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Crop Report – for Jul. 22, 2010

SOUTHWEST REGION

Spotty rainshowers over the past week resulted in varying amounts of precipitation. Earlyseeded cereal crops are filling and several areas are reporting high levels of leaf disease. Laterseeded cereal crops are tillering and starting to head. Earlyseeded canola is podding and has handled the excess moisture well. Later-seeded canola is in full flower and has been stunted from the excess moisture.

Most of the flax is in flower and several producers have applied fungicide. Peas are flowering and podding with some wetter areas starting to show disease issues with root rot. Winter wheat and fall rye harvest will likely start towards the beginning of August. Some fall rye has been taken for silage, with average yields.

Fusarium head blight is evident in many winter wheat fields. Haying has progressed well over the past week with most producers reporting average to above-average yields; however, quality is below average because of the maturity of the crop and precipitation. The northern areas of the region are reporting large amounts of water on hayland with some producers concerned about the ability to harvest. Concerns of the ability to get slough hay because of water levels have some producers looking to other sources of feed.

NORTHWEST REGION

All areas of the region had rainshowers; thunderstorms with light hail were also reported in some areas. Cereals have almost completed flowering. Approximately 30 per cent of wheat is into early-dough stages. Canola is advancing through late flowering with around 30 per cent podding. Winter wheat and fall rye crops are beginning to ripen. Fungicide applications are complete in most areas. Producers in excess moisture scenarios are beginning to spray fields for weed control and in preparation for fall-seeded crop options. No insect problems were reported. Pasture conditions are improving. In addition, general haying operations were underway with yields average to above average. Conditions and yields are more variable in remaining areas of the region, moving east and north.

The most serious excess moisture conditions persist in the Westlake, Winnipegosis and Ethelbert areas. Pastures in these areas remain wet. Very little harvesting of tame forages occurred this week due to rain, humidity, wet and flooded fields. Access to pastures and hayland is limited by road infrastructure damage and flooding. Many livestock producers are actively attempting to source and secure future feed supplies.

CENTRAL REGION

Precipitation was variable. Hail and high winds caused crop damage southwest of Morden and in the Manitou-Darlingford areas, with localized damage as high as 100 per cent in some fields. Rain was welcome in crops that have shallow root systems.

Crops throughout the region are extremely variable. Root rot diseases continue to show up, including soybeans, canola and cereals. Spring cereals continue grain fill, with oats in the milk stage and most wheat finished flowering and in the milk to soft-dough stage.

Canola development ranges from full flower to full pod formation. Early flax fields have finished flowering while most of the remainder are in full flower; many producers have applied fungicide. Soybeans continue to flower. Nodulation looks good in most fields.

Colour continues to improve, although chlorosis is still evident. The earliest sunflowers are in the R4 stage. Potatoes are in full bloom. Irrigation is being done in some potato and vegetable fields.

Cereal silage has begun; tonnage is anywhere from 50 to 75 per cent of normal. Winter wheat and fall rye are in mid-to hard-dough stage. Winter wheat swathing has started; harvest may start as early as the end of the week if weather remains warm and dry. Hay yields are average to date. First-cut dairy hay has been of poor quality.

Second cut has started and producers are hoping the second cut and possible third cut will give close to adequate supplies. Dairy-quality hay should be at a premium this winter. Beef-quality hay is medium quality as many acres were cut late but received less rain. Native and grass hay harvest has begun. Conditions have improved, and producers are hoping for better haying weather. Some producers are anticipating a feed shortage due to silage shortfalls. Hay in general is expected to be adequate. Pastures are keeping up with grazing given the favour-able soil moisture conditions.

EASTERN REGION

More precipitation fell this past week. Crop uniformity is better in the southern areas of the region where less precipitation fell throughout the season. In other areas, uneven development will be an issue at harvest time. Many fields are recovering from excess moisture but are showing yield reductions. Spring wheat and oat fields are 100 per cent headed out with good yield potential. Early-seeded canola is fully podded while late seeded canola is wrapping up flowering. Soybean fields have begun podding and have excellent nodulation while other fields are struggling through wet field conditions with limited nodulation and root development.

Flax has nearly completed flowering and is 45 to 50 cm in height. Corn is tasselling. Winter wheat is in the soft-dough stage with very good yield potential. Fusarium head blight is evident throughout many fields. While some producers are well underway on second cut, others are struggling to complete first-cut hay. First-cut alfalfa yields are reported at one to 1.5 MT/acre with low quality due to weekly rainshowers. Second cut is just underway and yields are anticipated to be between 1.0 to 1.5 MT/acre with excellent quality. Hay shortages are not reported yet. Dry pastures are in demand in some areas due to significant standing water.

INTERLAKE REGION

Rainfall for the week varied. Water remains in low-lying areas. Crop development continues; early-seeded canola has finished flowering. Warmseason crops, such as sunflowers and corn continue rapid development as a result of the recent long, hot days. Winter wheat is in the soft-dough stage.

Fusarium head blight is evident in many winter wheat fields. There are reports in the Teulon/Petersfield area of empty seed heads and affected kernels. Alfalfa seed fields are receiving fungicide application to control botrytis. Hay harvest progress throughout most of the Interlake region has been impeded by scattered showers and limited field access due to the wet conditions. Dry hay has been impossible to harvest without rain; most of the hay crop is being put up as haylage.

The hay crop is still available with reasonable beef quality and yield, but harvest conditions are the main issue. Pasture conditions are very poor. Some producers are reporting higher incidence of foot rot. There are producers struggling with management decisions including supplementing pastures with hay, moving cattle, and securing winter feed supplies.

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