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Crop Report – for Aug. 6, 2009

SOUTHWEST REGION

Scattered showers over the past week brought 10 to 15 mm in most areas.

Cereal crops in the region are in the filling stage with some early crops in the late-milk to soft-dough stage. Canola crops are finishing blooming. Most flax crops are flowering. Sunflowers are in the R2 R4 stage and corn is a couple of weeks from tasselling. Preharvest glyphosate applications will start this week on winter wheat fields. In some areas winter wheat and fall rye have been swathed.

The majority of first-cut hay is complete with most producers reporting average to below-average yields with good quality. For producers with dairy-quality hay, the second cut has started and yields appear average. Rainfall has helped pastures in some areas, but pastures which have been overgrazed will not last much longer. There are several reports of grasshoppers in the southwest.

The biggest concern for most producers is the lack of heat and the delayed crop maturity.

NORTHWEST REGION

Rainfall amounts across the region ranged from almost 19 mm in Roblin up to 63 mm North of Ste. Rose.

Forty to 70 per cent of cereal crops are beginning to fill. Cooler growing conditions have favoured canola growth and majority of the crop is podding, and beginning to form seeds. The exception is the late-seeded crop in McCreary/Laurier areas. The much-needed moisture will help crops in seed development. Some fusarium treatments are underway in the Dauphin area.

Haying was not able to progress much in the past week as consistent rains have not allowed for proper drying. Progress stands about 75 per cent complete. Hay still laying in swaths has lost most of its nutrient value and as standing hay continues to mature, with nutrient value declining. Pastures are in fair condition.

CENTRAL REGION

Rainfall was spotty, ranging from 10 to 45 mm. Hail caused significant damage in a few fields in the last 10 to 14 days on the east side of the region. The ongoing cooler temperatures are worrisome, particularly as we are moving into the shorter days of August. Crop growth is slowed and risk of frost is a concern.

Canola continues to bloom. Cereals range from heading to soft dough, and are relatively clean of disease.

Soybeans and edible beans are flowering and pod formation has started. Sunflowers range widely in height; with the most advanced at the R5 stage. Fusarium head blight incidence is observed as low.

Grasshoppers continue to be a problem in localized areas.

High humidity and wet weather has caused some problems with haying. First-cut hay has yielded well, but quality is variable. Most pastures are in good shape; growth has suffered with cool temperatures and excess moisture. Some pastures in the southwest part of the region could use more rain. Dugouts are full. All crops would benefit from warmer temperatures.

EASTERN REGION

Heat accumulation across the region was approximately 60 per cent of normal last week. Warm-season crops remain significantly delayed. Rainfall was variable, but there was up to 45 mm in some districts.

Crop development remains variable. Spraying for fusarium head blight in later-seeded wheat fields continues. Earlyseeded canola is has pod fill, but over half of the acres are still flowering. Producers are assessing the economic benefit of spraying the later-flowering canola for sclerotinia. Soybeans are in the R2-R3 stage. Soybeans remain short and immature for this time of year. Flax is flowering. Corn is starting to tassel. Sunflowers are at the R2-R3 stage. Flowering periods for cool-season crops like canola, flax and field peas are longer than normal this year, which producers are hoping translates into above-average yields.

Hayfield and pasture land conditions are rated as good. Hay yields thus far are below normal with alfalfa yields at 1.5 tons/acre and alfalfa/grass stands producing two tons/ acre.

Most crop-producing farmers’ concerns remain focused on the delayed and short stature of warm-season crops. Beef and dairy producer concerns remain focused on a potential feed shortage.

INTERLAKE REGION

Precipitation for the past week ranged from 18 to 100 mm of rain. The heaviest rains fell northwest of Riverton.

Some winter wheat fields are at the soft-dough stage.

The most advanced and earliest-planted spring wheat crops are in the late milky-dough stage. Late-seeded feed grains and green feed are in the four leaf to shot-blade stage.

The earliest-planted canola fields are almost finished flowering, while later-planted canola is still blooming. The earliest sunflower fields are at the R4 stage.

A long frost-free fall will be needed.

Alfalfa seed crops are showing poor seed set as leafcutter bees have not been active due to cool weather. Producers are once again considering harvesting as forage crops.

Haying progressed very little over the week as scattered showers deterred activity. Haying is estimated to be about 60 per cent complete.

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