Weekly Provincial Summary
Favourable weather and field conditions have resulted in an early start to the 2015 growing season.
Producers across the province have started to seed, with the most progress in the Central and Eastern regions. Localized areas that had excess moisture in past growing seasons are still experiencing wet conditions and need continued warm dry weather to dry out fields. For majority of areas in Manitoba, rainfall is needed to assist in crop emergence and growth.
Winter cereal crops generally over-wintered very well, with the spring fertilizer already applied.
Pasture and hay growth has been slow due to dry conditions.
Localized showers, but only limited precipitation last week. Heavy winds and favourable drying conditions helped farmers to keep planting. Most areas have optimum soil moisture. Soil temperature has increased significantly in the last ten days.
Overall seeding progress is estimated at 25 to 30 per cent complete, with the greatest progress in spring wheat and field peas. In some regions, spring wheat and peas are reported at more than 50 per cent complete. Barley, oat, flax and canola seeding are minimal.
Some areas in the extreme Southwest are still wet from previous years. Incidences of frost boils in some fields are causing equipment to get stuck or delaying seeding. Early weed growth is minimal and pre-seed herbicide applications are limited. Growers are able to seed with minimal field operations.
Early seeded wheat and field peas are emerging, but growth is slow due to dry and cool soil temperatures. Fall seeded crops generally over-wintered well with spring nitrogen being applied to support growth.
Forage and pasture growth is slow, grasses are at the 1.5 to 2 leaf stage. Producers are continuing with supplemental feeding until pastures are ready for grazing. Feed supplies are tight but lasting. Most areas are dry and could use some precipitation with the exception of the extreme southwest. Dugouts are 80 per cent to full however with the early snow melt surface water such as creeks and sloughs are low.
Variable precipitation over the past week occurred, ranging from 5 to 20 mm. Soil moisture is good, although there are reports throughout the region of saturated fields and very dry soil conditions on others. Soil temperatures range from 5 to 80 C.
Field operations are just beginning in most parts of the region except at The Pas, where producers expect to get on the land in the coming week.
Most field activity involves applying fertilizer, pre-seed herbicides and seeding wheat.
Emergence and growth of wild oat, stinkweed, dandelion and volunteer plants are evident in many fields. Flea beetles are feeding on volunteer canola.
Forage fields and pastures are starting to green up, but with limited growth, due to cooler temperatures and no stimulating rainfall. Supplementation needed for cattle on pastures. Moisture is adequate but a good rainfall is needed to stimulate pasture growth. Dugouts are 100 per cent full.
Seeding is widespread, following a winter with low snow accumulation, early spring melt and lower than normal runoff. Residual wet conditions from last fall, delayed the start of seeding in the Plumas/Glenella region.
Rainfall in the past week was minimal, generally 5 mm or less. All areas report blowing soil with high winds, and continued dry conditions. Temperatures have been favorable, but overnight frost events are still occurring. Prolonged dry conditions are a concern for future crop emergence and growth.
Winter wheat and fall rye are reported to be in excellent and good condition. Minimal acres are reported as needing re-seeding; resulting from poor germination due to dry conditions last fall. Fertilization has occurred, weed control will begin shortly.
Most of the region has 95 pr cent of all cereal acres seeded, with progress slower in the northwest. The earliest seeded wheat has emerged. Weed growth is minimal, so very little pre-seed herbicide application occurred. Wild oats are now emerging.
Corn, sunflowers and canola are being seeded, with excellent conditions allowing for rapid progress. Some soybeans are planted, but many farmers are waiting for warmer soils. Corn planting ranges from 10 to 75 per cent complete. Canola ranges from 25 to 75 per cent complete. Field pea acres have increased, with most seeded. Overall seeding ranges from 35 to 65 per cent complete, with the southern areas more advanced.
Pastures and hay fields are slow to green up, needing a rain. Pastures overgrazed last year are very slow to recover. Hay in some areas is in short supply and producers are hoping to get the animals on pasture mid to third week in May. Dugout levels are adequate at this point, but some farmers are pumping to fill dugouts due to lack of runoff, precipitation is needed to maintain dugout levels.
Variable rainfall last week ranged from 2 to 15 mm. Soil temperatures increased throughout last week with temperatures at 5 cm depth above 100 C. Seeding progress was steady throughout the week, soil moisture conditions on crop, hay and pasture land across the region are rated as adequate.
The majority of winter wheat acres are rated as being in good to excellent condition, but 5 to 10 per cent of the fields winterkilled and need re-seeding. Fertilizer applications have occurred and the most advanced winter wheat is tillering.
Seeding completed is approximately 70 per cent spring wheat and barley; 50 per cent of oats, 25 per cent of canola; 40 per cent of flax; 5 per cent of soybeans; 45 per cent of sunflowers and 25 per cent of corn. Some of the earliest planted spring cereals have started to emerge. Producers are focused on completing seeding of cereals and canola so rapid progress on soybeans can be made with favourable weather continues.
Pastures are slow to start with most grasses in the two leaf stage and alfalfa hay fields picking up nicely. Producers are starting to move cows out to pastures. Across the region, the majority of hay and pasture lands are in fair condition and availability of livestock water is adequate.
Warm temperatures and scattered showers were experienced last week, with rainfall averaging less than 5 mm. Soil temperatures ranges from 4 to 14 C. In some areas frost still can be found beneath the soil surface and night temperatures are still producing light frosts.
Seeding progress varies from South Interlake to North Interlake. In the South, estimated progress is 35 to 45 per cent complete with most spring cereals done and a large number of oilseed acres. North Interlake seeding is scattered, with estimated progress 5 to 10 per cent complete. Spring cereals are being seeded, but excessive soil moisture in some fields is reducing the speed of seeding progress. Mostly all forage seed and winter wheat fields are now fertilized.
Some cattle are being put out to pasture early due to feed shortage. Dugout conditions are good.
Prepared by: Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development GO Teams & Crops Knowledge Centre (204) 745-5663 Fax: (204) 745-5690