High winds, recent frost hurts crop development

Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report for June 2

Southwest Region

Some scattered showers in the southwest region last week. St. Lazare and Russell received 4 to 7mm respectively. Crops need some good moisture in some areas of the region, as soil surface is quickly drying with very windy conditions. Temperatures were variable throughout the week. Daytime highs were normal; while nighttime lows dropped below zero for two to three hours in most of the region, and up six hours in duration at Kenton and Neepawa. Producers are still evaluating damage from freezing conditions on sensitive canola, fall rye, and soybean crops. Initial damage appears minimal as most canola and soybean crops are still emerging.

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Soil moisture conditions in cropland is 90% adequate and 10% surplus. Some producers are seeding and harvesting the previous year’s crop simultaneously, particularly in the southern half of the region.

Overall seeding is calculated as 63% done in the Southwest region, as last week was the most productive so far this year. Winter cereals are continue to progress well as most of the fall rye and winter wheat fields are tillering and jointing. Most herbicide applications on winter cereals are complete.

Canola is about 55% complete as crop insurance deadlines approach. Germination is looking good, but flea beetle feeding is severe, particularly from striped flea beetles. There are reports of insecticide spraying occurring. Frost was also a setback on the weekend for germinated canola. Most of fields are recovering well as damage was not considered severe or widespread.

Spring cereals are coming along well. Wheat is 85 to 90% done. Barley 85% done and oats 75 to 80% done as some producers are changing their plans from grain to green feed. Emergence and germination is good. No large-scale infestation of wireworm or cutworm. Cereal fields are ranging from cotyledon to 2-leaf stage.

Peas are fully emerged. More than 80% fields are 2- to 3-node stage, while early seeded fields are more advanced. Some herbicide application may done in coming week as windy conditions were hindering those field operations. Soybeans are about 40 to 50% complete. Insured coverage seeding date is now past in the Southwest region. Some producers are switching soybeans with other crops due to late seeding date. Sunflower and flax are 60% complete. Corn is also 85 to 90% complete and coming along well.

Low weed pressure due to slow growing season start and weekend frost is allowing producers some leeway in conducting post- emergent herbicide applications.

Recent rains and warm weather have improved pasture and forage land. Most producers have cattle on pasture. Dugouts are about 90% full. The conditions of pasture 85% good and 15% fair. Moisture conditions are 90% adequate in most of the pasture and hay areas.

Northwest Region

Seeding progressed throughout the Northwest region with some areas nearing completion. The exception is The Pas where seeding is well underway. Reseeding of some canola fields was required in the Swan Valley and Dauphin/Fork river region due flea beetle feeding as well as wind damage in the Swan Valley. Overall seeding is calculated as 95% done in the region.

Most of the region experienced extremely strong winds throughout this past week, with some fields seeing injury due to sand blasting, breakage, twisting, etc. Wind speeds exceeded 70km/hour at Roblin with up to 90 km/hour winds in the Swan Valley area. Intense winds have also been drying out the top portion of the soil and blowing away topsoil along with seed and fertilizer. Precipitation was minimal for most of the region, while Swan Valley received 1 to 4mm; Roblin area received 5mm and The Pas received 13mm. Later seeded crops are in need of moisture. Some areas received a brief early morning frost on May 30. Those areas include Alonsa, Birch River, Drifting River, Laurier, Minitonas, Pipe Lake and Reedy Creek.

Spring wheat and cereal seeding is 98 to 100% complete with 100% emerged, with the exception of The Pas where seeding continues. Canola for the region is approximately 90% seeded with 30 to 40% emerged. Canola seeding in The Pas has begun. Soybean seeding is complete with the first seeded acres starting to emerge. Field Peas are complete and 100% emerged. Flax is 100% emerged. Corn in the Dauphin/Ste. Rose area is emerged.

Flea beetles have become a concern this past week and have required some control. Diamondback moth numbers remain low for the region. Strong winds have made any pesticide applications challenging and limited.

Forages are elongating, with alfalfa ranging in height from eight to 17 inches tall, and advanced fields at the very early bud stage. Low overnight temperatures in localized areas has frosted alfalfa leaf tips. Majority of pastures do not have sufficient forage growth for grazing and supplemental feed is needed. Rain is needed to spur forage growth. Corn silage planting has wrapped up and corn has emerged in approximately 50% of the fields. Cereal greenfeed seeding is still ongoing.

