Warmer, drier weather conditions towards the end of the week and into the weekend allowed for good harvest progress across most of Manitoba.
Some areas reported light frost events Thursday and Friday. To date, minimal impact to crops has been reported largely due to temperatures and duration weren’t sufficient to cause damage, and/or crops were at or close to maturity.
Soybeans, grain corn and sunflowers are maturing quickly. Silage corn harvest has started, and the first acres of soybeans have also been harvested.
Seeding of winter wheat and fall continues, with the earliest seeded acres emerging.
There were warm and dry weather conditions throughout the week in the Southwest Region. Light frost was recorded in some areas of the region, with little to no crop damage noted.
Good harvest progress was made due to the good weather. In areas south of Highway #1, the harvest of spring cereal crops is close to complete. Yields are average to above average with good quality. In areas north of Highway #1, spring cereal harvest ranges from 50 per cent complete, where heavier precipitation amounts were recorded, up to 90 per cent complete. Yields are average to above average with good quality in most of cases, but areas that received heavy rains are reporting some yield and quality losses.
Canola swathing is approaching completion for all acres. Harvest progress was noted in non-reseeded fields with yields of 35 to 55 bu/acre. Some pod bleaching due to frost is noted in low lying areas in re-seeded canola fields.
The field pea harvest is complete with most yields above long term average. Flax fields continue to dry down with desiccation beginning in most fields.
Soybeans continue to advance with maturities in the R6.5 to R7 stages (seed fill to capacity); early maturing varieties are approaching R8 or brown seed pod. Sunflowers are in the R7 to early R8 stage.
Some producers have started to seed winter wheat and fall rye.
Second cut alfalfa continues to be harvested with yields average to above average with variable to good quality depending upon rainfall. Greenfeed silage harvest continues with average to above average yields reported. Corn silage has begun with above average yields. Water levels in dugouts are at approximately 85 to 90 per cent of capacity.
Unsettled weather conditions over the past week, along with wet field conditions from the previous weekend, caused a delay in harvest progress throughout the Northwest Region. More favorable harvest conditions arrived in time for the weekend when excellent progress was made.
Overall, harvest is about 60 per cent complete for the Northwest Region. Some producers in the southern part of the region completed harvesting cereals and canola, and are now waiting on corn and beans. Soil moisture conditions are adequate in most areas and continue to be excessive in some localized areas.
The wheat harvest in the Northwest Region is approximately 99 per cent complete. Reported 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 70 per cent of the canola crop has been swathed; some canola fields in the Roblin and Swan River areas may require another week before they are ready to swath. Canola harvest progress is estimated at 25 per cent complete; most progress is noted around the Dauphin area. Reported canola yields range from 30 to over 40 bu/acre.
Approximately 15 per cent of the corn crop is at the blister stage of growth, 50 per cent at the milk stage, and 35 per cent at the dough stage. For soybeans, 95 per cent of the crop is at the brown pod stage. Flax development ranges from 60 per cent at the boll stage of growth and 40 per cent mature.
In many cases, fall field work operations are caught up to harvest.
Average to below average temperatures were seen through much of the week in the Central Region. There was no significant rainfall but standing water remains in some fields, and heavy dews are common. Light frost was reported on Thursday morning in Somerset and area, but is not expected to cause significant damage. Harvest continued where possible; good drying conditions allowed for the wetter areas to start harvesting late in the week. Some producers continue to choose fields for harvest based on how wet field conditions are.
Cereal crop harvest progressed and is close to complete. Quality of cereal crops remaining in the field is declining; downgrading is largely due to mildew and sprouting.
Majority of the canola harvest is also complete, with the last fields swathed and drying down, or standing and waiting for conditions to allow for straight cutting. Early yield reports are variable, with the best looking stands yielding 40 to 50 bu/acre, while the fields that struggled with excess precipitation as low as 10 to 15 bu/acre.
