Very little to no rainfall over the past week has producers concerned about dry soil conditions. Overnight lows still reaching -5 to -9 C in the region. Only 4mm rain reported in Russell area and some localised showers close to Riding Mountain National Park. Most of other areas in the southwest region are without good precipitation.
Cool soil conditions kept some producers out of the field but some seeding progress especially over the weekend. Producers who were waiting for good soil temperatures to seed their canola and soybean crops are starting now. Overall seeding progress 45 to 50 per cent complete in southwest region.
Wheat, barley and oats about 80 per cent done. Warm conditions over the weekend have encouraged early seeded wheat emerge, and is at cotyledon to one leaf stage. Pea seeding 100 per cent complete and are just about to emerge. Soybeans are 5 to 10 per cent seeded and quick progress expected this coming week with a favourable forecast. Both corn and silage corn are being planted and are about 50 per cent complete. Canola is about 25 per cent seeded with most acres being planted over the last 2 to 3 days as soil temperatures improved.
Winter wheat and fall rye are filling well and most of fields are at 2 to 3 leaf stage and getting close to weed control timing. They could use rainfall at this stage.
Producers started pre-emergent herbicide burnoff applications in most areas, as crop is getting closer to emerging and weed emergence is widespread.
Diamond Back Moth traps are out in the region. Numbers are very low.
Forage growth is slow but field operations for seeding and fertilizer placement have been going ahead. Dugouts, sloughs and streams remain adequate to low. If dry conditions continue some pastures maybe without water by mid summer.
Drying winds, warmer temperatures and no precipitation allowed for seeding to progress at a good pace in the region. The exception is The Pas, where a few more days of good weather needed before spring operations begin. Soil is warming up rapidly and soil moisture is generally adequate throughout the region with dryer soil moisture conditions on the east side of the region. Daytime temperatures are warming up to the low 20s; however overnight temperatures continued to dip below zero.
There was continued field operation progress and spring seeding over the week, including some harrowing, fertilizer applications, pre-seed herbicide applications, seeding of wheat, silage corn, peas and some canola. Clean up from the 2018 season continues at The Pas. Reports estimate that overall, seeding progress in the Northwest Region is 40 per cent complete; there are more acres seeded around Dauphin than the rest of the region.
Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the spring wheat crop is in the ground in the Swan River area; around Roblin, about 85 per cent of the spring wheat is seeded. Barley and oats are 85 per cent in the ground in the Roblin area. Field peas are 80 to 95 per cent seeded in the whole region. Canola seeding is also underway and estimated at 10 to 20 per cent complete. Soybean planting has just begun, while fababeans around Swan River are 80 to 85 per cent sown. Winter cereals are greening up well and seem to have made it
through the winter in good condition. Excellent snow cover in most fields buffered the prolonged cold winter.
Volunteer plants, including cereals and canola, are evident in many fields. Weed growth including stinkweed, dandelions, hemp nettle, thistle, quackgrass and wild oats is general throughout the area. Insect activity is quiet.
Forage growth remains slow with the cool temperatures and lack of precipitation. Dugouts are three- quarters to half full in certain areas. Warmer temperatures in the last few days will bring increased forage growth but a rain would be welcome around Dauphin.
Scattered showers on the weekend brought variable amounts of rainfall across the region. Amounts varied from zero to 15mm. Although soil moisture had been adequate going into seeding, top soil is starting to dry, and germination could be affected. Some producers, waiting for more moisture, chose to plant soybeans before canola.
Although cooler temperatures prevailed at the beginning of the week with nighttime temperatures still dipping to -8°C, the later part of the week brought warmer daytime temperatures with nighttime
temperatures staying above zero. Those producers waiting on warmer soil conditions started putting in their canola and soybeans mid week and temperatures in the >20°C range had equipment going strong all weekend.
Good progress has been made on wheat, oats and barley, now 90 per cent complete. Early planted cereals are starting to emerge. Corn has been going in steadily as well with some producers in the northwestern and southern part of the region close to completion. Oilseed crops like canola, flax and sunflower have become the focus in the last week. Seeded acres of canola at 30 to 40 per cent complete but will increase rapidly in the next few days. Sunflowers reporting in at 50 per cent done. Potato planting continues in the Morden, Portage and Carberry areas, now rated at 80 per cent complete. Pea acres are nearing full completion. Soybean seeding has been steady now that soil temperatures have risen. They are about 30 per cent complete. Overall seeding is about 60 per cent complete.
