Slow germination expected to hasten with warm weather

Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report for May 19

Southwest Region

The week began with rains across the region in the amounts of 2 to 15 mm. Killarney, Waskada, and Alexander receiving the most. Soil surface drying conditions later in the week allowed producers to accelerate the seeding activities despite overnight lows still reaching -10°C.

The majority of spring harvest is done and producers are completing fieldwork. Producers continue to deal with wet spots in fields. Overall soil moisture conditions are 90 to 95% adequate and 5% of soils have surplus moisture – which is pushing some producers to consider tile drainage in the future.

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Winter wheat and fall rye are coming along well and most of fields are at 2 to 3 leaf stage and getting close to in crop weed control timing.

Warm temperatures forecasted will spur rapid weed growth. Over all seeding is 20 to 25% complete in the Southwest region. Spring wheat is 45 to 50% done with 5% fields germinated.

Barley 25 to 30% done and oat acres are 30 to 35% done.

Peas are 65 to 70% complete. Many producers were seeding peas during last week’s cold, with little emergence to date. Only very early seeded fields have been coming out of ground nicely.

A few producers have seeded soybean as soil temperatures are warming.

Canola seeding has started, but number of acres in are less than 5% overall. Corn and sunflower planting is also progressing at a slow pace. A lot more will be done in coming days.

Diamond back moth traps are in the area and the numbers are low at this point. No reports of flea beetles yet.

Over the past couple weeks, cool, frosty conditions have slowed both pasture and hay growth throughout the Southwest. However, warm weather over the past few days has improved growth on pasture. Some producers have moved cattle to summer grazing pastures and are supplying supplemental feed. Feed shortages are making it difficult for producers to keep cattle in pens. Rainfall would spur new growth.

Northwest Region

Warm temperatures were welcomed in the Northwest region by the weekend, and seeding continued in full swing. Along with warmer temperatures over the weekend, came strong southerly winds, which caused challenges for most herbicide applications. Lighter soils also saw some topsoil being blown around. Soil moisture has been reported as adequate for most parts of the Northwest region at this time. Little to no precipitation across the region for the week.

Field operations and fertilizing were able to progress consistently throughout the week. Seeding is well underway for most of the region, and a start to spring wheat seeding in The Pas, where field conditions have finally dried enough to carryout fieldwork.

Approximately 60 to 70% of the spring wheat has been seeded in Swan Valley, while 90% complete in the Roblin and Dauphin area. Field peas and fababeans in the Swan Valley are 80 to 90% seeded, with 10% of field peas emerged at Swan River and Dauphin; while Roblin and Dauphin are 98% seeded. Canola in Roblin and the Swan Valley and Dauphin is approximately 30 to 40% seeded; a small start to soybean planting in the Swan Valley and Dauphin area.

Weeds and volunteers are actively growing; flea beetle feeding has started. Plant growth in forages has increased in response to the recent heat. Pastures and hay fields would benefit from rainfall with the increase in temperatures and windy conditions drying up soils. Corn silage planting is underway. Livestock water supplies are adequate.

Central Region

The week started cold and wet with 1 to 12 mm precipitation affecting most of the region. The highest amounts of precipitation were recorded in the southern half of the region while the northern portion received less. Day and nighttime temperatures were below normal early in the week but rose to slightly above normal in the latter half and weekend. Sunny, warmer and strong southerly winds are helping to dry fields. Harvest and removal of overwintered crop material continues when conditions allow. Crop producers are doing all they can to remove and dispose of the crop material ahead of seeding operations but progress is slow. Some of it is being harvested, some burned and some baled for livestock feed depending on the crop condition and remaining value.

Topsoil moisture is considered adequate to excessive as most fields remained with standing stubble since the fall harvest, delaying warming and drying of soils. Soil temperatures are slow to warm up but improving.

Cultivation, fertilization, harrowing are being done wherever possible to help dry and warm soils. Parts of fields that are still wet and dealing with last falls ruts are slowing things down.

Winter cereals look good and are greening up. Seeding is progressing on selected fields as conditions allow but remain slow as low lying areas of fields are sometimes still to wet to carry machinery. Weather forecast for this week is for above seasonal temperatures combined with windy conditions that should help dry soil surface.

Seeding of wheat, barley, oats and corn planting is reported in all parts of the region. With the later start of seeding and planting, there are reports of corn intended acres converted to other earlier maturing cereals like oats. Earliest planted cereals on lighter well drained fields are emerging and growing well with the warmer conditions. The majority of field pea seeding is done. Some canola, soybeans and sunflowers in the area also reported planted, but just starting.

Field preparations are underway ahead of field bean planting with some soil active herbicides being applied. Seeding progress ranges widely with some growers reported done to almost done while others have not started yet. An area from Treherne to St-Claude is reported to have wet field conditions with little seeding progress made so far.

Overall seeding progress is estimated at 20 to 25% complete with a higher proportion in the central Red River Valley and further north areas making good progress. Potato planting continues with over 50% of the acres planted. Cold soil temperature was slowing emergence, but conditions are improving rapidly.

Weed growth is having a slow start given the prevailing cool temperatures. Winter annuals and perennial weeds are growing well as temperatures rise. To date, cold temperatures and windy days have prevented widespread pre-seed burnoff treatments.

