Crop staging advancing, reseeding efforts wrap up

Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report for June 23

Southwest Region

Relatively cold and drier week in the Southwest region as below normal temperatures persisted. Miniota, Shoal Lake, Oakburn and Melita areas got 15 to 17mm rain while other areas received less than 5mm, which is causing some water stress in crops. Growing degree- days are still less than normal in much of Southwest. Soils are rated as 80% having adequate moisture, while the balance are short. The majority of the region could use a good rain at to get the crop going.

Seeding is 95 to 98% complete. Farmers with unseeded acres are considering greenfeed on those acres, as crop insurance deadlines have now passed.

Fall rye is developing well and passed the flowering stage while winter wheat is heading out and starting to flower. Winter cereal growth is rated as good to average.

Spring cereals are looking excellent. Stages are vary according to their seeding dates. Most early seeded fields are at tillering to stem elongation stage. Later seeded fields are at 4- to 5- leaf stage. Additional moisture and heat will make a difference in the coming days as most of fields are behind long-term normal growth development. Overall, spring cereals are average to good. Some reports of wind damage in oats and cutworm damage in spring wheat.

Flax is coming along well and producers are spraying herbicide in the crop. Canola seeding is also complete and most of early seeded crop is 5- to 6-leaf stage and starting to cabbage. Late and reseeded canola is still at 2- to 3-leaf stage. Producers are spraying herbicide as the conditions permit. Some producers are still struggling with flea beetles. There are localized reports of reseeding due to flea beetle and crusting issues. Canola crops range from excellent to average condition depending upon the seeding date and moisture conditions.

Soybean seeding is also done and most of producers are completing their first pass of herbicide spray. More than 70% fields are at 2nd to 3rd trifoliate stage and 30% fields are unifoliate stage. Crop needs some good heat and moisture at this stage. Nodulation development has started.

Corn and sunflower are growing well. Corn is at ranging from V1 to V5 stage, as growth is slow due to less heat. Sunflowers are also on various stage as from V3 to V6 stage.

Very early seeded field peas near Miniota are starting to flower, while most of other fields are completing their vegetative growth stages and knitting together. Producers are planning fungicide spray as conditions are favourable in some areas for diseases and crop looks great potential as well. Most field peas have very good nodulation.

Some farmers are tilling saline areas, and seeding those patches to saline tolerant crops, not their original crops in those fields.

Pasture rated as good with most producers having cattle out. Hay crop looks to be average to above average. Some dairy quality hay might start next week. Beef haying to start in the coming weeks.

Northwest Region

Conditions in the Northwest region this week were variable with temperatures nearing 30°C mid- week and falling to single digit daytime highs later in the week.

Conditions improved by Sunday with seasonal temperatures returning. There was rainfall in parts of the region, however, dry areas received the least amount of precipitation and previously wet areas at The Pas received upwards of 47mm. Soil conditions are 80% adequate, 15% short and 5% very short of moisture. Crops damaged by strong winds last week are showing some signs of recovery.

While spray conditions were somewhat better due to less extreme winds, fluctuating temperatures were a challenge.

Spring cereals in the region are in the seedling/tillering growth stage, starting into stem elongation in the southern part of the region. Spring cereals are generally in good to excellent condition although weed control has been a challenge. Winter wheat and fall rye are heading/flowering; winter wheat is in fair to good condition while fall rye is in excellent condition.

Canola growth stages are variable due to reseeding with 65% in the seedling stage and 25% in the rosette stage. Pressure from flea beetles continued this week on canola seedlings.

The soybean crop is in the vegetative stage and is in good to fair condition; soybean condition is better in the southern part of the region. Field peas are in the vegetative stage. Condition of the field pea crop is good to fair in the Swan River area and excellent around Roblin. Flax condition is in good condition. Canola, field peas and soybeans are starting to recover from extreme wind events earlier this spring.

Impacts from flea beetles and cutworms remains a concern and some control measures have occurred. Diamondback moth monitoring continues with traps throughout the region; the highest regional numbers have been at The Pas. Producers are encouraged to begin scouting for diamondback larvae when monitoring canola fields. Strong winds and temperatures too high or too low have made pesticide applications challenging.

