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Dry weather sees slow crop growth, flea beetles active across Manitoba

Manitoba Crop Report and Crop Weather report for June 4

Southwest region

Little to no rainfall over past week continues to be the major issue in the region. Rain came through the region June 3, however, amounts were low with most areas reporting 3 to 10 mm, with some spotty thunderstorms producing higher amounts. With dry conditions, emergence of later seeded and reseeded crops has been slow.

Overall seeding is 95 per cent complete. Winter wheat and fall rye are in the flag leaf stage with some rye starting to head but need some rain at this point.

Early seeded cereals at 4 to 5 leaf stage with some producers spraying herbicides, but most of fields are slow in growth due to lack of moisture. Some issues with poor germination, cool soil conditions and uneven growth have some producers reseeding cereals.

Canola in the cotyledon to 2 leaf stage. Frost and flea beetle damage has hampered growth. Several producers are spraying for flea beetles and some producers are reseeding.

Some reports of cutworm damage cereals and canola with some fields being reseeded.

Peas have improved and are in the 2nd to 3rd node stage. Most fields are being sprayed for weeds.

Soybeans are emerging with most fields in the hook stage.

The region remains dry. Crop land moisture is rating 60 per cent short and 40 per cent very short. Pasture growth is not keeping up with cattle grazing. Pastures over-grazed last fall are suffering the most. Hayland moisture is rated as 70 per cent short and 30 per cent very short; pasture moisture rated as 25 per cent short and 75 per cent very short. Dugouts are currently adequate but will need recharging to last the grazing season. Hay fields are slow and growth is poor. It’s expected that first cut yields will be below normal.

Northwest region

There was very hot, windy weather through the majority of the region last week with highs close to 30 C. There were some scattered rain events through the region over the weekend; The Pas received 13 mm, Alonsa 10 mm, Dauphin 25 mm with Pipe Lake and Reedy Creek receiving 13 and 16 mm respectively. These rainfall events were welcome where soil moisture is lacking however, other areas are still looking for rain as soil moisture conditions worsen. Around Roblin soil moisture conditions are 50 per cent short and 50 per cent adequate; Swan River area is rated as 10 per cent very short, 50 per cent short and 40 per cent adequate; soil moisture, around Dauphin conditions are drier with 80 per cent of the soils short of moisture and 20 per cent adequate; soil moisture at The Pas is 90 per cent adequate, 10 per cent surplus.

Overall seeding progress throughout the region is at 95 per cent complete with good progress on seeding operations at The Pas. The extent of frost injury from last weekend is varied with some canola fields in the Roblin and Swan River areas being reseeded due to frost damage.

Seeding of spring wheat and canola is virtually complete however, the dry soil conditions and hot, windy weather has resulted in patchy emergence across all crops. There are some producers in the Swan River area finishing up on their canola seeding, which in that area is estimated at 95 per cent complete. There are some signs of heat canker with the hot weather. Soybeans are 25 per cent emerged; 80 per cent of the spring wheat is in the seedling stage. Weeds are actively growing and herbicide applications are occurring as the appropriate crop stages is reached. Diamondback moths are showing up in traps throughout the region but numbers remain low. There are reports of reseeding and spraying canola in Swan River due to flea beetles and cutworms. Around Dauphin/Grandview and Ste. Rose, there are also reports of spraying and re-seeding due to flea beetle feeding.

Hay and pastures are starting to grow slowly with most grass and legumes being less than 8 to 10-inches high and all desperately needing rain and more heat. Precipitation has been spotty throughout the area. Dugouts are 50 per cent to 75 per cent full. Cattle are out grazing on many pastures, but have to move much more frequently than on an average year.

Central region

Dryness continued for the week allowing field operations to progress until showers came Monday evening in parts of the region. The north central part of the region is the only area that received substantial rainfall with 9 to 15 mm in the Elie to Portage to Plumas areas. The rest of the region received no precipitation. Daytime temperatures have improved and closer to normal, but nights remained cool. More rain needed to keep everything growing.

Overall seeding is considered nearly done. Areas that remain unseeded are along the Red River were flooding has occurred. Growers are waiting for soil conditions to dry out in these areas.

Seeding of wheat, oats and barley now complete. Earliest planted cereals are in the 3 to 4 leaf stage and tillering. Cereals are more advanced in the Red River valley than above the escarpment where temperatures have been cooler and crops slower to develop. Corn planting complete with many fields emerging well.

Canola, flax and sunflower are considered done seeding.

