Harvest 2015 continued across Manitoba over the past week, but wet weather over the weekend temporarily halted harvest progress.
Harvest operations have since resumed in areas that received lower rainfall amounts and where field conditions allowed.
Winter wheat seeding is underway in the Central and Eastern Regions of Manitoba.
Fall field work, including tillage, baling of straw, and soil testing is on-going.
Thundershower activity in some areas of the Southwest Region slowed harvest progress over the week and into the weekend. Rainfall amounts were variable; Shoal Lake and Oakburn areas recorded over 100 mm of precipitation while most other areas received 15 to 50 mm.
The spring cereal harvest in the Southwest Region ranges from 20 to 70 per cent complete, with the slowest progress noted in the more northern areas. Early spring wheat and barley yields continue to be reported at above long term averages. Quality loss is now being noted in all spring cereals due to staining and sprouting. There are some reports of lodging issues, with differences observed between spring wheat varieties.
Canola crop maturities advanced with the earliest canola fields having been swathed, while most later and reseeded fields are being swathed. The canola harvest has, for the most part, not yet begun in the northern parts of the region. Some producers tried to harvest canola but very little has been done. There are green seed issues where swathing occurred during high temperatures. In some fields canola is testing dry to almost dry, but stalks remain tough.
Soybean growth and maturity continue to advance with maturities in the R6.5 (seed fill to capacity) to R7 (pod and leaf yellowing) stage of development. Sunflowers are in the R6 to R7 stage. Corn is in the R4 to R5 stage.
The field pea harvest is complete with most yields at above long term averages. Flax fields continue to dry down with little evidence of any significant disease issues.
Second cut alfalfa continues to be harvested with yields average to above average. Greenfeed silage continues to be harvested with average to above average yields. Recent rains helped pastures as most are in fair to good condition depending on management. Some cut hay and greenfeed quality will be impacted by the recent rainfall. Water levels in dugouts are at 85 to 90 per cent of capacity.
Harvest operations in the Northwest Region moved forward until the weekend when unsettled weather stalled harvest progress. Rainfall amounts of 12 to 51 mm are reported from most parts of the region. Soil moisture conditions are adequate in most parts and excessive in some localized areas.
Overall, harvest is about 40 per cent complete for the Northwest Region. The wheat harvest is approximately 95 per cent complete. Hard red spring wheat yields are extremely variable and range from 25 to 70 bu/acre. Most reports on wheat quality range between #1 and #2.
Overall, approximately 50 per cent of the canola crop is swathed in the Northwest Region. Early seeded canola crops are mostly swathed, while much of the later seeded canola will be swathed over the coming week weather permitting. Approximately 15 per cent of the canola crop is combined, with most progress made around the Dauphin area.
Approximately 25 per cent of the corn crop is at the blister stage of growth, 50 per cent is at the milk stage, and 25 per cent at the dough stage. All soybean acres are podded. About 85 per cent of the flax crop is at the boll stage of growth and 15 per cent is mature.
In many cases, fall field work operations are caught up to harvest.
Haying is wrapping up in the North Parkland and Valleys North areas. Some producers will be harvesting second cut after the first frost. Last week’s high humidity and small showers throughout the area delayed finishing harvest. Many producers are contemplating corn harvest for silage, but most likely will not begin for a few more weeks due to stage of development. Pastures are slowing down rapidly in growth but water supplies are adequate.
In the Central Region, temperatures continued to range from high 20s to mid 30s for the early part of the week, dropping to more seasonal values on Friday and through the weekend. Rainfall accumulations were heavy in the east half of the region, with much of the area reporting 60 to 90 mm. There is standing water in many fields due to the heavy rains, and field work will be at a standstill for most of this week. Western areas of the region received 10 to 35 mm, increasing from west to east.
Excellent harvest progress was made in many areas of the region where possible this past week, until showers started on Friday. Swathing of canola continues and combining started up again on Monday in areas of lowest rainfall. Many producers continue to select fields for harvest, limited often by wet conditions. Grain drying and aeration is occurring to bring harvested grain to safe storage moisture levels.
Cereal crop harvest ranges from 80 to 100 per cent complete. Quality of cereals remaining in the field is declining, with downgrading due to mildew and sprouting.
There is a wide range in canola development, with swathing continuing. Combining of canola is well underway, ranging from 45 to as much as 90 per cent complete. More canola is being straight cut, with positive results to date. The lodged crop resisted shattering losses from recent strong winds. Early yield reports are variable, with the best looking stands yielding in the 40 to 50 bu/acre range, while the fields that struggled with excess rain are as low as 10 to 15 bu/acre.