Forage growth in hay fields and pastures is suffering in most of the region due to dry conditions, with the driest being around Pine River, Ethelbert, Roblin and Swan River. The Pas area has better moisture conditions but forage growth remains slow from inconsistently favourable weather conditions and some pastures are very wet due to recent rainfall events. Around Sifton and Gilbert Plains, grasshoppers are a concern. Haying has started for dairy producers and those looking for higher quality in the Dauphin and Ste. Rose areas. Hay yield potential remains far below normal with more of the severely affected areas not warranting cutting if dry conditions remain. Slow pasture growth will mean a shortened grazing season. Without significant rainfall soon, producers will be tasked with making difficult decisions over the next couple of weeks on how to manage and provide both summer and winter feed for their herd, which will be further compounded by the fact that there is little to no carryover in the feed yards. Livestock water supplies throughout the region remain adequate.

Central Region

The week started warm, but quickly turned to cooler temperatures as a front moved through the region overnight Wednesday accompanied with wind speeds peaking at 120 kph in the Somerset area. Five to 10mm of rain fell during the storm and some hail reported but limited damage as crops are in early stages of growth.

Hail was reported in the Lowe Farm, Darlingford and Glenora areas from the different storm events, but damage was isolated. Daytime temperatures were in the normal to below normal range and overnight lows dipped as low as to 5°C mid- week. Given the recent rains and cooler temperatures, soil surface moisture is rated fair to good to excessive in areas where precipitation was more abundant this week. Eastern parts of the region have standing water in fields that received higher rainfall. Areas that received little precipitation and with light structure soils would benefit from a rain.

Fall rye is developing well while winter wheat is flowering. FHB fungicides are expected to be applied as the crop is in the proper stage. Winter cereal growth is rated as good to average. Overall seeding is considered done. Growers have returned to lower lying areas of fields too wet to seed earlier and seeding those areas where machinery can now travel.

Most spring cereals are in the 4- to 6-leaf stage and elongating where they are more advanced in the Red River area. Emergence and development of wheat, oats and barley crops is rated as average to good. Foliar protectants are starting to be applied to cereals in the flag leaf stage. Corn is in the V2 to V5 stage to more advanced in the Portage area. Corn growth is rated as average to good overall as the cooler and cloudy conditions slowed growth of that crop somewhat.

Field peas are in the 5th to 7th node stage and growing well. Most herbicide applications to field peas are done. Canola staging varies according to the seeding date and ranges from the cotyledon stage for late planted or reseeded fields to the bolting and even start of flowering of fields in the Red River Valley. Flea beetle and cutworm feeding damage reports are fewer, as the crop is developing well and is outpacing damage. Soybeans and edible beans range in development from the unifoliate to the third trifoliate leaf stage. Few reports of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) so far. Flax is in the seedling stage and sunflowers are at V4 to V6.

Rainfall is 40 to 80% of normal in potato growing areas but cumulative temperatures are now closer to normal. Crop emergence and stand is very good. High winds last week resulted in some fields needing to be re-hilled. In sandy soils, some pre-emerge herbicidal application may have had unintended injury on near emerged sprouts.

Weed growth is rapid with warmer temperatures prevailing. Herbicide applications continue to be a challenge given the strong winds and intermittent rains in some areas. Pheromone baited traps for bertha armyworm have been set up to monitor emergence over the next few weeks.

Water supplies continue to be adequate for cattle on pasture. Hay and pastures are sufficient for grazing and all cattle have moved to pasture. Better alfalfa hay is 25-35” in height and flowering, grasses are heading out. Yields on newer, well- managed hayfields are expected to be average. Older hay fields will yield below average. Forages would benefit from a rain to maintain growth. Dairy and higher quality hay is being cut. Some alfalfa weevil feeding is evident in hay fields but damage is minimal. Cereal crops are growing very well with good potential for straw, green feed and silage but will need additional rain.