Central Region

After the last weekend’s rain events that touched much of the central part of the region, the rest of the week was drier except for a thunderstorm Monday morning that brought up to 10mm of rain in the Morden to Manitou area. Field operations had resumed on the Wednesday on selected fields. Overall seeding is calculated as 97% done in the Central region.

Mid-week daytime temperatures were in the low double-digits. Frost affected many parts of the region on Saturday morning with overnight temperatures dipping to the -1 to 2°C range for as long as 7 hours in the Gladstone area. Damage is being assessed and some reseeding of canola considered but not widespread. Weekend weather was sunny and dry conditions with temperature +30°C on Monday.

Harvest and/or removal of over- wintered crop on remaining fields continues. Most of the unharvested crops are located west of the escarpment. Topsoil moisture is considered adequate to excessive with standing water in low-lying areas of fields west of the escarpment. Field cultivation, fertilization, harrowing are occurring where possible to help dry topsoil. The high water table and seeping springs make it challenging to operate farm machinery. Tile drains are running. Topsoil may be dry but saturated or near saturated subsoil caused tracking and soil packing. In some cases, operators became severely stuck. Some pockets around St-Claude and Haywood are still struggling with excess moisture issues and seeding operations. Areas in the northwest and southeast of the region that have missed some of the recent rain events and could benefit from a rain to keep topsoil moist. Soil blowing and drifting was reported in the Gladstone area last week.

Fall rye is in the boot to early heading stage whereas winter wheat is starting to elongate. Overall seeding is considered to be around 95 to 98% with a higher proportion done in the eastern part of the region and less west of the escarpment. Seeding of wheat, barley, oats and corn planting is reported 95 to 100% done in all parts of the region. Emergence of wheat, oats and barley crops is reasonable with the favourable moisture but the seedbed was not ideal in many situations when soil moisture was near saturation when preparing the seedbed causing lumpy surface. Heavy rains in a short timespan last week have compounded a poor seedbed by causing soil surface crusting, affecting oats, flax, and canola most severely. Most cereals have emerged and earliest planted cereals are in the 3- to 4-leaf stage. Seeding of field peas is considered done. Canola seeding is reported in the 85 to 95% done with many fields emerging and as advanced as the 4-leaf stage. Some canola reseeding in various areas of the region that had heavier rainfall events causing some surface crusting and emergence issues.

Some reports of flea beetle damage requiring insecticide treatment as well as some cutworm feeding reports. Flax and sunflower seeding is considered complete. Soybeans planting is 85 to 95% done with the earliest planted fields emerging to the cotyledon stage. Dry bean planting is about 95% done and wrapping up in the Altona area.

Potato planting is mostly done with good emergence so far. The May 30 overnight frost caused some damage to emerged plants but recovery is expected. Cutworms also being found.

Weed growth is accelerating with warm moist conditions. Pre- and post-emergence herbicide applications are underway as conditions allow and crops progress into the right stage.

Pheromone-baited traps for adult diamondback moths are indicating arrival of this canola pest in the region. Most sites report low to zero counts last week.

Overall dugout recharge and water supplies are plentiful for cattle going to pasture. Hay and pastures are growing rapidly with most pastures sufficient for grazing. Alfalfa hay is 14 to 19 inches in height and late vegetative stage. Many cattle have moved to pasture with the rest to go out this week. Some of the community pastures have cut back their allocations due to previous dry summers. Cattle that are being put out onto pasture may still need some supplementation depending on grass growth.

Eastern Region

Across the Eastern region last week, weather conditions were predominantly warm and sunny allowing for continued progress with seeding and herbicide application. Conditions cooled on Thursday and Friday with frost occurring across the Eastern region early Saturday morning. Lows ranged from -1 to – 5°C with sub-zero temperatures persisting as long as seven hours in some areas. So far, canola appears to have been the hardest hit with reports of fields being reseeded coming in from many districts and thousands of acres being involved.

A few reports of soybeans exhibiting symptoms of frost damage were received from growers who were carefully monitoring crop recovery but no instances of reseeding were noted at the time of this report. After the frost event, the weather quickly returned to sunny and warm conditions.

Rainfall as light, isolated showers or thunder showers occurred throughout the Eastern region over the last week but accumulations were limited ranging from trace amounts to 6 mm. Many producers would appreciate some rain in the coming days, as it would ensure germination and emergence across fields. This is especially true for canola fields where stands were thinned due to frost or flea beetle damage and where reseeding has taken place.