Potato emergence delayed due to cold soils at planting, but no seed rot has been reported so far. Some fields emerging this week.

Field peas are developing well. Soybean seeding has been steady and now considered done. Early seeded soybeans have emerged and more are just breaking through the ground. Some emergence issues reported in the Red River valley possibly due to dry seedbed. Field beans planting is considered done in the region.

Winter wheat, fall rye and perennial ryegrass fields are also benefiting from the warmer weather and are from the recent rain. Those cereals are tillering well to elongating with some fall rye fields headed out.

Field sprayers are rolling out as the spring cereals are in the right application window for herbicide application. Other later planted crops are still establishing and not yet at the proper stage.

Significant flea beetle damage is reported on a number of canola fields across the region and are being assessed as reseeding candidates. Protection measures are being applied where needed. Reseeding of frost and flea beetle damage canola progressed quickly during the week as field conditions were suitable to field operations. Diamondback moth traps set up to capture early arrivals of this insect have none above the escarpment but are showing up in the Red River Valley in increasing numbers.

The newer fertilized alfalfa hay fields monitored in the Green Gold program are growing well now in the 20+ inches tall and in early bud stage. The older hay fields with a higher  per cent grass are shorter, thinner and below average for growth. Grasses are starting to head out due to moisture stress. All the forages require significant rainfall to maintain growth- currently production expected to be below average due to dry conditions since last fall. Cattle are still being moved to pasture but most will be grazing by the end of this week. Native hay and pasture suffered winter injury and is slower to recover this spring.

Livestock water supplies are adequate at this time but water levels in sloughs and dugouts is going down due to the low water table level. Feed is in very limited supply which makes pasture supplementation difficult.

Eastern region

Rainfall accumulation across the Eastern Region ranged from 0 to 15 mm. Accumulation levels were higher in central and northern districts but, rainfall amounts were still considered inadequate.

Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region rated as adequate on 80 per cent of acres with the balance being short to very short. Soil moisture conditions of hay and pasture lands rated as adequate on 40 per cent of acres with 30 per cent short and 30 per cent very short.

Southern districts remain the driest areas in the Eastern Region with some fields starting to be dry at greater depth. In northern and central districts, the soil surface is noted as being very dry which impeded crop emergence, weed germination and emergence. Below the soil surface, adequate soil moisture to support plant growth available. Daytime temperatures varied from well above to mostly well below normal. Nighttime temperatures were often below normal with frost reported over the weekend in southern and northern districts. Frost was most severe in northern districts with lows of -4 C in some areas during the mornings of June 1st and 2nd. Assessment of frost damage in canola fields continues with reseeding occurring on approximately 10 per cent of canola acres in northern districts. Given the lateness of the frost, some fields reseeded into cereals. Overall, crop and weed development characterized as very slow in the Eastern Region.

Seeding in the Eastern Region is complete although reseeding continues, particularly in northern regions. Herbicide application to fall seeded cereals is complete. Herbicide application to spring seeded crops has begun, but little progress made. Producers are delaying application due to slow weed emergence and development. Some producers considering switching to residual products to try to ensure weed control when better growing conditions occur. Most herbicide spraying done has been pre-emergent or early in crop glyphosate applications. There are reports of insecticide applications to control cutworms in sunflowers, oats and flea beetles in canola. The majority of applications have been for flea beetles in canola and some fields had to reseeded instead because the level of damage.

Winter wheat and fall rye crops rated as good. Winter wheat field were mostly at the 5 to 6 leaf stage with 2 to 3 tillers. Spring wheat crop remains good with growth stages ranging from emergence (late seeded fields) to the 3 to 4 leaf stage with 2 to 3 tillers. Corn growth stages ranged from emergence to V1 while canola ranges from emergence to the first leaf stage. Corn crop is good overall, but crop development slow.

Canola crop condition ranges from 20 per cent fair to 80 per cent good, because of damage due to frost or flea beetles as well as uneven or incomplete emergence.

Soybean crop stage ranges from emergence to cotyledon with uneven emergence noted in some fields. Soybean development is slow while crop condition rated as mostly good. Sunflower growth stage ranged from emergence to early vegetative with crop development slow and crop condition rated as good.

Hay fields condition rated as 50 per cent fair, 30 per cent poor and 20 per cent very poor with pasture conditions rated as 40 per cent fair, 30 per cent poor and 30 per cent very poor. Livestock being moved to pasture with some feeding on pasture. Fertilization of hay and pasture fields continued. Rainfall was inadequate over the last week and pasture and hayfields need significantly more rainfall.