Eastern Region

Unsettled weather throughout the Eastern region last week with moderate to severe rainstorms and thunderstorms. In southern districts, accumulations of 5 to 25 mm occurred as moderate to severe thunderstorms during the week. High winds during the week were noted. On the weekend, southern districts again experienced thunderstorms with anywhere from five to 50 mm of additional rain and some reports of hail damage. The majority of overland flooding in the south has receded but has caused flooding issues in downstream municipalities, notably at St. Malo.

Cropland and pastures remained saturated in the worst affected areas. On Saturday, a band of hail occurred south of Kleefeld extending to east of Mitchell. Crops were damaged but the extent of damage is still being determined. In spite of frequent thunderstorms, there are some producers in northern districts that would like to see additional rainfall. Across the Eastern region, last week started out with above seasonal temperatures but cooled to seasonal and below seasonal levels. Accordingly, crop growth slowed, especially for warm season crops. Soil moisture conditions on cropland, pastures and hayland in central and northern districts was rated as mostly adequate while ranging from adequate to excessive in southern district depending on location.

Overall, about 60% of herbicide applications were complete in the Eastern region with the most progress made in central districts. Windy conditions and saturated soils preventing field access in some areas. Producers were trying to avoid making ruts in their fields but were also concerned about shrinking spray windows. In winter cereals, applications of flag leaf fungicides were completed last week and producers began to plan for FHB targeted applications as flowering begins. On average, spring cereals were at the five to six leaf stage with one or two tillers. Herbicide applications on cereals were expected to wrap up this week. On average, canola was at the 5- to 6-leaf stage and starting to cabbage out. Herbicide application in canola was at least 50% complete. Most soybeans ranged from 1st to 2nd trifoliate leaf stage. Overall, about 50% of soybean acres have received a post emergent herbicide application. Iron-deficiency chlorosis in soybean fields continued to be noted. Corn ranged from the V3 to V6 growth stages with many fields getting to the end of their spray window. Most Sunflowers were at the V3 to V5 growth stages and spraying of herbicides was close to complete. There were producer concerns about weed control in many sunflower fields given that weather conditions have not be optimized for either pre-emergent or post- emergent herbicides. Herbicide applications on late seeded field pea crops were completed last week. Field pea growers are now monitoring the weather and crop development as they assess the need for and timing of Mycosphaerella blight targeted fungicide applications.

Concerns about flea beetle damage in canola subsided over the past week as the crop grew rapidly and continued to outpace the damage. Concerns about cutworms also subsided last week although agronomists continued to receive some producer inquiries. On most fields, cutworms had come to the end of their feeding period and crops had outgrown the threat of economic damage. With all the rainfall over the last week, producer concerns about grasshoppers also seemed to subside for the time being. Monitoring of grasshoppers to better assess the threat will continue over the coming weeks.

In northern and central districts, hay and pasture conditions were characterized as fair at best. Overwintering losses, particularly on alfalfa stands, had become quite visible. While livestock producers were pleased that significant rain had arrived in the region, it arrived too late to influence the yield of the first cut hay given that beef producers were expected to begin first cut this week and dairy producers had started first cut more than a week ago. Grass hay was noted as maturing quickly limiting possible gains in tonnage while also reducing quality. Overall, first cut yields were anticipated to be 60% of average volumes for the area. It was expected that some beef producers would delay first cut to try to increase hay volume. The timing of hay cut was also being complicated by earlier June frosts that put an end to flowering. The improved soil moisture conditions were expected to be most beneficial to second cut hay and pasture forage yields. Producers remained concerned about feed supplies for overwintering. A lack of pasture growth also remained a concern in the near term although there were expectations of improvement. In southern districts, there were reports of corn silage crops being destroyed by overland flooding. This reinforced the fact that feed supply will be an issue in southern districts as there is very little surplus from last year. Livestock producers in southern districts were anticipating getting first cut started last week but hayfields and pastures in many areas remained saturated and thunderstorms throughout last week prevented first cut from getting underway in any areas where field travel was possible.

