowering, while late canola is in full flower. Diamondback moth populations are reaching economic thresholds with some insecticide application occurring. Bertha armyworm is also of concern, with reports of higher populations in the Teulon and Arborg areas. Soybeans have started to pod and corn is growing quickly, both with some signs of heat and moisture stress.

Cereals appear to be shorter in height than normal with most headed out. First-cut haying is complete in most locations.

Harvest of native hay is still challenging as flood waters remain in low-lying areas. Second-cut dairy hay is complete. Rain is necessary to encourage third-cut growth on these crops. Pasture conditions have improved as drying of lower areas continues. Cattle are able to access lower areas that have been too wet in previous years. There are still areas, near inland lakes and Lake Manitoba, that are inundated.

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