Rain showers slow harvest progress to a crawl

MAFRI Crop report for Sept. 30, 2013

Weekly Provincial Summary

Harvest progress once again slowed over the past week due to rainfall.

Spring cereals and canola harvests are the most advanced, with producers making progress on soybeans, edible beans, potatoes, flax, corn silage and greenfeed. Sunflower and grain corn harvest has yet to start.

Fall field work, including tillage, baling of straw, and soil testing is ongoing.

Southwest Region

Rainfall amounts ranged from 10 to 50 mm with higher levels reported in scattered thunderstorms. Light frost was reported.

The spring cereal harvest is 80 to 85 per cent harvested. Canola also experienced limited harvest progress last week with only straight-cut canola approaching harvestable moisture levels; harvest progress is at 35 to 40 per cent complete.

The scattered light frost events have halted soybean growth. Most corn crops experienced leaf burn from the most recent frost events. Corn development in the more southern areas is fully in the dent stage of development with the milk line at 50 per cent. Corn in more northern regions is just beginning to dent. The light frost events have also halted sunflower growth with most crops at physiological maturity (R9) where the back of the heads are yellow and the bracts are browning.

Winter wheat and fall rye plantings are fully emerged and in the one- to three-leaf stages. Some limited planting occurred last week due to the ideal conditions.

Producers continue to move cattle to fall pastures and harvested crop stubble. Winter feed supplies are approaching adequate levels with the above-average silage and second-cut alfalfa hay yields.

Northwest Region

Harvest operations were delayed by rainfall accumulations ranging from 15 to 80 mm.

Overall, harvested acres only increased slightly to an estimated 70 per cent. Average to above-average yield trends continue to be confirmed. Yields to date are: spring wheat 40 to 85 bu./acre; canola 15 to 60 bu./acre; oats 75 to 150 bu./acre and barley 50 to 100 bu./acre.

An estimated 50 per cent of canola acres are in swath and 45 per cent combined. Cereals are 75 per cent combined. Spring wheat is 90 per cent combined and oats is 50 per cent combined. Early in the week, some soybeans were harvested near Ste. Rose with yields at 40 to 45 bu./acre.

The light frosts of the previous week have stopped corn growth and dry-down has begun. Later-seeded soybeans have been affected while some forage millet and greenfeed is testing positive for nitrates.

Central Region

Scattered showers in much of the western and northern parts of the region brought harvest to a halt for most of the week, while cooler weather and rain on the weekend slowed progress in the east. Rainfall amounted to 10 to 35 mm. Light frost damage is evident in some corn and soybean fields.

Across the region, harvest progress is as follows: spring wheat 90 to 100 per cent complete, barley 90 to 100 per cent, oats 70 to 100 per cent, canola 70 to 100 per cent, edible beans five to 50 per cent, flax 20 to 30 per cent, and soybeans zero to 30 per cent complete. Harvest progress has slowed due to rainfall, coupled with shorter days, but continues as conditions allow.

Yields and quality are generally good for cereals and oilseeds.

Edible bean harvest continues with yield reports in the 2,000 lbs./acre range.

Silage corn harvest continues. Potato digging started last week with above-average yields in the 350- to 450-cwt range.

Winter wheat and fall rye germination is rated as average to good, an improvement compared to 2012.

Livestock producers are working on greenfeed and cereal silage. Producers in the western areas are struggling to put up dry straw.

Haying continues as conditions allow. Yields are expected to be average for most areas in the region. Winter feed supplies will be inadequate for some producers.

Eastern Region

A total of 25 to 75 mm of rain fell in the Eastern Region over last weekend.

Harvest is estimated 75 per cent complete. Average yields for the region are: winter wheat 70 to 80 bu./acre, spring wheat 45 to 60 bu./acre, barley 80 to 90 bu./acre, oats 100 to 125 bu./acre, canola 40 to 60 bu./acre and soybean 40 to 50 bu./acre.

Soybeans are at the R8 stage. Soybeans harvest is estimated at 50 per cent complete. Moisture content was often drier than expected, ranging from nine to 13 per cent. Corn is at physiological maturity and is waiting for plant tissue dry-down. Sunflowers are at desiccation timing for most fields; seed is physiologically mature. Winter wheat fields are at the two- to four-leaf stage with one tiller.

Winter feed supply status has hay at five per cent surplus, 70 to 80 per cent adequate, and five to 30 per cent inadequate; straw at 100 per cent surplus; greenfeed at 100 per cent adequate and feed grains at five to 10 per cent surplus, 80 to 90 per cent adequate and five to 10 per cent inadequate. Pasture conditions in the region are rated as 40 per cent good, 40 per cent fair, and 20 per cent poor.

Interlake Region

Precipitation amounts were minimal in general, although Teulon, Selkirk and Woodlands received between 15 and 30 mm on Saturday. The North Interlake received about 15 mm through the week.

Harvest of cereals and canola saw little progress. Soybean harvest is quite advanced in the southern areas of the region and only just starting in the northern areas. Alfalfa seed harvest is underway with good yields reported. Fall tillage is general with good soil conditions reported.

Hay supplies are good across the region with only isolated shortages reported in areas experiencing prolonged drought or in those areas recovering from 2011.

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