Manitoba harvest at 70 per cent, soy, corn crops rapidly mature

Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report for September 22

Southwest Region

Another dry and windy week in southwest Manitoba. Subzero temperatures arrived for one or two nights but daytime temperatures were mostly double-digit, which allowed farmers to continue harvest and other field operations. Recent frost is not damaging anything at this stage as soybean and corn are already maturing and drying down due heavy frost earlier in September. Most northern districts have adequate moisture levels in cropland, while southern districts around Melita and Reston are short in soil moisture. Some areas can use a good rain to increase the soil moisture level for coming year and improve tillage.

Overall Harvest is 50 to 60% complete. Harvest progress is coming along well.

Canola harvest is 50 to 55% complete in general. Yields are modest to below average at 35 to 50 bu/acre. Quality is also variable.

There are some reports of yield loss due to major rainstorm which arrived in the Southwest at the end of June and early fall frost is also causing quality issues in some canola fields.

Spring wheat is 80 to 85% harvested across the region. Yield and quality is good to excellent in many cases. Barley is 95 to 100% complete. Yield is above average. Oats are 90 to 95% done.

Many soybean fields were at R6.5- R7 stage before frost in northern parts of the region. Southern areas were more advanced (to R7.5-R8) in staging at that time. Soybean harvest is 5 to 10%. Yield and quality is good so for as these fields were least affected from frost.

Some winter cereals have been seeded, mostly into cereal stubble. Flax harvest is also started but no reports of yield yet. Corn is advancing fast as frost rapidly advanced maturity. Some producers are silaging corn. No reports of grain harvest yet. Frost damage will be determined at the harvest. Sunflowers are also maturing well.

Grasshoppers are still active in pastures and ditches.

Some producers are preparing to do fall fieldwork. Some harrowing and post harvest spraying being done.

Dry conditions let harvest continue so more straw was being baled up. Drier conditions and several frosts have depleted pastures fast. Several producers are moving cattle to harvested fields and fall pastures. With drier conditions, producers have gone back to cutting more slough hay. Some corn silage has started but most still in the field. Overall hay situation is good. Several producers selling hay and straw. Dugouts are at 75% capacity.

Northwest Region

A cool start to the week followed by warm dry conditions allowed for good harvest progress in the Northwest region. Early in the week overnight temperatures dipped well below zero, resulting in heavy morning frost but daytime temperatures were close to 25 C by the end of the week. There were scattered intermittent showers on Sunday night but harvest operations continued on Monday.

Cereals are generally ripe and ready for harvest when moisture and weather permit. Ninety percent of the spring cereals are harvested, with the exception of some oats that need additional time to fully ripen. Spring wheat harvest is nearly complete around Roblin, approximately 85% complete around Swan River and 50 to 60% at The Pas. Reported spring wheat yields range from 90 bu/acre down to 60 bu/acre.

The canola is drying well, with roughly 90% of the swathed crop harvested at Roblin, and 40 to 50% combined at Swan River. There remains standing canola that is almost ready to straight combine. The staginess through the growing season has affected canola quality and yields, which range from 40 to 60 bu/acre. The flax crop is ripe with a start to harvest.

Soybeans suited to the area are drying down nicely, but moisture is still too high. Some long-season varieties at PCDF are not at all close to maturity. Soybeans and lentils remain standing. Fieldwork on harvested fields is well underway.

Producers continue to bale straw. Second cut alfalfa hay and late seeded greenfeed crops are being harvested and nitrates remain a concern in these greenfeed crops. Although chopping of corn silage has started in more advanced fields in the region, producers are reminded to wait for the whole plant moisture to reach the correct level for harvest. Some corn crops that were immature at the time of frost will likely see quality and dry matter losses. Pastures are in fair to good condition for this time of year. Livestock water supply is sufficient for the most part but water levels are lower.

