Severe weather systems containing strong winds, heavy rains and hail passed through several regions of Manitoba over the weekend. Damage to crops from hail and strong winds range from light to severe with assessments continuing over the next several days.
The wet weather conditions continue to impact crops in many areas of the province as symptoms of excess moisture stress, including yellowing and slowed crop development are evident in many fields. Crop death has also been noted in the most severely impacted areas of the fields. It is anticipated that further crop damage will occur due to wet and saturated soil conditions.
Wet conditions also impacted herbicide and fungicide applications. Aerial application has increased as some fields are too wet for ground application.
In some areas, producers are assessing crop stands and yield potentials to justify further input costs.
In areas of Manitoba not impacted by excessive moisture conditions, crops are rated in good condition.
Rainfall, high humidity and excessive moisture continue to impact first cut haying operations, although producers in some areas are able to make progress.
Scattered showers through the week with thunderstorms on the weekend brought 20 to 80 mm of rainfall to the Southwest Region; some higher amounts recorded in isolated areas. Reports of high wind and some hail damage to crops. Symptoms of water stress are evident in low areas.
Winter wheat and fall rye are progressing well and fungicide applications on winter wheat are complete. Early seeded cereal crops are heading and producers are applying fungicide as conditions are favourable for fusarium head blight and leaf diseases. Later seeded cereals are approaching flag leaf stage.
Early seeded canola is bolting and starting to flower. Producers are preparing for fungicide applications as it approaches the 20 per cent bloom stage. Later seeded canola has cabbaged out. Majority of the canola crop looks good to excellent.
Soybeans have advanced with the warm, humid weather and are in the 3 to 4 trifoliate stage. Sunflowers and corn are advancing well. Flax is showing some moisture stress but overall is in good shape. Early seeded pea fields are flowering and most fields are in excellent shape.
No major insect issues as diamondback moth and bertha armyworm numbers remain fairly low.
Overall, hay crop looks good. There are some issues with cutting and baling because of rain. Some reports of alfalfa weevil doing some damage to alfalfa crops. Pastures are good. Dugouts are 90 to 100 per cent full.
Rainfall amounts were extremely variable throughout the Northwest Region over the past week. Localized areas around and south of Ste. Rose and McCreary received up to 25 mm of rainfall, continuing to add to the already wet conditions. Crops in this area are yellowing due to excessive moisture and attempts to complete spray applications are challenging. Rainfall amounts north of Ste Rose through Dauphin, Swan River and The Pas ranged between 10 and 55 mm. The Swan Valley also received significant hail on Saturday. The extent of crop damage caused by that hail event is not yet known. Localized areas around Grandview and the Shellmouth received as much as 100 mm of rain over this reporting period. Soil moisture conditions range from adequate in most parts of the region to excessive in localized parts of the Laurier, McCreary, Grandview and Shellmouth areas where crop yellowing is evident due to excessive moisture.
In general, most crops throughout the area are advancing nicely, with the exception of those crops suffering from excessive moisture. Regionally, 5 per cent of the wheat is at the tillering stage of growth while 50 per cent is elongating and 45 per cent is heading. Approximately 10 per cent of the canola is at the seedling stage of growth, 60 per cent is at the rosette stage of growth and 30 per cent of the canola is bolting. Approximately 50 per cent of the field peas are in the vegetative stage of growth and 50 per cent are blooming. Most of the soybeans are in the vegetative stage of growth.
Herbicide treatments are nearing completion but wet field conditions are making some applications challenging. Fungicide applications to spring wheat are being made where disease risk exists. Reports of flea beetle activity have ceased in the Swan River Valley and The Pas, although there are still reports of their activity in the Roblin area. Reports of cutworm activity have also ceased. Diamondback moth monitoring trap populations continue to be highest in The Pas and Swan Valley areas.
Pastures are doing well. Haying operations are underway with more done in the eastern area. With alfalfa weevil pressure around Rorketon, more hay is harvested in that area and is at 20 per cent complete. Rain over the weekend will slow additional cutting until fields dry. Yields are variable ranging from below average, due to alfalfa weevil, to above average for newer forage stands.
