Warm temperatures this week have quickly advanced crop maturity, together with cooler than normal overnight temperatures. Rain over the weekend and into Monday occurred throughout the region but amounts varied from 0.4 mm at Lake Audy to 37 mm at Bede. Areas along Hwy 16 are still below normal moisture accumulation this summer.
Recent rain will help maintain yield potential in late canola, corn, soybean and sunflower, and rejuvenate stressed out crops.
Winter wheat and fall rye harvest is underway in some areas. Yields look to be average to slightly below average with good quality. Canola is ripening and swathing has started close to Sinclair and Tilston but later seeded or reseeded canola is out of flowering, and showing some moisture stress. Diamondback moth larvae feeding looks to be low at this time. There is some grasshopper damage in canola. No major disease problems to report. Early seeded cereals are ripening and producers have started pre-harvest operations. Majority of cereals will be close to pre-harvest stage by the end of the week. Some early seeded barley has been harvested. Late foliar leaf disease noted, but will probably not affect yield.
Soybeans are in late R5 (seed set) to R6 (early pod filling) stage. Crop looks to have handled warm weather well with many pods having 3 to 4 beans per pod, but some fields are starting to show moisture stress and prematurely drying down. Some grasshopper damage present in localized areas. There are some reports of bacterial blight on soybean leaves.
Peas are mature and ready to harvest. Some forage peas are still green in some fields. There are a few reports of harvested fields to date. Flax fields are now at ripening and dry down stage of development. There are no diseases or insect issues. Green weeds are a harvest concern in some fields. Corn silks are drying up and the cobs are starting to swell. Recent rains and heat are favoring timely development.
Sunflowers are starting to enter R5.8 (full flower –later stage), though some are still in the R5.1 stage. Grasshoppers and lygus bugs present, thistle caterpillars have moved on. Some basal sclerotinia rot present but at low incidence levels.
Pastures are short and growth is delayed once again. Grass hay yields are average to below average. Some alfalfa stands look decent. Dugouts are 40 per cent of full capacity.
Many producers are looking at poor pasture quality and in some areas will be starting to feed. Some pastures will benefit from recent rains as long as they have not been overgrazed. Some producers are hauling water to pastures as sloughs and dugouts have dried out.
Second hay cut occurring in spots and yields look to be below average with good quality. Cereal silage is being harvested and yields so far look to be average. Corn silage will benefit from recent rains.
Minimal rainfall reported through the Northwest region as crops progressed towards maturity this week, except San Clara and The Pas, where 8 mm was received. Average daytime temperatures were in mid-20’s while overnight temperatures dipped below 10°C. Many areas in the region still require rain, although too late to benefit most crops; soil moisture reserves would be improved. High temperatures from the previous week have produced some sunscald and aborted pods in canola. In general, yields so far are expected to be below average to average – depending on if the area had received enough moisture through the growing season. The Pas being the exception, receiving moisture throughout the season.
Desiccation of field peas continued last week and harvest of peas resumed throughout the week in Swan Valley and Roblin areas. Fababeans continue to mature. Winter wheat has been harvested in the Ste. Rose and Dauphin regions, with below average yields reported thus far; and is ready for harvest in Roblin area. Some pre- harvest glyphosate applications have occurred on spring wheat throughout the entire region as the crop reaches the appropriate stage and a start to swathing/straight cutting has begun in the Ste. Rose/Dauphin region; the remainder of spring wheat continues to mature. Flax in the Roblin area has completed flowering. Canola in the region has completed flowering for the most part, and is podded, with the exception of later seeded crops or those that did not germinate until they received moisture. Soybeans in the region range from R3 to R5 in the Swan Valley and Ste. Rose area; R5 in Roblin/Dauphin area and generally, pods are slow to fill due to lack of moisture. Silage corn is cobbed out and maturing. Warmer temperatures and moisture is needed for corn and soybeans.
In anticipation of feed shortage, some crops originally intended to be harvested as grain are being taken off as greenfeed.
Bertha Armyworm monitoring is complete – there were four traps in the Northwest region which reached “uncertain” levels. They include Durban (394), Minitonas (418), Bowsman (South)(378) and Ste. Rose (403). These numbers are in the “uncertain risk” range (300 to 900) and reflect areas to prioritize when scouting for larvae. There are reports of grasshoppers moving to soybeans in the Ste. Rose area as cereal crops have been harvested – at this point between the lack of moisture and the grasshopper feeding some soybeans in this area will not recover. Thistle caterpillars have returned in soybeans, as well as Canada Thistle plants. It is important to assess damage before making a decision to control.