Reports have been received of some dugouts being almost dry. Some producers have enquired about funding for water pumping and the maintenance of adequate livestock water supply is a major producer concern. Availability of livestock water rated as 90 per cent adequate and 10 per cent inadequate.

Interlake region

Cooler than normal temperatures have continued. Most of the region had temperatures below freezing, as low as -4 to -5 C. Assessments continue. Temperatures trending upwards. Daytime temperatures reached the high 20s (C); average temperatures range from 11 to 14 C. Trace rainfall with most at 2 to 10 mm; a very few locations in the west and southwest received 15 to 30 mm. There is increased concern regarding lack of rain in all parts of the region. Growing degree days, precipitation and corn heat units well below normal for this time of year.

Seeding essentially complete. Excellent progress made, with seeded acres ranging from 95 to 100 per cent for the region, with the majority at 100 per cent. Remaining acres are going to greenfeed, underseeded green feed and grazing corn. Timely rains are needed to support all crops, due to low moisture levels. Most crops have germinated, but areas of shallow seeded crops, canola in particular, sit in dry soil. Patchy germination is evident in cereal fields, especially on lighter textured soils. Topsoil moisture is currently adequate for 60 per cent of the crops and short for 40 per cent.

Crops are short. Emergence rated as fair to good, a result of cool temperatures and dry soils. Rain will even things up, and stands are starting to fill in, but very slow.

Peas range from 2nd to 3rd and up to 5th node stage. Spring wheat is one to four leaf, with most at 3 leaf one tiller. Most oats and barley are 1 to 4 leaf. Most corn – both grain and silage seeded, ranging up to two leaves. Canola is germinating to 2 leaf. Stands are patchy, with seed stranded in dry soil. Earlier seeded canola has been under significant stress due to cool temperatures and frosts, dry conditions and flea beetle pressure. Patchy injury due to frost on earlier seeded canola, with some estimates of 5 to 10 per cent of plants affected. Some earlier seeded acres to be re-seeded, in most cases due to the combination of stresses. The few flax fields seeded have emerged and are doing well.

Soybeans are emerging to unifoliate, with most at cotyledon stage. Some corn may be swing acres – go to feed if forage supplies continue to be a concern. Greenfeed acres reported to be up significantly, with majority complete. Some oat and barley acres will remain flexible, going as grain or feed as necessary. Forage oat and barley varieties are in short supply with increased acres. Pea/oat greenfeed for chopping is growing well. New hay acres being seeded, older stands are being renovated. Winter survival of perennial crops is variable, with slow growth under cool temperatures. Fall rye is reported to be in boot stage and very short with few tillers. Some forage seed fields – fescues and some timothy – have been written off. Alfalfa is slow to grow, stunted with consecutive frosts.

Warmer weather forecast will allow crop growth to jump; producers hope rain will follow shortly.

Weeds continue to be slow to grow due to dry conditions, but trouble spots of wild oats are emerging to 2 leaf and more, dandelions are flowering. Broadleaf weeds are starting to emerge – wild buckwheat, lambsquarter, cleaver, smartweed, kochia and roundleaved mallow. Fields being monitored, as most report lower annual weed pressure than normal. Wild buckwheat is the most advanced of the annual broadleaves, and problem fields being sprayed. Other applications include grass control in canola and wild oat control in soybeans.

Diamondback moth traps are out. Moth numbers are minimal. Volunteer canola is seeing heavy flea beetle pressure, as are some early seeded fields. An increased number of fields have been treated for flea beetles, some headlands only, and entire fields in some cases. Populations vary widely over the region. Some reports of cutworms with some acres sprayed in corn, canola, soybeans and cereals.

Forage availability is a concern for the region. Pastures overgrazed last fall, compounding concerns, and are 2 to 3 weeks behind. Regrowth has been slow with cold, dry conditions. Topsoil moisture rated as 10 per cent adequate, 80 per cent short and 10 per cent very short. Alfalfa has stretched to eight inches, but wilting due to frost is evident, and fields laid flat over the weekend due to frost. Grasses are slower to grow than normal. 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 needed for regrowth. Native hay supplies are at risk due to poor moisture recharge. Pastures are rated as 40 per cent fair to 10 per cent very poor. Hay crops rated as 60 per cent fair to 30 per cent poor and first cut yields will be lower than normal.

Dugout levels are below normal, and sometimes dry. Water supply is rated as 90 to 95 per cent adequate, but rain is needed.

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