Most pea fields are harvested. Some were delayed due to wet field conditions. Early yield reports are in the 40 to 50 bu/acre range. Flax harvest continues; yield reports range from 18 to 35 bu/acre range.
Edible bean harvest continues as conditions allow, with average yields. Soybean harvest has begun, with less the 5 per cent of acres complete. Desiccation of sunflowers began last week, and continues as maturity allows. Corn is in the R5 to R6 stages, and dry down has begun.
Potato digging has begun.
There is good regrowth of perennial weeds post-harvest, allowing for control measures to be made in preparation for next year.
Fall tillage is underway. Many were waiting for rain before starting due to the dry topsoil conditions; others are delayed due to wet conditions. Soil testing continues.
Fall rye and winter wheat continue to be seeded. Some will be seeded now that moisture is adequate; in other areas, producers are waiting for field conditions to dry. Additional moisture will be welcome above the escarpment to support fall development. At this point, seeded acres are expected to be flat to slightly above last year’s acres.
Hay harvest is mostly complete for second cut in southern areas, with reasonable yield and quality. Some third cut is being done, with more to follow, in the west. In the northwest part of the region, second cut haying is mostly delayed until close to a frost to avoid cutting during the critical fall period. Pasture growth has slowed or stopped, dependent on moisture conditions. Hay and pasture in areas above the escarpment would benefit from rain.
In the Eastern Region, the weather last week was significantly cooler than the previous week with mixed cloud cover and the occasional isolated rain shower and morning fog and mist. Conditions did not become favourable for field drying and crop dry down until the weekend when sunny and warmer conditions accompanied by strong winds occurred. As a result, harvest progress and field operations such as tillage and winter wheat seeding were limited until the weekend. Producers are hoping to make significant progress this week if the weather allows.
Spring wheat harvest is 90 per cent complete with an average yield of 55 bu/acre and average quality. About 65 per cent of the oat crop is harvested with an average yield of 110 bu/acre and average quality. Both wheat and oat quality were downgraded where harvest was delayed due to adverse weather conditions, particularly with oats. It is suspected that quality levels in the remaining spring cereal crops to harvest will continue to reflect this loss in quality. About 60 per cent of the canola is harvested with an average yield of 40 bu/acre and average quality.
Soybeans are in the mid to late R7 growth stages with some fields recently achieving R8. Sunflowers are in the R8 and R9 growth stages and desiccation has occurred in some fields. Corn is in the dent (R5) growth stage.
Pasture conditions are rated at 60 per cent good, 20 per cent fair and 20 per cent poor. Some second and third cut hay was put up at the end of the week with most of the feed put up as round bale silage. Pastures are in good condition as cows are moved to hay fields to graze. 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.
In the Interlake Region, trace amounts of precipitation and mild temperatures were experienced. There were reports of a light frost on Friday morning in areas of the North Interlake region near Arborg. Harvest progress slowed due to heavy dews and small rain showers during the earlier part of the week. Excess soil moisture conditions are making harvest difficult in the South Interlake area.
Harvest is estimated to be 45 to 55 per cent complete. Harvesting of spring cereals and oilseeds continued throughout the week. Spring cereals are estimated to be 60 to 65 per cent completed. The quality of some spring wheat crops are decreasing due to precipitation causing sprouting and mildew issues.
Canola is estimated to be 40 to 50 per cent harvested; swathing of late seeded and reseeded canola fields swathing is still occurring. Estimated yields range from 9 to 12 bu/acre to 40 to 60 bu/acre.
Soybeans are approaching maturity. Most fields are dropping leaves and in southern areas 40 to 50 per cent brown pod has occurred in some fields. Sunflowers and corn fields continue to mature. Alfalfa seed fields are being swathed and desiccated this week as plants reach maturity.
The remainder of second cut haying operations is taking place, along with some native hay being harvested. Corn silage is at or near stages ready for chopping; yield potential looks to be average to above average. Pastures are still rated as good to fair in most areas. There is adequate water supply for livestock.