Extremely dry conditions are stressing both pastures and hay fields and no re-growth has occurred this week. Grasshoppers have moved to pastures that did have any regrowth and are now moving into annual crops. Many dugouts are very low; with some completely dry and creeks have stopped flowing. Annual silage crops are looking fair to good but desperately need rain. Finding feed for winter supply is very challenging for many producers in the area. Producers are making roadside hay to try to reduce the shortfall. Hay crop yields are 20 per cent of normal to non-existent in the Ste. Rose, Rorketon, Alonsa and Ethelbert areas. Haying is complete in most areas and the
Roblin and Swan River areas are reporting some second cut where first cut was taken early. Greenfeed and cereal silage harvest continues in these areas as well with early reports of average yield. Pasture conditions are dropping with no rainfall this past week and range from poor to fair condition and dugouts are 50 to 75 per cent of normal in the Roblin and Swan River areas.
Above normal to seasonal temperatures prevailed from start to end of the week. Humidity remained high. No meaningful precipitation fell during the week until Saturday evening when a thunderstorm system developed along the border above the escarpment bringing 15 to 50 mm of rain in the Manitou to Morden area. Topsoil moisture is poor for many parts of the region hastening early maturing crops to ripen and dry down rapidly. Rain is needed for late maturing crops now in the sensitive seed filling stage.
Early planted cool season crops like wheat, oats and barley are maturing rapidly and harvesting of those crops is going full swing in the Red River Valley, whereas above the escarpment only swathing and some barley harvesting has been done. Late season crops like corn and soybeans are into the grain fill stage and are in need of rain. Spring wheat yields in the Red River Valley are reported in the 45- 65 bu/ac, dry with low fusarium damaged kernels (FDK). Harvested barley yielding well in the 80 to 120 bu/ac. Oats is starting to be harvested with yields in the 100 to 135 bu/ac range. Pre- harvest herbicide applications continue. Winter wheat and fall rye harvest is underway along with perennial ryegrass in the areas below the escarpment. Winter wheat yields reported at 60 to 70 bu/acawhileryeisinthe50to80 bu/ac range and of good grade and low FDK. As the cereal crops are harvested, much of the straw is being baled to increase wintering feed supplies. Above the escarpment, rye, wheat, oats and barley crops are ripening fast and harvest is expected to gain momentum this week.
Corn is in the cob filling stage and could use rain. Cob development is being limited for lack of moisture. Soybeans in the Altona area are in the R5 to R6 stage whereas above the escarpment R5 would be more typical. Soybeans could use a good rain to help with seed fill especially in the drier parts of the region like the Red River Valley where some plant wilting is noticeable. Soybean aphids have not been an issue as crops develop this year. Field pea harvest is now underway. Reported yields are 40 to 65 bu/ac and good quality grain. Some pea straw is being dropped and baled as potential livestock feed source.
Canola fields are done flowering and podded. Swathing of canola fields is progressing in the Red River Valley as many fields have reached maturity. Bertha armyworm trap counts reported have been low to uncertain in the region and some reporting of spraying this canola insect pest in the westernmost side of the region. Flax is turning colour rapidly given the warm and dry conditions. Sunflowers are flowering and stressed for lack of moisture, especially on lighter textured soils. Grasshoppers have been causing damage to fields in various parts of the region. They continue to be watched and have required field edge to entire field treatment depending on the population and feeding damage found.
First cut hay crop is mostly complete with yields running 25 to 50 per cent of normal. The worst tame hay yields in the northern areas are half a round bale per acre. Hay production is below average due to dry conditions but better than expected in southwestern areas. Second cut haying is underway where growth is sufficient and some report a better second cut than the first. Feed quality is good as harvest conditions have been dry.
Hay and pasture are in need of rain, since growth is minimal or non-existent in drier areas. Supplementing feed on pasture is expected to begin if not already started in areas with poorest pasture conditions. Straw, greenfeed and other forages are being baled as a source of feed. Livestock water supplies are getting lower affecting water quality and some dugouts are running out of water. Grasshoppers are damaging forage hay and pasture stands and spraying is occurring.