Showers through the week and thunderstorms on the weekend continued to interfere with field operations in the Central Region. Small sized hail was reported in the Morden area, while Somerset, Notre Dame, and Carman areas saw light to moderate hail with some crop damage. Much of the region received 15 to 35 mm of rain, with most areas in the 20 to 25 mm range. Highest rainfall amounts fell in the Somerset area, reaching accumulations of 80 mm, and St. Claude to Treherne at 75 to 100 mm. Some fields handled the rainfall well; in others, standing water is a concern, especially in the later seeded crops. Yellowing of crop due to excess moisture is evident. Strong winds were reported throughout the region on the weekend, with damage ranging from leaves and branches littering yards and roads, to downed bins and trees. Good drying weather and warmer temperatures would be most welcome, particularly for the warm season crops.
Excess moisture continues to be the concern; more advanced crops appear to be handling the higher rainfall amounts, although stand thinning is evident in those crops as well. Drown outs in low spots and drains are quite common. Standing water is still seen in some fields, and ditches are again full. Ruts are visible in fields where herbicide applications had to be made in less than ideal conditions; these will present challenges at harvest.
Cereals are growing rapidly, and stem elongation has begun in most of the later seeded fields. Barley is heading, and spring wheat has begun heading. Oats are at flag leaf stage with the most advanced fields starting to head. The majority of the cereals have received an herbicide application where field conditions allowed. Fungicide applications continue, both at flag leaf and head timings. Application timing for fungicide to suppress fusarium head blight is a challenge due to uneven crop staging.
The later seeded canola is growing rapidly. The majority of the fields are in the rosette stage, and a number have reached the bolting stage. Full flower is seen in the most advanced fields, and fungicide applications continue as the crop comes into the correct stage. Where stands are reduced, particularly due to excess moisture, fungicide applications are not planned.
Corn is growing rapidly. Uniformity of stand is inconsistent in many fields. Soybeans are in the second to fifth trifoliate stage, depending on seeding date. Iron deficiency chlorosis is becoming noticeable in a number of fields, and some varietal differences are noted. In the more advanced fields, nodulation is evident and nitrogen fixation has begun. First herbicide application is generally complete.
Peas have advanced, and fungicide application for leaf diseases continues. Flowering continues. Stands look good where excess moisture is not an issue. Plants in low areas are starting to die; more losses due to poor/damaged roots will be seen as soils dry out,
Fall rye and winter wheat are progressing well. Fields are in good to excellent condition as they continue to mature.
Diamondback moth trapping is now complete; numbers to date are generally low to moderate for the region. Bertha armyworm trap numbers are low to moderate. Some minor grasshopper feeding reported. Pea aphids are being found during scouting, but numbers are below threshold.
No reports of significant disease pressure in crops to date. Some tan spot and septoria is noted in spring wheat fields. Scattered reports of rust in wheat are becoming more common. Fungicide applications to canola and cereals have moved to aerial applications after the weekend rains. Many hope ground applications will continue as conditions improve.
Forages are growing quickly. Alfalfa is blooming and tame grasses are heading out. Some alfalfa weevil is present; those fields have been cut to reduce damage. First cut dairy quality haying continues; some are ensiling due to the frequent rains. Average yields expected for first cut hay are alfalfa 2 tons per acre; grass/alfalfa 1.75 tons per acre; other tame hay 1.5 tons per acre. Up to 40 per cent of cutting and baling operations were not done last week due to rainfall. Wet fields and high humidity will make it challenging to put up dry hay. Livestock water supply is adequate.
While rainfall accumulations in central and southern districts of the Eastern Region ranged from less than 10 mm to about 25 mm, accumulations in northern districts ranged from 70 mm to over 140 mm. Most of that rainfall occurred during severe thunderstorms that began late Friday night and continued through Saturday. Rain, ranging from mist and drizzle to heavy downpours also occurred throughout most of Sunday.
