Seeding nearly complete; flea beetle pressure heavy

MAFRI crop report for June 17, 2013

Weekly provincial summary

  •  Seeding is wrapping up for the 2013 season. The only remaining acres left to be seeded include greenfeed, millet crops and some isolated acres of barley and oats.
  •  Reseeding of spring-seeded crops occurred due to factors such as soil crusting, insect activity and disease.
  •  Weed control operations progressed rapidly but were hampered by wind in some areas. Weed control will remain a priority.
  •  Insect activity increased over the past week. Control measures for flea beetles and cutworms were necessary in some fields; monitoring will continue.
  •  Many areas received precipitation in scattered thundershowers and accumulations varied from trace amounts up to 55 mm. Hail was reported in isolated areas on Monday, June 10 but to date minimal damage to crops was reported.
  •  The continuing cooler weather is slowing development of crop types such as soybeans and grain corn. However, a return to warmer temperatures should allow those crop types to advance quickly.
  •  Dairy producers have started first cut of hay with average yields reported to date.

Southwest Region

Rainfall ranged from five to 30 mm, with heavier amounts and pea-sized hail reported in isolated thundershowers. Damage was negligible due to the early growth stages. These recent rains were beneficial to emerging oilseeds that were damaged by earlier frost and severe flea beetle pressure. Seeding in the extreme southern portions is now virtually complete.

Flea beetle feeding in canola is requiring additional control measures to be taken. There are some isolated reports of reseeding due to severe flea beetle feeding. Cutworm damage increased over this past week with most reports of activity coming from northern regions in the Birtle, Rossburn, Strathclair and Hamiota areas where control measures were taken.

Winter wheat and fall rye benefited from recent rains.

Pasture and hay growth continues to improve with most forages now entering the reproductive stages of development. Initial yield estimates of first-cut alfalfa stands improved slightly from last week.

Northwest Region

Precipitation varied widely with ranges of five to 25 mm with Winnipegosis and The Pas areas receiving the highest amounts. Soil moisture is generally adequate.

In localized sectors, short-season crops and greenfeed cereals planting are completed. Crop conditions are rated 70 per cent cereals as excellent and canola at 70 per cent good.

Weed growth is significant with several flushes following previous scattered rainshower. Herbicide application, while somewhat hindered by weather conditions, is at 65 per cent completed overall.

Some reports of high flea beetle populations requiring treatment. Fields impacted tend to be the earliest-seeded canola. Localized reports of cutworm activity are also reported. Canola insect trap counts continue to be very low.

Condition of forage and pasture are rated as good.

Central Region

A narrow strip of hail went through the Sewell/Lowe Farm area on Monday, with a few areas seeing 15 mm of rain. Showers and minor hail were seen over the weekend in Elm Creek, Fannystelle and Homewood areas. Seeding did continue however, and the wettest areas in the southwestern part of the region saw dramatic advancement in seeded acres. Broadcast seeding accounts for some of the progress. All areas report soil moisture as being adequate to surplus.

Stands of many crops are uneven. Crusting is an issue on some fields following heavy rains; reseeding is required for some crops, including soybeans and canola.

Cooler temperatures resulted in slow canola growth, and flea beetle feeding is a concern in much of the region. Some fields were sprayed multiple times due to heavy feeding pressure.

Corn crops are improving in colour and herbicide applications continue. There are some reports of cutworm damage. Soybean development ranges from just emerging to early-trifoliate stage. Growth is slow, particularly for soybeans.

Winter wheat is entering the flag leaf stage; fungicide applications may start later this week.

Cutworms are reported in corn and broadleaf crops. Some insecticide application is required. Diamondback moth monitoring continues. Trap counts are highest in eastern parts of the region.

First-cut, high-quality alfalfa started last week with average yields expected. Hay fields are slow to progress with the average to cooler temperatures. Pastures are growing rapidly; timely rains will be needed for maintaining growth in the driest areas. Dugouts are full.

Eastern Region

Most areas across the region report soil moisture as adequate to surplus. There are a few areas that would welcome some precipitation.

A storm with hail and strong winds went through parts of the region on Monday. Fields in a line from Tyndall/Garson to just south of Beausejour, through by Anola/Garven Road area to Elma were impacted. Most producers are concerned about winter wheat in the boot stage of development and soybeans.

Seeding is essentially complete. Herbicide applications are underway.

Fungicide applications are starting in winter wheat with further treatments to be applied in the coming week. Areas that are wetter are reporting increased downy mildew and tan spot pressure.

Insect pressure increased over the past week. Many sunflowers acres are sprayed for cutworms; cutworms are noted in some canola fields as well. Flea beetle activity in canola resulted in some isolated spraying.

Hay conditions in the region are rated as 60 per cent to 80 per cent good, 20 per cent fair and 20 per cent poor.

Pasture conditions in the region are rated as 75 per cent to 80 per cent good to 20 to 25 per cent fair in the region. Livestock water supply, including dugouts, is rated at 100 per cent adequate.

Interlake Region

Scattered showers, along with warm temperatures, were reported throughout the Interlake Region. Moosehorn received the most precipitation with amounts ranging from 50 to 55 mm. Most other parts of the region received anywhere from 10 to 25 mm. With an increase in temperatures along with precipitation, crops are advancing quite well.

Seeding throughout the region is essentially complete. In some cases, reseeding is occurring due to cutworm damage.

In the South Interlake, some producers will start spraying fungicide on winter wheat for flag leaf protection.

Forage grasses started to head out while alfalfa plants are in the pre-bloom stage. Producers are checking their alfalfa seed production fields for alfalfa weevil and lygus bug populations to determine spray timing along with their leafcutter bee incubation period.

Dairy farmers are working on completing first cut of hay. Older stands of hay are coming off fair to average and newer hay stands reported above-average yields.

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