The backs of the heads of earliest seeded sunflowers are yellow, and bracts are brown; desiccation will likely start this week.
Edible bean harvest is underway with yields reported as average. There are a few soybeans fields that reached 95 per cent brown (mature) in eastern areas. Soybean harvest will begin when fields dry up; on lighter soils that could be later this week. Pea fields are mostly ripe and many are already harvested. Some harvest is delayed due to wet field conditions. Early yield reports in the 45 to 50 bu/acre range.
Some flax has been harvested; the few yield reports to date range from 18 to 25 bu/acre.
There is good regrowth of perennial weeds post-harvest, allowing for control measures to be made in preparation for next year’s crops.
Fall tillage is underway. Many were waiting for rain before starting due to the dry topsoil conditions. Soil testing has begun.
Fall rye and winter wheat is being seeded, some in advance of the previous weekend rains. Additional acres will be seeded into good soil moisture.
Hay harvest is mostly complete for second cut in southern areas, with reasonable yield and quality. A third cut in the southern areas may be possible. The wettest areas in the northwest part of the region report poor quality second cut hay. Most of the remainder of second cut hay is being delayed to avoid cutting during the critical fall period. Low lying areas and sloughs are being cut for feed where access is possible. There is still decent forage growth on most pastures. Pastures are rated in good to fair condition.
In the Eastern Region, the weather last week was hot and humid until the weekend when temperatures dropped as significant rainfall occurred on Friday and Saturday. Rainfall accumulations for the week across the region ranged from 25 to 80 mm with most occurring on the weekend; accumulation levels were highest in central and southern districts. Weekend rains halted harvesting and field work in all districts, although limited progress was made on Monday in a few drier fields in some northern areas. Northernmost districts in the Eastern Region have made little harvesting progress so far this season. Standing water in field low spots is still evident throughout the region.
Spring wheat harvest is 85 per cent complete with an average yield of 55 bu/acre and average quality. About 60 per cent of the oat crop is harvested with an average yield of 110 bu/acre and average quality. About 50 per cent of the canola is harvested with an average yield of 40 bu/acre and average quality.
Soybeans are in the late R6 to mid R7 growth stages. Sunflowers are in the R8 and R9 growth stages and desiccation has occurred in some fields. Corn is in the dent (R5) growth stage. Recent hot weather accelerated maturity progress in long seasoned crops. Frequent rainfall and increased humidity levels resulted in head rot symptoms in sunflower crops.
Some seeding of winter wheat occurred as canola stubble becomes available and soil conditions allow for field operations.
Pasture conditions are rated at 60 per cent good, 20 per cent fair and 20 per cent poor. Some third cut alfalfa is coming off while some producers are having a challenge putting up first cut grass hay. Pastures are in overall good condition with low spots under water. Currently, hay supplies are rated at 20 per cent surplus and 80 per cent adequate. Straw, greenfeed and feed grain supplies are all rated as adequate. Availability of livestock water is also adequate and dugouts are full.
Warm and humid conditions were experienced throughout the Interlake Region last week. The weather conditions however did bring a weather system with precipitation and strong winds during the weekend period. Isolated storms resulted in rainfall amounts over 40 mm in the Moosehorn and Woodlands region. Most other parts of the region received 15 to 35 mm of rainfall. Wet conditions made travelling across many fields in the south Interlake quite difficult as producers try to continue harvesting.
Harvesting is estimated to be 35 to 55 per cent completed. South Interlake is further ahead of harvesting than the North Interlake. Harvest progress has slowed due to weather conditions. Last week, producers continued to harvest canola and spring cereals. Due to the tough moisture levels, producers are using both grain bin aeration as well as grain dryers to manage moisture levels in their harvested grains.
Canola continues to be swathed and harvested throughout the region. Some fields that were desiccated for straight cutting have been left standing for over 15 to 18 days.
Soybean leaves have started to change color and drop. Flax crops are starting to mature. Corn and sunflowers continue to mature.
Some of the early harvested fields have been cultivated.
The variable showers throughout the region last week hampered haying operations. Most greenfeed crops are harvested, and good yields are reported in second cut hay. Corn has yet to be silaged, but yields look promising.
Desiccation of the alfalfa seed crops is continuing.
Pastures are still holding out well due to intermittent rains during the past several weeks.