Heavy rains early in the week in parts of the Southwest. Newdale and Minnedosa received the highest amounts of 45 to 50 mm. Hot and dry weather during the remainder of the week advanced crop development, and may have resulted in some crop stress. Warm season crops are benefitting more from the warmer weather. Conditions were good for fungicide applications.
Winter wheat and fall rye are in the grain filling stage. Some fields started to turn due to very high temperatures. The majority of spring cereals have finished flowering. Fungicide applications are approximately 70 per cent complete.
Most peas are flowering and the early seeded fields are at pod development stage. Approximately 90 per cent of canola is in the flowering stage. Many fields received a fungicide application for sclerotinia control.
Soybeans are flowering, the majority of the crop is at the R1 stage. Hail damaged crops are catching up nicely. Corn and sunflowers have benefited from the heat and are advancing well. Flax is starting to bloom.
No major insect or disease issues to report. Bertha armyworm numbers are well below threshold level.
Recent rains have helped pastures and water supplies in most areas. Areas that missed the rains remain dry. First cut beef hay is now underway with most crops reported as below average yields.
Overgrazed pastures are still at risk as hot sunny weather continues in the area. Alfalfa weevil has been reported in the area, with some fields hit hard.
This past week was variable; heavy rain mid-week along with hot humid conditions, more rain fell towards the end of the week and there were high winds on the weekend. Swan River area received 40 to 50 mm, The Pas 70 mm, Roblin 56 mm, around Dauphin 14 mm, and McCreary 30 mm. There is water in low-lying areas and there are saturated fields in many parts of the region, although more rain is still needed north of Ste. Rose.
Winter wheat is in the milk stage. Spring wheat is 75 to 80 per cent flowering, with the remainder in the stem elongation stage. Canola is 70 to 90 per cent flowering with 10 to 15 per cent starting to pod. Some of the later seeded canola is bolting. Soybeans are starting to flower.
Lentils and peas are flowering with the peas developing pods. Throughout the region the crop is generally rated as good with the exception being areas where there is excess water ponding.
Fusarium head blight risk for the entire region is rated as extreme and fungicide applications are taking place as conditions allow. Fungicide applications are also occurring on other crops as they reach the appropriate stage and as weather and field conditions allow. Bertha Armyworm moth trap counts continue to climb in areas of the region with one trap in the Benito area reaching an “uncertain risk” rating.
Haying operations are underway with many fields to be baled this week. Early reports indicate older forage stands are yielding less than average with newer stands yielding average. Alfalfa grass silage has been yielding approximately 5 tons/acre. Producers that harvested hay a few weeks ago in hopes of a better second cut have been pleased with the regrowth.
Pastures remain in decent condition, with the exception of areas north of Ste. Rose where dry conditions remain.
Warm sunny conditions prevailed during the week with some rain shower activity resulting in minimal to moderate amounts of precipitation. Plumas received the most with 37 mm and Holland the least with 4 mm. Pockets of dryness remain in areas that missed rains or had low precipitation so far. Fields above the escarpment that had water standing in low-lying areas have now dried up. Crops are using a lot of water at this stage and a good rain would be welcome to support the growth.
Winter cereals are in the milk to early dough stage and starting to turn. Wheat, oats, and barley are headed and range from the end of flowering to the milk stage. Fungicide applications for fusarium head blight and foliar diseases are wrapping up. Corn is growing fast and some fields are starting to tassel.
Canola development varies, but most fields are still flowering. Many fields in the Red River valley are near the end of flowering.Fungicide applications for sclerotinia are wrapping up. Flax is flowering. Sunflowers are in the bud development stage. Field peas continue to flower and pod development is progressing rapidly.
Soybean fields are in the R1 to R3 stage and are most advanced in the Red River valley. Some fields are showing symptoms of Iron Deficiency Chlorosis but recovering. Root rot and bacterial blight have been reported in some fields.
Edible bean fields are showing good growth. White mold protectants are being considered by growers depending on field conditions.
Potato fields are growing well and flowering. The high temperatures are stressful and irrigation is applied as needed. Fungicide applications to protect against blight are starting.
Grasshoppers are being noticed in some fields. Growers are keeping an eye on populations to determine if spraying is required. Diamondback moth larvae have been noticed feeding in some canola fields in the Morris area. Bertha armyworm traps counts are highly variable at this early stage of monitoring.
Pasture conditions are rated as fair but vary with the moisture conditions. First cut of alfalfa is wrapping up. Hay yields are below normal due to the dry conditions at the start of the season. Second cut alfalfa is growing well where moisture is adequate. Livestock water supply is adequate at this time.
