Seeding underway into dry soils, rain needed soon after

Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report for May 7

Soils are becoming dry. Rain is needed to aid in crop germination and emergence.

Favourable weather and field conditions have allowed seeding operations to get underway in most areas of Manitoba. Spring cereals and peas are being seeded throughout the province; corn, canola, and soybeans are being seeded in the Central, Eastern, and Interlake regions.

Winter cereal crops are in generally good condition, winterkill is being assessed in some areas.

Pasture and hay fields are slow to resume growth, but are starting to green up.

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Southwest Region

Conditions are dry with sporadic showers early last week amounting to 0.2 to 2 mm of precipitation.  Low spots and sloughs are diminishing rapidly as frost comes out of the ground. Soil moisture conditions are adequate for seeding large seeded crops.  Frost is present at 2 feet below ground.

Seeding has started south of Highway #1, while north of Highway #1 seeding is just starting.  Seeding of spring cereals and peas is 5 to 10 per cent complete.  Some pre-seed cultivation is occurring in low areas to accelerate drying.

Winter cereals are coming out of dormancy and are rated as good where proper stubble cover was available.   Fall Rye is responding well to warm temperatures, winter wheat is advancing slowly.  Lack of forecasted precipitation is delaying top dressed nitrogen applications.

Weed emergence is slow; however, some weed growth has been reported. Most annual weeds have not emerged due to lack of surface moisture to germinate.

Forages are slow to resume growth.  Alfalfa stands experienced winter injury due to cold temperatures in late spring. Exposed plants were killed back to the crown. Winter damage may affect forage yields, delay first cut haying date, and cause stand thinning. Pastures are dry and runoff was minimal.

Northwest Region

Windy drying weather was experienced throughout the week with temperatures in mid 20s over the weekend. Some light scattered showers through the weekend, with no significant accumulated precipitation.  Soil moisture is at a surplus in the northern part of the region to adequate through the central part of the region.  Soils in the Roblin area are dry.

Field operations including tillage, fertilizer and herbicide applications, and seeding are underway throughout most of the region. The Pas is the exception, fields are drying, but still wet with limited spring activity.

The majority of seeded acres are field peas and spring wheat. Winter cereals have generally survived the winter with few issues.

Weed growth, including stinkweed, dandelions and wild oats is occurring throughout the area. There is minimal insect activity to date.

Pastures and hay fields have just begun to green up.  Growth is not yet adequate to supply sufficient forage for grazing animals.  Rain would further advance forage growth. Livestock water supplies throughout the region are adequate. Grassland fires around Eddystone and The Narrows have claimed some of the traditional pasture areas and damaged infrastructure. Some issues of unintended cattle co-mingling throughout the coming grazing months.

Central Region

Strong winds have resulted in blowing soil conditions on fields with little to no crop residue. Limited precipitation in the past week, topsoil continues to dry.

Warm temperatures and a dry forecast allowed seeding operations to continue.  Seeding conditions are very good at this time. Rain needed to recharge topsoil moisture and aid uniform germination.

Seeding of spring cereals started in the last week of April, where field conditions allowed.  Spring wheat, barley, and oats seeding is 45 to 75 per cent complete.  Peas, grain corn, and canola also being seeded.  Some soybeans reported to be planted in the Red River Valley. Potato planting has progressed well with good field conditions.

Winter wheat, fall rye and perennial ryegrass fields are starting to regrow. Fertilizer applications occurring  where possible, as some fields are remain too wet to access.  Winterkill is a concern in some winter wheat fields, but in general winter survival has been good.

Weed growth is slow, but  becoming more visible as the soils warm. Pre-seed burnoff treatments and cultivation are minimal due to slow weed growth and dry topsoil. Tillage being kept to a minimum to preserve topsoil moisture.

Pastures regrowth rated as fair; but ranges from poor to good. Precipitation will be necessary to support continued growth. Fertilizer applications have occurred in alfalfa/hay fields that were dry enough.

Livestock water supply is adequate but there was limited runoff to refill surface water bodies.

Eastern Region

Precipitation across the region ranged from 0 to 2 mm.  Soil temperatures rose throughout last week with an average of 11 C at seeding depth.  Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region were rated as adequate to short.  Soil moisture conditions on the majority of hay and pasture land were rated as good to fair.

Seedbed soil moisture conditions are adequate to good but there is concern about seed beds drying out. As a result, very little tillage is being done.  Seeding is occurring throughout the region with most fields fully accessible.

Across the region, 10-40 per cent of winter wheat acres have some winterkill; stands continue to be assessed for damage.

Seeding is progressing quickly across the Eastern region and  estimated to be 30 per cent complete.  Spring cereals are 60 per cent complete, grain corn 30 per cent complete, canola 10 per cent complete, sunflowers 20 per cent complete, and soybeans 10 per cent complete.  Rapid seeding progress is expected this week if favourable weather continues.

Manure application is complete on grain fields and 50 per cent complete on hay and pasture fields.  Commercial fertilizer being applied to hay fields. Livestock being moved to pastures and supplemental feeding occurring as grass is about 2 to 3 weeks away from grazing. Hay supplies tight, some producers are looking for feed. Dugouts are about 75 per cent full.

Interlake Region

Seeding has begun. No significant rain has fallen this spring, dust behind field equipment is a common sight. Soils are gradually warming up and seeding is becoming general in much of the region.  Wetter pockets in the north Interlake should start seeding this week.

Fieldwork and fertilizer applications continue. Rapid seeding progress being made; seeding conditions are reported as excellent.  Some producers are seeding slightly deeper to moisture, but most are targeting normal depths.  Most areas could use rain.

In the central Interlake seeding is estimated at 15 to 20 per cent complete, south Interlake is 30 to 35 per cent complete.  Spring wheat seeding is the most advanced at 50 to 70 per cent of seeded in the central-south Interlake. Oats and barley range from 25 to 50 per cent seeded.   Corn is being planted and as much as 30 per cent+ is complete. Peas and fababeans are close to complete.  Some canola and soybeans have gone in, while many are waiting for soils to warm.

North Interlake is a bit slower, with some producers waiting for field conditions to improve; many are just getting started.  Seeding in the Arborg area estimated at 5-10 per cent complete; Ashern area up to 5 per cent.

There are some reports of winter wheat acres being reseeded to spring crops, due to winter injury.

The cold, dry spring has delayed hay and pasture from coming out of dormancy; forage fields are just starting to green up.  Good survival of alfalfa, as there was minimal standing water following spring melt.

Hay and pasture land are reported to be in good to excellent condition, with moisture currently adequate.  A very low percent report surplus moisture.

Supplemental feeding of cattle occurring on spring transition pastures.  Producers want to move cattle out of feed and calving yards and onto grass.

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