Central Region

Harvest progressed well this past week with no rain, moderate to warm temperatures and moderate winds. Winds picked up Monday with speeds up to 70 kph causing light ground drifting of crop residue and soil from fields with low crop residue and dry topsoil. Frost hit late in the week with temperatures dipping to -4 C in the eastern side of the region. Corn suffered the most with leaf tissue burn into the crop canopy. Most other unharvested crops were mature already and did not suffer injury. Topsoil is dry causing winter cereal growers to reconsider planting. With favourable weather conditions in the forecast, harvest is expected to progress well this week.

Wheat harvest is considered complete in the Red River Valley and north of the TransCanada Highway. West of the escarpment wheat harvest is wrapping up with about 90 to 95% done. Depending on rainfall received, yields reported range from 50 to 100 bu/ac with grain quality in the top two grades mainly. Barley fields are harvested with reported yields ranging from 70 to 120 bu/ac with good quality. Oat harvest is also complete. For many, harvest is caught up to late maturing crops. Straw is being baled up on many harvested cereal grain fields and even canola. Most corn fields were touched by the frost and burned tissue is drying down prematurely possibly causing lighter bushel weight to harvested grain. Most corn fields are in the dent (R5) stage to physiologically mature (R6 or black layer). Planting of winter cereals started but planting intentions are reduced due to dry topsoil conditions. Fieldwork is occurring as crops are harvested. Soil nutrient sampling is ongoing. Manure is being applied to fields from intensive livestock operations having suitable field conditions.

Canola harvest is done in many parts of the region except west of the escarpment where seeding was delayed and conditions cooler. Strong winds the week before caused swathed canola to turn and in some cases roll into piles. Canola yields reported range from 30 to 50 bu/ac yields or in the average range with good quality seed. Flax harvest continued with good early yield reports in the 35 to 45 bu/ac range. The flax crop looks good and standing up well. Industrial hemp harvest started, buckwheat fields are swathed. Sunflowers are progressing into the R8 to R9 stage as plants mature. Some desiccation products applied as the some sunflower fields have reached maturity.

Most soybeans are mature (R8) to beginning maturity (R7). Soybean harvest is about 20 to 30% done with early reported yields in the 35 to 50 bus/a range depending on rainfall received. Some later maturing fields in the western part of the regions suffered from the previous week’s frost causing immature tissue to dry down prematurely and seed fill may be affected. Edible beans harvest is progressing well with about 55 to 60% done in the region. Yields reported are in the 1600 to 2000 lbs/a.

Potato harvest is in full swing; ranging from 30 to 100% finished. Province-wide, harvest estimate is about 50% finished. Conditions for harvesting are good.

Producers are looking at taking a late season second or third hay cut now that there has been a frost. Frost has producers concerned over nitrates in their uncut green feed or crop regrowth. Wild hay cutting is finishing up and corn silage chopping has begun. Water sources on pasture are adequate but some are getting low. Pasture growth is slowing and are grazed down where rainfall was lacking for optimal regrowth. Pastures are running out of grass due to dry conditions and the lateness in the season.

Eastern Region

Across the region, killing frosts were experienced last week on Thursday and Friday mornings. Lows ranged from about -2.5 C to below -5 C with sub-zero temperatures lasting as long as nine hours in some locations. Most corn, soybeans and sunflowers in the region had further development terminated by the frost and began drying down. Minimal yield or quality impacts were expected on soybean and sunflower crops because of their advanced stage of development. Corn test weight on some fields may have been affected, depending on the maturity of the hybrid being grown, and assessments continue.

Overall harvest completion was estimated at 60% in the Eastern region. Spring cereal harvest is complete, while canola harvest across the region was about 90% done, with yield reports continuing to range from 25 to 50 bu/acre with good quality. Soybean harvest was about 5% complete with the expectation of significant progress this week if weather allowed for continued dry down of the crop. So far, yields were averaging around 35 bu/ac based on a limited number of reports. Before the killing frost, corn was in the R5/dent stage with many fields almost at black layer. Cornfields are now drying down with producers hopeful that future weather allows for rapid progress with this process. Desiccation of sunflower fields proceeded rapidly last week and will be complete within days. Winter wheat and fall rye seeding was complete. Fall fieldwork was proceeding at a good pace and producers were satisfied with their progress.

