The 2015 harvest was slowed by the continuing wet conditions in Manitoba. However, some harvest operations did occur where field and weather conditions allowed. Winter wheat yields are ranging from 55 to 90 bushels per acre, with good quality.
Swathing or preharvest management of the earliest-seeded spring cereal and canola crops continues.
The return to warmer and drier weather conditions is welcome to aid in ripening of spring crops, continued growth in the warm season crops such as grain corn, sunflowers, edible beans and soybeans, and harvest operations.
In the Southwest Region, moderate temperatures and scattered thundershowers allowed for continued crop development as the 2015 crop approaches maturity. Rainfall amounts ranged from 15 to 50 mm and were fairly general across the region.
Most winter cereals are in the firm to hard dough stage of development; some fields in the more southern areas of the region are harvested with average yields reported. Early seeded spring wheat is in the soft dough stage and approaching recommended stages for preharvest applications, while some barley crops are being swathed. Symptoms of fusarium head blight can be seen in unsprayed fields of spring wheat. Leaf diseases are also visible.
Canola responded favourably to the moderate temperatures and recent rainfall. The most advanced canola fields are in the pod fill stage while most re-seeded fields are completing flowering. Disease levels in the early seeded canola appear to be at relatively low levels.
Most pea fields are beginning to dry down with some fields having preharvest products applied. Initial field pea harvest has begun on a few early fields with yields in the 40 to 50 bu/ac range. Flax fields are coming out of flower and have experienced some lodging after the recent rainfall.
Soybeans continue to respond to the recent rains and excellent growing conditions; majority of crops are into the R4 (full pod) to early R5 (beginning seed) stage of development. There are some reports of aphids in soybeans but the populations are below thresholds. Sunflowers are at full flower stage and corn is in the early grain filling stages.
First cut alfalfa and alfalfa/grass hay harvest have seen further deterioration with frequent showers and high humidity experienced early last week. First cut yields continue to be reported at 50 to 75 per cent of long term averages. First cut is mostly complete and native hay is nearing completion as well. Some initial second cut alfalfa is harvested with yields average to above average with good quality. Greenfeed silage is harvested with average to above average yields reported. In the areas that received moisture, pastures are remaining productive. Water levels in sloughs and dugout have rebounded and are at 80 to 85 per cent of capacity.
A major weather system moving through most of the Northwest Region over the past week resulted in amounts of at least 10 mm to over 50 mm of rain in localized areas. Soil moisture conditions are adequate in most parts of the region and excessive in some localized spots. Crops in the region are reported to be in good to poor condition. Some crops lodged as a result of the heavy rains and winds experienced over the week, especially canola. Harvest operations were at a standstill for most of the week.
Approximately 10 per cent of the winter wheat crop is in the dough stage of growth and 90 per cent is mature. About 5 per cent of the spring wheat crop is at the milk stage, 90 per cent in the dough stage and 5 per cent is mature. Preharvest treatments have begun as conditions allow.
The canola crop continues to improve and develop rapidly. Approximately 15 per cent of the canola crop is at some stage of bloom while about 85 per cent is podded.
Approximately 90 per cent of the corn crop is in the V6 to V13 stage of growth and 10 per cent is tasseling. For soybeans, 10 per cent of the crop is flowering while about 90 per cent is podded. About 25 per cent of the flax crop is flowering with the remaining 75 per cent at the boll stage of growth.
Crop insect pest activity throughout the region continues to be low.
Haying operations were delayed over the past week due to spotty showers. Harvest of cereals for greenfeed and silage has begun and will continue with the better weather forecast for this week. Pastures are in good condition with adequate moisture. Water supplies on pasture are good.
In the Central Region, moderate temperatures and humid weather conditions continued through the week, with warmer temperatures on the weekend. Unsettled conditions resulted in showers and thundershowers and rainfall amounts varied from a few millimetres to 60 mm. Most areas have adequate moisture for excellent growing conditions. Lodging is prevalent in cereals and some canola fields, and sunflowers where poor root systems were a result of prolonged wet conditions.
Cereal crops throughout the region look good. Harvest will be a challenge in many spring wheat fields due to lodging, and yield loss of some degree is expected. Fusarium head blight levels appear to be much lower than last year in both winter and spring wheat.
