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Crop Report – for Oct. 7, 2010

SOUTHWEST REGION

Little to no precipitation over the past week allowed good harvest progress. Cereal harvest ranges from 65 per cent to 80 per cent complete and canola harvest from 55 per cent to 60 per cent complete. Most crops are dry and yields are reported to be average with below-average quality. Very little flax has been harvested. Sunflowers harvest remains a couple of weeks away. Some corn silage has been started and yields are reported to be average to above average. Pastures throughout the region are drying up and several producers are moving cows to fall pastures or harvested land. Some producers are feeding on pasture.

NORTHWEST REGION

General harvest operations proceeded under above-normal daytime temperatures and drying winds. In the Swan River area, 30 to 40 per cent of canola remains to be harvested. Producers in the southern areas of the region have finished most of the wheat acres and 90 to 95 per cent of the canola harvest. Only the later-seeded canola, oats and barley crops remain. Producers are also combining some unharvested acres left earlier due to wet field conditions. In the Roblin area some Red Spring wheat and canola are reaching the 60 bushel/acre range. Wheat protein levels are lower than average and higher volumes of samples are grading #2 and #3. Canola samples are mostly #1CAN.

The hemp and flax crop is drying down. Overall dockage levels are higher than normal, reflecting the difficult field and weather conditions during the herbicide application period. General field work, fall weed control applications, straw baling and removal also continued.

Winter wheat is establishing with growth ranging from two to four leaf. Corn silage is drying down and greenfeed is being harvested with some samples being submitted for nitrate testing. Available straw for livestock is lower than normal in the eastern section of the region which suffered from early-season excess moisture. Lateseason alfalfa and hay has been harvested with below-average yields reported. Rain in The Pas area has resulted in localized flooding of bales in some hayfields. Fall pasture conditions and available forage is good in most of the region. Additional native hay has been harvested even though quality is reduced.

CENTRAL REGION

Heavy dews and small showers continued to limit activity, but by the weekend most producers were back into the fields. Although there are many instances of equipment getting stuck, producers harvested acres as conditions allow. All areas reported frost. Flax harvest is progressing. Yields are average to above average with good grades.

Field beans are mature but crop that is lying in swath is deteriorating due to wet conditions. Yield reports of 1,200 to 1,500 lbs./acre in southern areas; Portage area reports yields above 1,800 lbs./acre. Soybean harvest continues with yields ranging between 30 to 45 bushels/acre. Head rot and stem rot is a problem in many sunflower fields affecting both potential yield and quality. Corn is maturing nicely. Silage harvest continues. New potato harvest is progressing, but is difficult due to wet conditions.

Harvest is most advanced in the northern part of the region. Yields are average to above average. Excess moisture is causing concerns for storability. Herbicide applications are being made to winter wheat fields. Second-cut hay is mostly complete with generally good yields. Quality is fair to good. Third cut is being taken where regrowth warrants. Pastures are keeping up with grazing and are in good condition. Some fields still have areas of standing water. Field operations are difficult. Ruts are a problem. Very little fall fertilizer has been applied.

EASTERN REGION

Harvest in the central and northern districts proceeded. Some areas did experience frosts that varied in intensity from slight to a moderate killing frost. Soil moisture status through the region remained full with standing water apparent in some areas. Oat, canola and flax harvest is virtually complete. Soybeans harvesting continued with about 25 per cent of acres harvested.

Yields, outside of cases of extreme flooding damage, ranged from 15 to 40 bushels/ acre with occasional reports of yields exceeding 45 bushels/ acre. Quality is generally reported to be good although some earlier-maturity varieties were being harvested over dry at seed moisture levels below 13 per cent.

The sunflower crop continues to dry down. Corn continues to dry down with average yields expected. Winter wheat seedling emergence continued with many fields now having crop in the two-to three-leaf stage. With the favourable change in weather conditions some producers have now completed harvesting and are concentrating on field work. Progress in general field work increased as compared to last week due to the absence of significant precipitation in some parts of the region.

The past week allowed some producers to make significant progress on haying, especially in areas that experienced no precipitation. Progress was made in some second-and third-cut silage. Some producers were supplementing feed on pastures while others continued their second cut of hay on fields that were late with the first. Quality continued to be an issue for all hay being produced while the conditions of the pastures continued to deteriorate due to excess moisture and overgrazing.

INTERLAKE REGION

Haying and harvest operations resumed late in the week and through the weekend. The grain and oilseed harvest is almost complete with flax, soybean and sunflowers remaining. Soybean harvest has started although some varieties have not yet dried down.

Soybean yields range from 25 to 40 bushels/acre. Preliminary yield estimate for confectionery sunflowers ranges from 1,200 to 1,500 pounds per acre.

Winter wheat planting was limited by wet field conditions resulting in below-normal seeded acres. Corn silage harvest has started with yields below normal.

Tillage operations are again underway. Wet areas in fields are being avoided due to standing water. Haying operations continue, mostly with second-cut alfalfa. Some first-cut crops are being cut to clear fields and provide lower-quality roughage. Straw baling resumed with the grain harvest.

Field conditions are causing difficulties in baling and hauling operations. Continued dry weather will be needed to improve the movement of hay and straw. Pastures continue to decline and cattle are being moved to stockpiled grass or secondcut hayfields.

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