Across the Eastern Region, second cut beef hay was about 95% complete with those waiting for a killing frost now moving ahead with cutting the remainder of their hay. Yields continued to range from 50% below average to average with good quality. Third cut alfalfa dairy hay harvest was complete. Corn silaging was ongoing with good progress made and average to above average yields of 13 to 17 tonnes/acre reported. Given the killing frost and weather forecast, continued rapid progress with corn silage harvest was expected as producers work to preserve quality and ensure good ensiling of the crop. Pasture conditions have been falling and now are mostly fair or poor. The frost has worsened the situation and those that did not stockpile standing forge are short on grazing opportunities. Some calves have been shipped as a result and feeding on pasture is expected. With the cereal harvest complete, baling and hauling of straw is almost complete. Livestock water supply was rated as adequate.

Interlake Region

Harvest continues; many producers are caught up on cereals and canola, and are waiting for soybeans to be ready. Heavy dews have continued to limit harvest hours, but good winds have helped reduce impact.

Crop moisture levels are not dropping as fast as hoped, but the weather forecast looks promising for the next few days. Soybean harvest should ramp up by next week. Great progress has been made on fall tillage, with first pass over the land complete on many acres.

Temperatures are extremely variable, with daytime highs ranging from low teens to low 20s. Overnight lows dipped well below 0 C, with more reports of frost injury. Average daily temperatures range from 8 C to 10 C. Frosts have aided crop dry down in mature crops.

Although conditions have improved, almost all weather stations in the region register 80% or less of normal rainfall amounts, with minimal precipitation falling in the key times of growth. Crop yields are variable; higher yields are the result of an earlier extra rain or two. Yields have a broad range, but have often been better than rainfall amounts would indicate. Lighter textured soils were most affected.

Cereal harvest for many in the region is complete; overall progress is estimated at 90 to 95% done. Yields have generally been good; strong winds did cause yield loss in some circumstances. Straw has been baled immediately following cereal harvest; yield is better than recent years. Most have been picked up, allowing for fall tillage operations. Some post-harvest weed spraying is also occurring.

Canola harvest is estimated at 75 to 85% complete. Early yield reports range from 25 to 50 bu/ac; with average yields expected to be in the 35 to 45 bu/ac range. Disappointing yields are reported where strong winds caused damage to both standing and swathed canola. Some of the reseeded canola is yielding better, especially with timely rains early on. Flax harvest continues, with yields ranging from 20 to 45 bu/acre.

Most soybeans are at R7 to R8. Harvest has begun on early maturing varieties. Early yields reported in the 30 to 45 bu/ac range. Harvest will become more general later in the week, early next week, dependent on weather conditions, moisture levels and presence of green beans. Some scattered reports of frost damage, mostly on longer season varieties that were still quite green. Some of the later maturing varieties benefited from the late rains. Frost damage reported on edible beans.

Most sunflowers are at R8 to R9. Desiccation applications continues.

Corn silage chopping continues, with some areas complete. Yields are variable, dependent on rainfall amounts through the growing season. Early reports of 9 to 19 tonnes/acre. Grain corn is at R4 to R5. Leaf browning due to frost is evident.

Alfalfa seed harvest has begun, with early yield reports of 400 to 500 lbs/acre. Fall rye and winter wheat has been seeded, and has emerged well.

Most greenfeed harvest is complete. Producers are trying different mixes, including oat/pea, in addition to single crop greenfeed. Yields are good, and will help to supplement alfalfa and grass hay supplies. Timely rains in some areas of the northeastern and southwestern parts of the region have resulted in very good hay yields. Winterkill last year has made producers more hesitant to cut at this time of year.

Forage shortages are expected, but supplies will be somewhat better than expected earlier in the season. Annual crop silage has taken then pressure off for many producers. Livestock water supply is currently adequate; some dugout levels have improved with recent rains, while others are reported as getting low.

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