Harvest of winter wheat and fall rye has begun; much of the crop is harvested in the eastern part of the region. Early yields of winter wheat are reported in the 55 to 90 bu/ac range; average is expected to be in the 65 to 75 bu/ac range, with decent quality in most cases. Some spring wheat was harvested; no yield reports to date. Harvest management applications continue in spring wheat fields. Some fields are soft, as lodged crop is preventing good drying conditions.
There is a wide range in canola development due to the varied seeding dates. Reseeded canola fields from the late May frost are close to flower completion. Significant progress has been made in swathing in the eastern part of the region, with 25 to 40 per cent of fields swathed. Swathing will become more widespread throughout the region this week. Many fields are lodged due to heavy winds, and harvest will be a struggle.
Sunflowers are growing well and are flowering. Monitoring continues for insects, and staging is being done for fungicide application. Sunflower beetle numbers are low; lygus numbers are at threshold levels and higher, and most fields have been sprayed. Corn is growing rapidly and fields are into grain filling stages of development.
Soybeans continue to flower and form pods. Some fields are showing increasing damage due to excess moisture and subsequent root rots. Reports of soybean aphids are becoming more common, and while most fields are below economic threshold, the odd field is at the 250 aphids/plant and increasing, and will be sprayed. Beneficial insects are easily found in most fields, and are keeping pest populations in check.
Edible beans are flowering and podding. With recent heavy rains, some fields are showing stress symptoms of yellowing. Overall most fields look good. Pea fields are starting to mature; some are ready to harvest, but are being delayed where field conditions are wet.
Hay harvest continues but has been difficult with the high humidity and recent rains. Second alfalfa hay cut is occurring with reasonably good yields. Greenfeed is also being cut for forage. Pastures have good growth due to abundant rain and warmer temperatures. Some areas would benefit from additional rain.
In the Eastern Region, the weather during the previous week was highly variable. Rainfall accumulations ranged from 15 to 40 mm. The week had normal to below normal temperatures with some cool evenings. Some isolated hailstorms occurred in the southern districts of the region. Across the Eastern Region, fields continue to show evidence of standing water and areas where crop is drowned out and is more prevalent in central and southern districts. Low areas in fields that have been harvested are showing some rutting from machinery. Soil moisture conditions on crop land are rated as adequate to surplus.
Spring cereal crops are in the soft to hard dough growth stages. Winter wheat is mature and harvesting continued between the showers; yields are reported in the 70 bu/ac range with some symptoms of fusarium head blight noted.
Canola is pod filling. Soybeans range from R3 to R5. Sunflowers are in R5 growth stages with corn in the silking/blister stage of development.
There are increased reports of soybean aphids with populations building but still below economic threshold levels. There are increasing reports of phytophthora wilt in soybeans. Damage from sclerotinia is noted in canola fields that were not sprayed with fungicide.
Pastures are rated at 90 per cent good and 10 per cent fair condition as timely rains are allowing for regrowth. Currently, hay supplies are rated at 20 per cent surplus and 80 per cent adequate. Hay quality is rated as good. Availability of livestock water is adequate.
Heavy rain and hail were experienced last week in the Interlake Region. Precipitation amounts varied from 10 mm to just under 100 mm of rain in the Woodlands area. Temperatures stayed seasonal with temperatures ranging from 22 to 25 C daytime, and 11 to 16 C night time. There were reports of hail on Friday afternoon in the Warren area. The impact from excess moisture throughout the Interlake Region is starting to show as crops mature.
Harvest is very close to being in full swing in areas of the South Interlake. Producers are busy with preharvest applications and swathing spring cereals, peas and canola fields. Reports of winter wheat proteins ranging from 10.5 to 11.0 per cent with yields of 65 to 75 bu/ac. Peas are being harvested with reports of 55 to 65 bu/ac yields in the South Interlake. Soybeans continue to fill pods and flower, sunflowers continue to flower, corn staging is at the VT to early R1.
Forage grass seed harvest will start this week as field and crop conditions allow. In most annual crops to date, insect pressure is low or not meeting the economic thresholds to spray. However, spraying in alfalfa seed fields is occurring as lygus bugs populations are meeting the economic thresholds.
Haying operations progressed quite well this past week due to less shower activity. Less hay bales are being wrapped for silage and more hay is being baled dry. Producers are cutting annual crops for greenfeed. Pastures are still holding up fairly well due to the past four weeks of shower activities. Foxtail barley and some other unpalatable species are becoming more noticeable in pastures due to selective grazing. Availability of water for livestock consumption remains adequate.