In southern and central districts, standing water is evident in some fields and where standing water has run off, low spots remain saturated. Saturation level of fields varies from area to area with the best areas looking to resume field operations this week if good drying weather continues. In northern districts, standing water is evident on every field. Water is moving off fields but ditches, rivers and streams are running at the high levels.
Field operations, which were already halted for the most part, will not be resuming this week. Some fungicide applications by plane may occur. While loss of yield potential due to excess moisture continues to occur across the Eastern Region, it is most severe in northern districts. Producers are curtailing further investment in some fields based on yield potential. Good drying weather and no rain during the coming weeks will be important.
Winter cereals range from late heading and flowering to the milk stage. Spring cereals range from flag leaf stage to head emergence. Except for very late seeded crop, canola ranges from bolting to early flowering. Fields in some areas have plants which are bolting and flowering prematurely. Field peas are moving into early flowering. Most soybeans range from the second to fifth trifoliate leaf stage with reduced plant growth noted. Yellowing in soybeans is also noted and attributed to excess moisture, iron deficiency chlorosis and transitional N deficiency symptoms. Corn ranges from V11 to V12. In terms of crop condition across the Eastern Region, winter cereals are tolerating the excess moisture conditions the best.
First pass herbicide applications are mostly complete in the Eastern Region. Fields that remains to be sprayed with herbicides may be out of stage before they become accessible, particularly in northern districts. Fungicide applications targeted at fusarium head blight suppression in winter cereals are complete. Fungicide applications targeting flag leaves in spring cereals are mostly complete. In areas where fields can be accessed, fungicide applications targeted at fusarium head blight suppression in spring cereals will begin later this week. Fungicide applications on early seeded canola have started and will continue in areas with field access. In northern districts, aerial applications of fungicide are expected. Further, up to 25 per cent of planned fungicide applications may not occur in northern districts because of the loss in yield potential caused by the recent excessive rainfall.
Across the region, the majority of hay and pasture is rated in good condition. Hay fields are starting to be cut with most of the hay harvested as silage due to wet conditions. Pastures are in good shape with livestock grazing high spots in the fields as the low spots are wet. First cut haying progress is noted as 15 per cent baled or silaged with an additional 10 per cent cut and the remainder of the crop still standing. Quality is noted as good with alfalfa hay yielding 2 tons per acre and grass/alfalfa hay yielding 1.75 tons per acre. Availability of livestock water is adequate.
Warm temperatures and scattered showers the past week have resulted in areas of the Interlake Region with excess moisture issues. During the weekend, areas of region received rainfall amounts ranging from 8 to 50 mm. Scattered areas throughout the Interlake Region did receive some hail, but with preliminary assessment did not appear to have damaged field crops.
With the last acres being seeded and the first round of herbicides wrapping up, crops are rapidly developing in the warm moist conditions. In areas however, excess moisture is impacting crops and is evident with crop yellowing and low, drowned out areas. Spraying at the heading timing in winter wheat is complete in both North and South Interlake. Spring wheat is expected to be sprayed closer to the end of the week in the South Interlake. Some producers are spraying fungicides at flag leaf stage due to the moist, warm conditions which promotes leaf disease. Earlier seeded fields of canola will be sprayed with fungicides later this week as fields reach 20 to 30 per cent bloom stage. Canola staging varies from emerging to 30 per cent bloom in the Interlake Region. Soybeans staging varies from first to third trifoliate. Iron deficiency chlorosis is noticeable in some soybean fields. Peas have started to flower. Corn staging varies from V7 to V9. Forage grasses continue to head out and early season grasses have completed flowering. Alfalfa seed fields have started to bloom and bee release is expected to occur throughout the week.
Well managed hay stands are withstanding the excess moisture better than poorly managed stands. Warm temperatures and variable rains this past week encouraged hay and pasture development and growth of forages. Alfalfa is in the early to late bloom stage. Alfalfa weevil and aphids on hay stands are resulting in yield and quality losses.
Pastures are rated in good to excellent condition and are supplying feed in excess of what is normally expected for this time of year. There is adequate water for livestock.