Over the past week producers were able to make some seeding progress. Conditions remain wet in most areas with producers selecting fields that are dry enough for field operations. Rainfall over the weekend will further delay seeding. Most areas reported 20 to 30 millimetres of precipitation.
Seeding of spring wheat is 15 to 30 per cent complete with some areas north of Highway 1 reporting greater progress. Some canola acres have also been seeded.
Winter wheat is in the tillering stage and is being sprayed for weed control. On average the crop is rated as good.
Pasture and hayland are improving. There remain several areas where water levels need to recede or access needs to be restored before producers can move cattle to pasture.
Cool temperatures, with some overnight light frost mid-week, occurred at many locations. Winds and light scattered showers affected most areas. Through the Ethelbert/Dauphin area, wet field conditions were impacted by up to an additional 25 mm of rain.
Seeding and other field activity is advancing well in the Roblin area, with 90 per cent of the wheat acres seeded and 25 per cent emerged, and canola at 70 per cent seeded, five per cent emerged. Wheat seeding progress near Swan River is at 90 per cent complete and five per cent emerged, while 45 per cent of canola is planted. Increased tillage, pre-seed weed control, fertilizer application and seeding were being done in all areas.
Through the southeastern part of the region, all field operations are limited by rain delays, wet soils, potholes and standing water. Producers are altering plans and seeding what they can, in many cases leaving wet, low areas for later. Wheat and canola seeded acres combined are at around 40 per cent. Some producers are using floaters to seed canola.
All weeds are developing; some overwintered volunteer canola is blooming. Pre-seed herbicide applications are proceeding.
Pastures and forages continue to improve slowly. Water levels on Lakes Winnipegosis, Manitoba and Dauphin continue to rise, flooding more low-lying adjacent land for pasture and forage. In particular, off lakes Manitoba and Winnipegosis, relocation of several stranded cattle herds was needed. Producers in those areas are actively searching out and making alternate summer pasture arrangements.
Rainfall over the past week varied from four to 12 mm across most of the region; Elm Creek saw 25 mm and Miami reported hail. Light frost was reported in the region but with little crop damage.
Overall, 55-65 per cent of the crop is seeded; however, there are areas where seeding progress is only 10-15 per cent complete. Good seeding progress was made in the Portage area while remaining areas had limited seeding progress. Cereals are 80-90 per cent seeded, canola 55 per cent, corn 85 per cent and potatoes, 70 per cent. More canola acres were broadcast seeded last week and plans are the same for the coming week.
Crops seeded early in May have even emergence; cereals are in the first-to third-leaf stage, canola is in the cotyledon stage and corn in the first-leaf stage.
Pre-seed burn-off will be needed on a number of fields because cool, wet weather has allowed weeds to become well established.
Producers are changing seeding plans as the season progresses.
Winter wheat is growing well on better fields while other fields with winterkill are waiting to be seeded to another crop.
Alfalfa is eight to 10 inches tall. Pastures with higher stocking rates will need warmer temperatures to keep adequate growth.
Seeding resumed early to mid-week as producers again made steady progress. Fields were generally soft, which resulted in more unseeded areas within fields. Soil moisture conditions are rated as full across the region.
Rainfall over the weekend was variable ranging from four to 38 mm. A hailstorm occurred Saturday in the Sundown area, with some locations west of town seeing 50-to 75-mm accumulations and pea-sized hail.
Frost occurred across the region overnight on Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures dipped as low as -3 C for more than two hours in some areas but did minimal crop damage, mainly due to limited crop emergence. Damage was most evident on emerged canola and soybeans.
Across most of the region, 80-100 per cent of wheat, barley and oats acres are seeded. Early-seeded fields of wheat are in the two-to three-leaf stage. Some fields have limited growth in low-lying areas and reseeding is being considered. Canola is around 80 per cent seeded while soybean ranged from 50 to 100 per cent complete. Early-seeded canola is at the three-leaf stage. Sunflower seeding ranged from 60 to 100 per cent complete and corn planting varied from 75 to 100 per cent complete. Flax seeding is about 75 per cent complete.
Switching of crop types has begun for some producers. Soybean acres are being replaced with canola. There are isolated reports of individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have not yet begun seeding. Grass seed fields continue greening up.
Winter wheat conditions are rated as good across the region. Stand loss due to flooding has occurred in some areas. Herbicide applications continue in some cases.
Hayfield condition is rated as good. Pasture condition is rated as fair to good with cows being turned out to pasture in some areas.
Precipitation was extremely variable this past week. A storm system passed though the Warren area Saturday, dropping hail and up to 110 mm of precipitation. The affected area extended northeast and southwest of Warren. Precipitation through the remainder of the region ranged from four to 35 mm of rain over the week.
Cool night temperatures prevailed in the past week with frost down to -2 C occurring in a few low-lying areas for a short span of time. Leaf damage is apparent on alfalfa plants, but damage will be slight to negligible in most locations.
Seeding continued last week into wetter-than-ideal soil moisture conditions. Such conditions in the western and central portion of the Interlake have been wetter, impeding seeding progress. In drier areas, seeding progress has improved recently. Seeding progress in the south generally ranges from 50 to 80 per cent complete, while the north is about 40 per cent complete.
Pasture growth is average with most cattle already moved out on grass. Low-lying areas are still under water and will need several seasons of rest to recover from cattle traffic over previous years of excess moisture. High lake levels are affecting Interlake pastures causing relocation of several herds across the region. Some cattle are being moved to other areas of the province while some are being moved into Saskatchewan.