Crop Report – for Sep. 2, 2010

SOUTHWEST

Rainfall slowed harvest but producers still got in a few days of harvesting, with the most progress seen south of Highway 1. Winter wheat and fall rye harvests are complete with yields reported average to above-average, with average quality.

Spring wheat harvest ranges from very little done north of Hwy. 1 to 40 per cent complete south of Hwy. 1. Yield and quality are average; lower yields are a result of fusarium infection and excess moisture.

Barley harvest ranges from just starting in the northern areas to 60 per cent complete in the south; reported yields to date vary from 40 to 80 bushels per acre. Quality to date is good but several remaining acres are lying in swaths. Oats look good although few acres are harvested.

Most canola has been cut with just the later-seeded fields standing. If wet weather continues, producers will continue with swathing operations.

Harvesting of peas is almost complete with yields average to below average due to excess moisture and disease.

Flax is maturing but no harvesting has been done to date. The sunflower crop is starting to show symptoms of sclerotinia.

Producers have completed a first cut of hay and several have started second cut. Several acres of second-cut have had rain and quality will be below average. The first cut was above average but very poor quality.

Pastures are rated as good, but dry areas are being overgrazed and low wet areas are less palatable for grazing.

NORTHWEST

Wet weather early in the week improved by Tuesday, allowing general harvest to resume. Harvest staging is quite variable through all areas.

Cereals are 80-90 per cent ripe with about 70 per cent of acres swathed or treated pre-harvest, and 15 to 20 per cent of acres combined. Initial wheat yields vary from 15 to 55 bu./ac. Some hard red spring wheat is grading No. 1, but No. 2 samples are common due to weathering. Presence of fusarium-damaged kernels and ergot is being reported, along with isolated cases of sprouting.

About 60-70 per cent of canola acres are swathed, with very few acres combined.

Field pea and forage grass seed harvest continue. Pea yields range from 15 to 25 bu./ ac. and ryegrass yields are reported up to 1,500 lbs.

Wheat and forage seed straw is being baled and moved off the fields. Straw production is somewhat lower. A limited second- cut hay harvest has been completed, with the exception of Winnipegosis, the Westlake area and northeast of Swan River which have some first-cut yet to be harvested.

In most of the region, pasture conditions are good; however, some producers dependent on native hay and pasture lands continue to be negatively impacted by rains and the adjacent high lake levels.

CENTRAL

Harvest progressed well, with sunny, warm and dry conditions until the weekend, when conditions turned cloudy and rainy, bringing harvest progress to a halt across the region.

Cereal grains harvest is progressing and is reported to be 80 to 100 per cent complete. In the Red River Valley, yields are variable due to the drowned-out areas of fields. Wheat yields are average to above-average; higher yields are being reported on the escarpment area where excess moisture was not as much of a problem for annual crops. Spring wheat grades are rated above average as a result of the dry conditions that have prevailed during harvest to date. The weekend rains may impact the grade of cereals that remain to be harvested.

Canola crops are maturing and swathing and harvesting progressed during the week. Most of the canola crop is ripe and being swathed, or will be as soon as field conditions allow. About 30 to 50 per cent of the canola crop has been combined, with the Altona area the most advanced. Yields are reported in the 30-to 60-bu./ ac. range, averaging 40-45 bu./ ac., with good grades.

About 50 to 70 per cent of the flax crop is already ripe and the balance in the ripening stage. Some acres were harvested, with average yields and good grades reported.

Warm-season crops such as corn, soybeans, field beans and sunflowers are advancing in maturity. Soil moisture remains good for those later-maturing crops. There are some reports of defoliation in soybeans due to green cloverworm. Dry bean and soybean crops show signs of maturing as they start to turn colour from green to yellow and drop leaves.

The new potato harvest is progressing and average to above-average yields are reported from Portage la Prairie. The main part of the potato harvest is expected to start within a week.

Winter wheat is being seeded in the Morris area. Straw is being baled and field work is progressing. Second-cut hay is mostly completed with good yields and quality hay conditions. Pastures are keeping up with grazing.

EAST

The region received low amounts of precipitation late in the weekend, coupled with hot, windy and humid weather throughout the week. Progress was rapid, with completion of the spring wheat harvest while oat and canola acres remain in swath.

Hard red spring wheat yields vary drastically within the region. Southern areas report slightly higher yields than the northern areas, as yields range from 15 to 60 bu./ac. Average to below-average quality is being reported; lower quality is due to elevated fusarium levels.

Significant progress was made with the oat harvest. Harvested oat acres are 30 to 90 per cent complete, with yields ranging from 30 to 120 bu./ac., with light test weight. Earlier-seeded oat fields seem to have suffered less damage from excess moisture throughout the year and managed an average to above-average yield. Later-seeded oat fields report lower yields with quality concerns of light test weights.

Canola producers suffered yield losses as a result of strong gusty winds throughout the week causing swaths to turn and pods to shatter. Canola harvest increased to 75 per cent complete with yields ranging from 30 to 45 bu./ac. in southern districts, while average yield expectations in northern regions range from 10 to 40 bu./ac. Canola quality was very good, with no concern of green seed reported.

Soybeans continued to improve as seed filling continued. Green cloverworm was noticed earlier in the week causing significant defoliation in upper leaves, but no economic-threshold levels were reported. Sunflowers’ yield potential still varies greatly. The majority of flax is nearing maturity.

Winter wheat seeding got underway earlier in the week but a decrease in seeded acres may occur as a result of high fusarium levels harvested this fall. Wet conditions in some areas are causing winter wheat seeding delays.

Hayfield conditions ranged from poor to fair in northern areas to good in southern areas, with a third cut underway for many. Some producers in the north are still struggling to complete a first cut. Hay quality is still rated as below average; yields are reported as 50 to 85 per cent of normal.

Pastureland rated from good in southern districts to fair in the north.

INTERLAKE

Weather conditions have allowed harvest to advance, now ranging from 30 to 60 per cent complete. Yields vary significantly between areas and farms due to varying degrees of excess soil moisture during the growing season. Higher-elevated and well-drained areas are seeing better yields.

Spring wheat yields range between 10 and 45 bu./ac. Fusarium has led to many samples grading No. 3. Oat yields range between 40 and 100 bu./ ac. The harvest of canola crops has started and yields range between 12 and 45 bu./ac.

Field tillage has occurred on harvested fields. Planting of winter wheat crops has started on harvested canola fields.

Harvest progress on forages varied. Due to wetter conditions in western areas there was minor harvest progress in tame forage. Native hay crops are inaccessible. Forages were being harvested in the eastern areas, including first-cut and second-cut alfalfa-grass crops.

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