Overall dugout recharge and water supplies are adequate for cattle that will be going to pasture.

Hay and pastures are greening up and are now growing since temperatures have warmed up. Growth is not yet sufficient for grazing and pastures that were over grazed last year will be slower to grow this spring.

Cattle that are being put out onto pasture to get them out of confinement still need to be supplemented.

Eastern Region

Across the Eastern region last week the weather went through a dramatic transition that accelerated fieldwork and seeding. Daytime temperatures rarely exceeding 10°C and nighttime temperatures often below freezing characterized the first half of last week. Intermittent light rainfall resulted in accumulations from 5 to 15 mm with the greatest accumulations in southern districts.

Soil temperatures dropped to about 5°C at seeding depth. Thursday saw conditions change with day and nighttime temperatures over the weekend well above normal and sunny conditions. temperatures climbed to over 15°C during the day and stayed above 5°C at night. Strong winds encouraged soil surface drying. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region were rated as adequate with the number of fields in a surplus condition in central and northern districts dropping off significantly. While producers still had to assess soil moisture conditions field-by-field, fieldwork was widespread last week. Soil moisture conditions on hay and pasturelands were rated as adequate.

Across the Eastern region, significant progress on seeding was made with at least 50% of overall seeding completed. About 80% of spring wheat acres and 75% of oat acres were planted. Producers are expected to wrap up cereal seeding shortly.

Approximately 40% of canola was seeded. Progress on canola was slowed as producers chose to focus on finishing other crops like corn and cereals.

Corn planting was approximately 70% complete with producers trying to finish this week. Because of the delays in planting due to low soil temperatures and/or field access issues, producers may be switching out unseeded corn acres to other crops if they do not have corn planted by Friday. About 40% of soybeans were seeded but progress varied between producers. Some were delaying soybean seeding until they have cleaned up other crops.

Sunflowers were about 25% planted with delays due to limited field access weighing on progress. Rapid sunflower planting progress is expected this week. Field pea seeding is complete. The biggest challenge to producers over the last week has been limited field access due to excess moisture on 2019 soybean and cornfields that were not worked last fall. Producers were seeding whatever field they could get access to with soils warm enough for all crop types to go in. Some fields that appeared dry held nasty surprises where localized wet areas were encountered while seeding or tillage was being done. In some fields, surface soil became too sticky to seed after initial fieldwork was completed, resulting in seeding delays. Overall, producers were satisfied with the progress they made but hoped that rainfall would hold off so they could continue. Stubble burning continued to be used as a means to improve field access. Some early seeded cereal and field pea crops had begun to emerge. Some manure applications continued last week, delaying seeding progress on those fields.

Pastures and hay growth last week was noted as still being very slow. Cows were being let out onto pastures as feed supplies were running low. The conditions of hay and pasture lands were rated as 75% good and 25% fair thus far. Availability of livestock water was reported as adequate for the region.

Interlake Region

Warmer temperatures this past week were very welcome, and significant seeding progress has been made in much of the region. Average temperatures for the previous week climbed rapidly, up to the high teens. Daytime highs ranged into the mid-20s, with overnight temperatures finally above freezing. Soil temperatures have jumped to the 10°C range.

Minimal rain this past week, with most areas receiving 2 to 8mm.

Seeding in the region estimated at 45 to 50% complete. Field conditions continue to highly variable. Some producers are well over half of their acres seeded, some are having to pick and choose fields, while some have not been able to start due to wet conditions. Crop residue on untilled fields is limiting drying. Anything not worked last fall is wet, and cultivation is being done to dry out fields. Some burning is being done on fields with large amounts of crop residue. Strong winds and sun are drying out the soil surface, but soils remain wet and hard underneath in many cases, particularly on heavier soils.

Seeding of peas is almost complete, with some fields emerged. Fababeans are in.

Seeding of spring cereals continues. Many in the south half of the region report spring wheat is complete, with most estimating 75 to 80% of the spring cereals done. Spring wheat is starting to emerge. Some producers are changing seeding order, looking for dry fields.

Canola continues to go in, with estimates of 10 to 20% complete. Diamondback moth traps are out, with low numbers at this point, limited by north winds and cooler temperatures.

Soybeans are at 10 to 15% done. Corn ranges from just getting started to 50% complete. Sunflowers are going in, around 50% done.

Custom fertilizer application has been a challenge, due to rapid increase in demand with improved weather conditions. Herbicide applications continue to be limited by windy conditions. Weeds have been slow to germinate, but warmer weather is promoting growth. Wild oats are emerging, along with annual broadleaf weeds. Dandelions are just starting to bloom in protected areas.

Winter survival of perennial crops looks good; growth should jump with warmer temperatures.

Livestock water supplies are currently adequate. Pasture regrowth has been poor due to recent frosts, but is starting to green up. Majority of pastures rated in fair to very poor condition. All would benefit from rain, as strong winds, and sunny warmer temperatures have been quite drying. Unfortunately, some cattle have been put out, due to hay shortages. The majority of hayland is rated in fair condition. Fertilizer is being applied to hayfields, and some are putting in extra forage due to last year’s shortages. Forage availability is a concern for those impacted most severely by dry conditions in the last two to three years.

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