Interlake Region

Rain over much of the region was welcome. Amounts were quite variable with thundershowers, and rain was spread over 4 days, starting on Wednesday. Most areas received between 15 to 40 mm, with localized areas of as much as 75 mm in the southeast part of the region. There are some fields with standing water in low areas and drains. Much of the region now good moisture levels, although the extreme southwest continues to be wet. The northwest corner continues to be dry, receiving less then 10 mm. More than half the region has received less than 50% of normal rainfall; almost the entire region is less than 70% of normal.

Daytime highs continue to fluctuate widely. Soil temperatures at seeding depth have moderated with somewhat cooler temperatures, but are no longer dropping below 10°C. Surface moisture is currently sufficient for most of the region, with isolated areas having excess moisture in the southwest and southeast. Parts of the north and northwest continue to be short to very short. At this point, most estimate that seeding in the region is complete. Most reseeding was completed by the June 20th deadline.

Strong winds have continued to be a concern, interfering with spraying operations but also damaging crop stands and drying out the soil surface. Some reprieve from wind has allowed for continued progress in herbicide applications. Crops are generally shorter than normal. Most spring cereals have started to tiller, and most have had herbicide applied. The earliest seeded cereals are elongating. Fall rye has headed. Peas looking great, into 8th node and higher, with flowering to start soon. Fababeans look good and are flowering. Canola reseeding was ongoing. A combination of stresses is at fault, including frost injury, flea beetle damage, poor germination in dry conditions, wind and crusting. Some fields have been reseeded twice. Staging canola is difficult due to the number of reseeded fields, with the last reseeded fields at cotyledon, and the most advanced are in rosette and filling in. The very earliest seeded are beginning to bolt. Rain has helped to fill in some of the gaps; newer hybrids are can respond better to some of these stresses. Soybeans are in the unifoliate to early 1st trifoliate to as advanced as 3rd and 4th trifoliate in south parts of the region. Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) is becoming more evident in some fields, more noticeable east of Teulon.

Sunflowers look good at 4 to 6 leaf (V4 to V6); most have received an herbicide application. Flax is up to 15 cm tall; stands look great. Corn is all out of the ground and is as advanced as V4 to V5. Both silage and grain corn are looking good. Most have received a first herbicide application.

Weed spraying continues to be a challenge with wind and rainfall. Slower crop growth due to dry conditions, along with minimal weed growth has provided more of a buffer than in most years; recent rain has allowed the crops to jump, and weed growth is general. Progress for some has been limited. With reseeding in canola, some fields are yet to be sprayed, while some are receiving a second application. Soybeans have been slow to get going in many areas, and combined with minimal weed growth herbicide spraying has been slow to progress in the north half of the region. It is difficult to estimate herbicide application progress due to the broad range of growth and conditions, but possibly half have received a first application, and some have been sprayed twice.

Canola acres, including reseeded canola, continue to be sprayed for flea beetle control. Insecticide is being added to herbicide applications in some fields. A number of fields have been reseeded due to heavy flea beetle feeding, combined with other stresses. Cutworm injury continues to be reported in hot spots. Increasing numbers of grasshopper hotspots are being reported throughout the region, and fields are being monitored carefully. Headlands are being sprayed where possible, but some entire fields will be sprayed. Some flax and newly established alfalfa fields have been sprayed. Recent rains may help reduce some numbers.

Diamondback moth trap numbers are increasing, but quite variable due to the fluctuating temperatures and winds. Trap numbers this week have ranged from 17 to 50. Warren area remains the highest with an accumulated count of 225. Larvae are starting to emerge. Bertha armyworm moth traps are out; counts continue to be low.

Pastures continue to struggle. Majority of pastures rated in fair to very poor condition, although areas with reasonable rainfall this past week have had a short-term reprieve. Hay is rated from good to poor. First cut will be lower due to shorter growth with the extended cold weather and lack of rainfall. First cut dairy hay is ongoing; yields are reported as mediocre. Beef producers have been waiting on better growth, but will start cutting soon due to onset of weevil damage on alfalfa. Frost injury to alfalfa and other forages has been greater than first expected. This adds to the concern for forage availability.

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