Across the Eastern Region, approximately 95% of overall seeding was completed. Seeding of field peas, cereals, sunflowers and corn was complete. Canola was about 95% done; not including the reseeding that began at the start of this week. Soybeans were also about 95% done with the final fields being completed within the next few days, weather permitting.

Rapid emergence and development of crops was noted. Most fields of field peas ranged from the 2- to 4- node growth stages and post emergent spraying was ongoing. Spring cereals ranged from the 2- to 5-leaf stage with post emergent herbicide applications also occurring. Soybeans were mostly emerging with some plants at the early unifoliate leaf stage. Canola ranged from emergence to the 2- leaf stage. Corn ranged from emergence to V2 and sunflowers were emerging.

Cutworms were found in more cereal and sunflower fields across the region last week but usually at below threshold levels. A few fields required insecticide application. Flea beetle feeding was observed on most canola fields and insecticide applications were ongoing. Especially after the frost event, producers were carefully monitoring flea beetle damage levels and were preparing to spray to protect their remaining stands. Many growers suspended herbicide applications after the frost and were waiting for both the crop and weeds to recover sufficiently to ensure product safety and efficacy. Given the low rainfall levels and relative dryness of the top inch of soil, growers were experiencing relatively light weed pressure on most fields and remain concerned about flushes of weed growth once rainfall is received. Manure application on fields that were inaccessible in the past was expected to occur this week.

Pastures and hay growth continued to be very slow. Some winterkill on alfalfa was being noticed. Cows were mostly all out on pasture. The conditions of hay and pasture lands were rated as 75% good and 25% fair. Availability of livestock water was reported as adequate for the region.

Interlake Region

Weather conditions across the Interlake last week were generally warm and sunny, allowing for continued progress with seeding operations. Temperatures cooled towards the weekend, with frost throughout the region on Saturday morning. Extremely variable, temperatures dropped to as low as -4°C, with several sites registering <0°C for up to seven hours. Frost damage is extremely variable throughout the region, with damage significant enough that reseeding of canola acres is taking place. Oats, fall rye and alfalfa have also been affected. Damage is reported on peat soils, but also on higher ridges and lighter textured soils. Temperatures rebounded to highs of 28 to 32°C yesterday.

Producers were disappointed as rain clouds dropped only trace amounts through the region. Strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity have resulted in dry field conditions, and some seed is stranded in dry soil.

It’s estimated that seeding in the region is 93% complete. Field conditions continue to be variable. Producers in the southwest corner of the region (Marquette area) have been behind due to wet or saturated fields. Many producers have completed seeding, but there are fields throughout the region that are still to be seeded. Crop residue on untilled fields was a problem for many, and unplanned tillage took place to dry out fields prior to seeding. Dust is blowing, particularly on rolled fields. The majority of the fields in the region have received minimal to trace precipitation following seeding. Conditions for germination and emergence have generally been good, but rain is needed to even out germination, especially in smaller seeded crops.

Early seeded cereals went in to moisture, and are looking good. Most peas are up, and as advanced as 3- to 4-node stage. Fababeans are emerging. Seeding of spring cereals is close to complete. Some oat acres are being reseeded because of frost injury. Canola continues to go in; reseeding accounts for what is estimated to be several thousand acres. A combination of stresses is at fault, including frost injury, crusting, flea beetle damage and poor germination in dry conditions. Most canola is germinating to early 3-leaf. Many fields have uneven germination. Almost all soybeans are in; ground crack to early unifoliate is noticeable with the majority are just emerging to cotyledon stage. Sunflowers are emerging. Light frost damage is evident in corn, but injury is expected to be minimal.

Weed spraying has begun in spring cereal crops. Applications are being delayed due to minimal weed growth, a result of cold and dry conditions. Spot spraying for wild oats is being done on some wild oat patches in canola and soybean fields.

Diamondback moth trap numbers dropped off to zero at most sites, but will likely start to increase again over the next week. More canola acres are being sprayed for flea beetle control. Some note that slight frost damage seems to encourage flea beetle feeding. A few fields have been reseeded due to heavy flea beetle feeding, combined with other stresses. Cutworm injury is being reported in several crops, including canola and peas. Most remain below threshold, but some control measures have been taken.

Pasture regrowth is developing slowly; rain is needed to advance growth. Majority of pastures rated in fair to poor condition. Hay is rated from good to fair. First cut will be lower due to shorter growth with the extended cold weather and lack of rainfall. Frost injury to alfalfa is noticeable in a number of fields. Forage availability is a concern for those impacted most severely by dry conditions in the last two to three years.

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