Crop Report – for Sep. 1, 2011

SOUTHWEST REGION

Little to no precipitation fell over the past week. Weather was favourable for harvest operations. Winter wheat and fall rye harvest is 90 per cent complete with yields below average. Most areas are reporting winter wheat yields in the 40 to 50 bushels/acre range with good quality and average protein.

Several producers started planting winter wheat. Harvest of spring-seeded cereals has begun. The percentage of acres completed is still small with reports of average to below-average yields and average quality. Several fields have been desiccated over the past week.

Canola is being swathed throughout the entire region and some early-planted canola has been harvested. Yields reported to date are below average with good quality. Flax is turning and with harvesting a couple weeks away.

Sunflower crops are flowering and yield potential is expected to be average. Greenfeed crops are doing poorly mainly due to lack of rainfall; some acres are exhibiting symptoms of barley yellow dwarf virus. Rainfall is needed for all late-seeded crops. Pastures are being impacted by lack of moisture and overgrazing.

NORTHWEST REGION

Hot, dry weather conditions were general. The warm weather has allowed crop development and early harvest operations to advance quickly. Winter wheat harvest is complete with yields from 40 to 65 bushels/acre. Straw has been baled and many fields have been tilled. Spring wheat is 25 to 40 per cent swathed and from five to 25 per cent combined. Initial wheat yields range from 40 to 65 bushels/acre with very good quality and low levels of fusarium-damaged kernels.

Swathing of oats and barley has also begun. Canola is 20 to 60 per cent swathed with less than five per cent combined. Early reported canola yields vary from 25 to 40 bushels/ acre and have been of average quality.

Soybean fields in the Dauphin area are at R5 to R6 stage, while earlier-seeded fields planted around Ste. Rose are into R7 staging.

More variability and below-average yield expectations are expected for those eastern sectors that had early-season excess moisture.

Soil moisture levels are low in some areas and rain will be required to finish some of the later-seeded fields. Desiccation of spring wheat and fall weed control is underway. Some soybeans have reported high aphid populations and required control measures. Grasshopper populations are generally low. The native hay harvest is continuing.

CENTRAL REGION

No significant rainfall for most of the Central Region was reported last week. Producers are still looking for rain to aid in fill of the long-season and late-seeded crops, to revive pastures and hay-fields, and to aid in field preparation for winter wheat and next year’s crops.

Harvest continues and crops are maturing quickly. Late-seeded crops are being impacted from the lack of rainfall. Producers are easily keeping up with harvest due to the sunny, dry weather. Wheat yields range from 30 to 60 bushels/acre, barley 50 to 80 bushels/acre, and oats 75 to 110 bushels/acre. Quality is generally average, although some light weights and lower proteins are noted.

Impact of disease is much lower than in the past several years due to this summer’s dry conditions. Canola yields range from 10 to 55 bushels/ acre; average yield is expected in the 20 to 40 bushels/acre range. Some producers have green seed issues because of dry, hot weather at swathing; rain would aid in curing the crop. Peas are yielding 25 to 40 bushels/acre.

Edible bean fields are starting to show yellow leaves and continue to mature, as are the earliest of the soybean varieties. Sunflower fields are close to finished flowering and heads are a good size. Insect monitoring continues in late-seeded canola, soybean and sunflower fields. Full irrigation of potatoes and other vegetable crops continues.

Early table potatoes are being harvested on limited acreage. Late-seeded barley intended for greenfeed needs rain as the hot, dry weather is impacting development. Winter wheat seeding continues. Acreage is expected to increase from previous years due to an early canola harvest. Baling of wheat straw is being done in a timely manner and bales are moved off the fields quickly as field conditions are firm. Some fall field work has started where conditions allow and repairs to field drainage required after spring flooding have begun.

Second-cut hay has good quality but lower yields due to the dry conditions. Rain is needed before any third cut can be considered. Pastures need rain.

EASTERN REGION

Weather in the Eastern Region was sunny and warm last week. Indications of lost yield potential are of concern in the later-seeded crops and long-seasoned crops like soybeans, corn and sunflower as dry conditions continue. Soil moisture is rated as dry throughout the region. Majority of the unharvested cereal stands are either mature or very close to maturity. Harvesting of spring wheat and oats is 50 to 75 per cent complete. Spring wheat yields range from 40 to 60 bushels/ acre with continuing reports of low levels of fusarium damaged kernels and average quality. Oat yields are in the 70 to 100 bushels/acre range; thin kernels and low bushel weights are resulting in average to below-average quality. Majority of canola crops are either mature or very close to maturity. Swathing occurred wherever possible last week. Canola harvest is 30 to 50 per cent complete with yields in the 17 to 30 bushels/acre range. Some cases of pepper-sized seeds are reported resulting in quality being average to below average.

High winds last week resul ted in swaths being blown around in some areas making harvesting difficult and increasing harvest losses. After harvest canola seed that was very dry and hot will have producers monitoring storage conditions to prevent heating.

In early-seeded flax, swathing continues while the later -seeded crop has turned significantly. Soybean crops are in the late R5 to R6 growth stage with soybean aphids concerns coming to an end. In the shorter-seasoned varieties, leaf drop and crop maturity was proceeding with some of the relatively rapid move to maturity being blamed on drought stress.

Early-seeded sunflowers are moving to R7 growth stage while later seeded crop is in R6. Corn maturity ranges from R3 to R5. Hayfield conditions ranges from poor to fair. Continued concern is expressed about low yield potential for the second cut due to low rainfall levels. Pasture land conditions are rated as poor to fair with concerns also expressed about the dry conditions limiting productivity.

INTERLAKE REGION

The Interlake Region saw scattered showers throughout the week, resulting only in minor delays. Spring wheat is being harvested with yields ranging from 35 to 45 bushels/ acre. Around the Teulon and Arborg area oats have been harvested with good yields and average bushel weights ranging from 36 to 44 lbs. Majority of early-seeded canola fields has been swathed with the exception of canola still standing for straight cutting. Yields are generally ranging from 25 to 35 bushels/ acre; however there is a range of yields as low as 10 bushels/ acre to as high as 50 bushels/ acre.

Soybeans are matur ing quickly. Harvest of greenfeed acres in the Arborg/Teulon area has started. Lygus bugs are present in some alfalfa seed production fields; numbers as high as 10 bugs per sweep or higher are reported. Some producers are spraying while others continue to monitor levels as well as maturity of crop. Some producers have been spraying their late-seeded canola fields for the zebra caterpillar and lygus bugs. Winter wheat seeding started the middle of last week; producers are looking for precipitation to help with germination.

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