Crop Report – for Jun. 30, 2011

SOUTHWEST REGION

The Southwest Region received 15 to 60 mm of rainfall over the past week. There was little change in seeding progress. Some producers worked on planting greenfeed, but rainfall brought seeding operations to a standstill.

All crops are showing the effects of the wet conditions. Majority of crop that was broadcast seeded still requires more time for establishment. Winter wheat and fall rye are starting to head with crops looking average to above average in most areas.

Pastureland remains extremely wet in most areas. Higher pastureland is showing good growth; however, growth in areas with standing water is being impacted. The hay crop is looking good. However, the concern in most areas is either flooding or saturated field conditions will make harvest difficult, therefore impacting the ability to obtain good-quality hay. Several producers are looking at different options for haying, including silage or round bale silage.

NORTHWEST REGION

The Northwest Region saw seasonal temperatures, windy conditions and unsettled weather that brought up to 25 mm of rain late in the week. Through the Roblin and Swan River areas crops are developing well; 80 per cent of the wheat acres are at the tillering stage and 95 per cent of the canola acres are past cotyledon stage. Crop staging in the later-seeded eastern areas of the region is generally less advanced with cereal crop staging varying from pre-emerge to early tillering. Some seeding of greenfeed acres is underway, as well as other short-season crops. Uneven germination and soil crusting continues to be of concern. Canola which was broadcast seeded and harrowed is reported to be germinating well. Crop yellowing due to excess moisture and possible nutrient losses are most prevalent in the eastern areas of the region.

Flea beetle activity has increased and Diamondback moth trap counts are very low. Bertha armyworm is starting to appear in the Swan River area. Spring crop diseases have not been reported to date.

Generally, hay and pastures continue to improve and are in good condition. The higher pastureland and both the improved and native forage areas adjacent to Lakes Winnipegosis, Manitoba and Dauphin, are also improving. However, low-lying lands and high lake water levels continue to cause flooding concerns for adjacent native pasture and forage availability and access.

CENTRAL REGION

Rainfall across the Central Region was variable with rainfall amounts ranging from 15 to 70 mm. A significant number of acres will remain unseeded with the highest incidence in the northwest part of the region. Corn, soybean, edible bean, flax, pea and sunflower acres are down from initial seeding intentions. Some greenfeed acres are being seeded where conditions allow.

Warmer temperatures encouraged both crop and weed growth. However, many fields are now yellowing due to excess moisture stress with standing water in the wettest areas. Crop emergence is patchy and thin, also as a result of excess moisture in many fields.

Crop staging varies widely. Fall rye is headed out; winter wheat is in the early to fully headed out stage. Corn is up to V3 stage, canola is as advanced as early bolting/early bloom, and the earliest seeded cereals are in the boot to flag leaf stage. Some barley is starting to head. Soybeans range up to the early second trifoliate stage. Edible beans are in first trifoliate stage. Sunflowers are emerging to V4 stage. Potatoes have emerged.

Broadcast-seeded canola is seeing variable results. Broadcast seeded fields sown just prior to seeding deadlines saw seed stranded in dry soil; rains may improve potential on these fields.

Herbicide applications continue but producers and custom applicators struggle due to poor weather and field conditions.

Advanced weeds are causing problems on broadcast seeded fields that had no tillage or preseed burnoff. Weed species that flourish in wet conditions such as dandelions, thistles, curled dock, quackgrass, barnyard grass, are common.

Leaf-spotting diseases are evident in spring wheat. Flea beetle pressure is higher towards Portage and surrounding areas. Alfalfa for dairy quality has started to be cut; quality will be impacted due to rain.

Straight alfalfa/grass yields are 2 T/acre. Pastures are maintaining growth with rain and warmer temperatures.

EASTERN REGION

Rainfall amounts ranged from 12 to 75 mm throughout the Eastern Region, bringing an end to fieldwork for the week.

Early-seeded spring annual crops continue to make steady progress throughout the week while late-seeded crops are being impacted by soil crusting and further precipitation. Wheat crop staging ranges fromfive per cent emerged to 95 per cent in the four leaf, two tiller stage. Leaf spot diseases have been found in some fields with infection levels varying. Canola crop staging varies with some in the two-true leaf stage while other fields are in the 10 to 15 per cent bloom stage. The early-seeded canola has handled the recent weather conditions well while late-seeded canola is being impacted by the prolonged excess moisture.

Flax acres are limited but are faring well with a crop height of 15 to 22 cm. Soybeans are in the second trifoliate stage. Corn growth development ranges from the V3 to V4 stage. Sunflowers are mostly in the V3 stage. Winter wheat crop conditions are still rated as good across the region. Most fields are entering flowering stages and are receiving fungicide treatments for fusarium head blight.

Field scouting is reporting further occurrences of downy mildew and tan spot. Hay field conditions vary from good to poor across the region. Alfalfa silage was yielding approximately 3T/acre (wet) or 1 T/ acre dry. Haying will continue this week but drying conditions have been poor and challenges with making dry hay are being reported. Poor hay quality has been reported for dairy farmers in the areas of Grunthal and La Broquerie due to excess moisture. Silage harvested is low quality for many and may become a feed supply issue this fall.

Pastureland conditions were rated as good.

INTERLAKE REGION

Precipitation over the past week in the Interlake Region ranged from 0 and 26 mm. Seeding progress of late seeded grain and greenfeed crops continued in the Arborg, Riverton and Fisher Branch areas through the week. Herbicide application was general; however, field rutting is evident on most fields.

Crop condition is variable in the Arborg, Riverton and Fisher Branch areas. About 20 per cent of early-seeded crops are in good condition. Across the region, early planted canola fields are bolting and are starting to flower. Winter wheat crops are heading out and fungicide application continues.

Haying operations are underway in most areas. Round bale silage is the most used storage choice. Field operations are hampered by wet areas within the field and scattered showers. Results are limited but reports are of above average yields. Pasture conditions remain poor as periodic rains offset any drying progress. Horse flies are a common concern for many cattle with producers using control measures for the problem.

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