Winter wheat, fall rye and perennial ryegrass fields are also benefiting from the warmer weather but could really use more rain to encourage growth. Minimal winterkill being reported in winter wheat this year.
Sprayers are starting to roll out since weeds are also taking advantage of the warmer weather. Preburn herbicide applications are occurring before some canola and soybeans. Early crop scouting has turned up the odd cutworm and some striped flea beetles are out.
Hay and pasture is greening up slowly but needs rain soon or yields will be affected. Pasture turnout is still 1-2 weeks away and if done too early will impact future forage production. Producers need to be careful not to turn cattle out to pasture too early without supplementation if there is not adequate growth. Otherwise, livestock gains and re-breeding will be affected. Pastures overgrazed last year will be slower to re-grow this spring. The nightly frosts, early last week, were causing added stress on hay and pasture growth. Depleted dugouts from last fall did not fully recharge and are on average three- quarters full. This will affect available water supplies later in the summer.
Scattered showers from 0.3 to 11.5mm fell across the Eastern Region last week. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region were rated as adequate to short. Soil moisture conditions of hay and pasture land were rated as adequate to short.
Soil moisture conditions remain adequate for seeding. This past week producers made very good progress with only short delays due to rain. Across the region, many corn acres went in this past week with some producers moving into canola and soybeans as well.
Overall spring seeding across the region estimated at 50 to 60 per cent complete. Spring wheat acres are nearing 100 per cent completion, with northern parts of the region at about 80 per cent completed due to wetter soil conditions. Early seeded wheat fields are now emergence and looking good. Corn planting is about 75 per cent complete with northern parts of the region trailing that value at 55 per cent complete. Corn planting is expected to wrap up this week across much of the region. Canola seeding is estimated at 40 per cent complete with more good progress expected this week. Many producers are also moving to planting soybeans this week with the warmer temperatures and the mid-May calendar date.
Some sunflower acres planted as well.
The condition of hay fields is rated as 50 per cent Fair to 50 per cent Poor with pasture condition is rated at 50 per cent Fair to 25 per cent Poor to 25 per cent Very Poor. Fertilization of hay and pasture fields is happening, producers are hoping for rain, as last week’s rain was spotty throughout the region. Lagoons being pumped out on hay and pastures and the odd corral is being cleaned out. Pasture regrowth is very slow. Necessity is forcing some producers to move livestock to pasture as they are running out of feed. Dugout capacity is three- quarters to half full.
Although the past week has seen overnight lows fall below freezing, daytime temperatures jumped over the weekend. Average temperature range for the previous week has increased to 8 to 9°C. Trace rainfall for most locations, with highest amounts of 4mm. Producers are concerned about the lack of precipitation in all parts of the region. Forecast rain will be very welcome.
Seeding continues, with some just starting, while others will wrap up this week. Excellent progress has been made, with seeded acres ranging from 40 to 60 per cent for the region. Most report very good seedbed conditions; spring tillage has dried out the soil surface where undertaken. Timely rains will be needed to support all crops, as soils are dry below the top 6 inches or so.
Activity has not been rushed due to cold soil temperatures, but warmer days will allow for rapid progress. Peas and fababeans are seeded. The majority of cereals are in, estimated at 85 per cent+ complete. Some spring wheat is emerging. Canola, corn and soybean acres continue to go in. Some are choosing to seed soybeans before canola. Producers want to avoid flea beetle pressure associated with slow germination due to cold soils, as seen in recent years. Rapid emergence in warm soils will go far to eliminate the problem. Canola is estimated at 20 to 35 per cent complete. Soybeans are estimated at 10-25 per cent complete; corn acres at 10-40 per cent complete. Most progress has been made in the southern part of the region, but all areas have acres going in. Some comment that they are wrapping up seeding earlier than normal.
Winter survival of perennial crops seems to be good, with slow growth under cool temperatures. Herbicide applications are being made pre and post seeding with warmer weather.
Diamondback moth traps are out. Moth numbers are minimal if any, but striped flea beetles are being found in the traps.
Forage availability is a concern for those impacted most severely by dry conditions last year. Pastures were generally overgrazed last fall, compounding concerns. Regrowth has been slow with cold conditions, although some are starting to green up. It should be some time before cattle are moved out; some pastures are currently being stocked due to exhausted hay supplies. This will further stress pastures. High costs and low feed availability are contributing factors. Rain and warmer temperatures are needed for regrowth. Native hay supplies are at risk due to poor moisture recharge. Dugout levels are below normal. Water supply is rated as 95 per cent adequate.