Hot, humid conditions throughout the week resulted in rain showers and thunderstorms. Rainfall amounts varied across the Eastern Region with areas receiving 0 to 15 mm. Low rainfall amounts allowed for good pesticide application conditions; however, high wind speeds were an issue on some days.
Crops showed good growth again this past week, and are generally looking quite good. Winter wheat is at the soft dough stage. Spring cereals are in the milk stage. Canola is flowering with pods developing. Soybeans are in the R2 to R3 stage.
Sunflowers are in late R1 to R2. Corn is in the V10 to early tassel stage.
Herbicide and fungicide applications are pretty much complete. Some soybean acres did not get a second herbicide application either because the crop was past label staging or because a second application was not justified. In-crop nitrogen applications in corn are wrapped up.
There have been few insect and disease concerns at this time. A limited amount of acres of soybeans have been sprayed for grasshoppers.
Crops in some localized areas in northern districts are suffering from excess moisture due to localized downpours and thunderstorms. Some soybean fields have stunted plants and a lack of vigour in lower areas likely due to iron deficiency chlorisis or soil salinity. Poor soybean nodulation and an increased level of root rots are noted in these poor areas. In good fields, plant growth is rapid and nodulation is adequate to excellent.
A limited number of soybean fields have symptoms indicating damage from soil residual clopyralid applied in the previous year. Symptoms appear in areas of sprayer overlap or in areas where chaff from last year’s crop has accumulated and persisted. The dry conditions in 2017 are being attributed as the cause of these symptoms. Plants are growing through the damage and recovering.
Hay and pasture moisture conditions were rated as 50 per cent adequate, 30 per cent short and 20 per cent very short. Hay condition is rated as 50 per cent good, 20 per cent fair, 20 per cent poor and 10 per cent very poor. Pasture condition is rated as rated at 30 per cent good, 30 per cent fair, 20 per cent poor and 20 per cent very poor.
Pastures are in fair shape as producers are rotating between paddocks. Beef producers are cutting hay with below average yields. Hay fields that received hog manure are producing near normal yields. Dairy producers are starting second cut alfalfa this week. Dugouts are rated at 50 per cent full.
Temperatures continue to range into the low 30 C range, and combined with high humidity have allowed for rapid crop growth in most areas. Rainfall amounts continue to be quite variable, with scattered showers and thundershowers, along with some minor hail damage. Total rainfall amounted to 5 to 10mm for most, with a few areas receiving 15 to 20 mm. Areas including Moosehorn, Poplarfield, Fisher Branch and Gimli and those nearby continue to be dry, with accumulated amounts less than half of normal precipitation for the growing season. A few isolated areas in the southeast part of the region have received much more rain, with crop loss in low spots. Most areas are looking for timely rains, to sustain crops and replenish soil moisture.
Crops have advanced noticeably in the last week in most areas, particularly those receiving much needed moisture. Many crops are shorter than normal; a result of extended dry periods. In the driest areas, the ground is still visible in wheat fields and tillering has been minimal. Spring cereals have rapidly progressed through head emergence and flowering.
Some early barley is starting to turn, and colour change is noticeable in the awns of some wheat fields.
Most canola is in full bloom; the earliest seeded fields are starting to pod. Soybeans are in the R1 stage, with many flowers evident. Iron deficiency chlorosis is noticeable in some fields, but at lower levels than last year. Pea fields are flowering; pods are forming, and in drier areas flowering is almost complete. Flax is blooming; most fields are stagey.
Most sunflowers are at R2. Weather conditions have been very conducive for corn, with rapid growth evident. Some grass seed fields affected by dry conditions have had limited seed set, and will be cut for hay.
Fungicide applications have wrapped up for the most part. Fungicide timing was difficult in many fields due to the staginess of the crops.
Diamondback moth monitoring is complete; numbers are relatively low. Bertha armyworm moth numbers are low to date. A few headlands have been sprayed for grasshoppers.
Scattered, variable rains have perked up the pastures and hay fields; more rain would be welcome. Scattered showers have stalled haying progress in some areas. Fields are generally yielding one third to half of normal. Well-managed pastures are showing their resilience to moisture stress, as most of the Interlake has had less than average seasonal precipitation. Continuously heavily grazed pastures are not fairing as well; grasshopper injury is more prevalent in these fields.
There is adequate drinking water for livestock although some dugouts are only 25 per cent full, and less.