Dry conditions continued last week across the Eastern region with many areas receiving no rainfall. Where rainfall occurred, accumulations ranged from trace amounts to about 10 mm with the highest amounts occurring in northern districts. Unfortunately, it was not enough to improve soil moisture reserves, which continued to decrease throughout the region. More districts in the region became short or very short of soil moisture last week and producers were concerned about losing yield potential, particularly in warm season crops. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region were rated as 65 per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and 10 per cent very short. Soil moisture conditions in hay and pasture lands were rated as 30 per cent adequate, 40 per cent short and 30 per cent very short.
Harvesting of winter wheat, fall rye and grass forage seed is now complete. Average winter wheat yield was about 75 bu/ac, and average fall rye yield around 80 bu/ac. Pre-harvest applications on spring cereals are about 75 per cent done, and will continue this week if weather conditions allow. Harvesting of spring wheat has begun. Harvest of barley continued with yield reports averaging 75 bu/ac. Signs of moisture stress in long season crops was noted including wilting in soybean fields and lower leaf firing in corn.
Scouting for grasshoppers, primarily in soybeans, canola and sunflowers continued throughout the region. Grasshopper migration into canola from cereal crops and hayland was observed. Pod feeding in canola, often on the perimeters of fields, became a concern. Some insecticide applications to control grasshoppers in canola and sunflowers did occur.
Hayfield conditions were rated as 10 per cent good to 20 per cent fair, 40 per cent poor and 30 per cent very poor with pasture conditions rated as 10 per cent good, 20 per cent fair, 40 per cent poor and 30 per cent very poor.
A somewhat cooler week, with daytime temperatures up to 26 to 28°C; daily averages around 16°C. Minimum overnight temperatures were down to 3 to 7°C. Trace rainfall continues for most of the region. Humidity levels remain high overnight. Rain is needed as all areas, particularly the north and east part of the region, remain short for moisture. Some crops still hang on from shower to shower.
Most forage seed grass crops have been harvested. Early yield reports of around 200 lbs/ac meadow fescue, 500 lbs/ac tall fescue, 500 to 900 lbs/ac perennial ryegrass. All yields lower due to lack of rainfall in critical fill period. Reports of timothy crops baled, as seed set did not warrant harvest. Seed trefoil is being harvested; no yield reports to date.
Early yield reports 60 to 75 bu/ac winter wheat, and 60 to 80 bu/ac fall rye, with low FDK. Harvest is estimated at 5 per cent complete, and will become more general this week.
Flax fields are showing good colour change. Early pea yields are reported in 50 bu/ac range. Swathing has started in canola, as have pre-harvest treatments. In the driest areas, pod fill at the top portion of the plants is poor, with heat blast evident.
Most soybeans have advanced to R4 to R5 stage. Majority of fields look good, but daytime wilting in many fields indicates lack of moisture. Pod set has been good, but rains will be need to fill properly. Extremely dry soils are a concern for all later maturing crops. Corn continues to advance; dry conditions are a concern for final yield. Cobs formed have fewer rows than average. Silage corn is tasseling to silking; yields will be lower than normal. All cereals have rapidly advanced, with the heat and drier conditions; premature ripening is evident in the driest areas. A few cereal fields have been harvested, with early yields at 60 to 80 bu/ac barley and 45 to 60 bu/ac spring wheat. Some oats have been swathed. Late tillering is a concern in some oats and wheat; either swathing or pre-harvest will be necessary.
Crops have dried out on sandy ridges, evident in cereals, canola and soybeans. All crops are stagey, and shorter than normal. Short cereal fields have the problem of not enough straw for an adequate swath; some may have to switch to straight cut. Early greenfeed has been harvested; yields will be better than later seeded crops.
Grasshoppers continue to monitored, some headlands and fields have received insecticide application. Concern has been mostly in pastures, cereal, forage grass fields, canola and corn, and pressure is much higher in the drier areas of the north and southwest. Most grasshoppers have reached maturity. Flea beetles are showing up. Some thistle caterpillar reported in soybeans. Beneficial predator insects are being reported in good numbers.
Green wild oats are evident in a number of fields. Lambs’ quarters are poking through in canola now that the crop is maturing. Kochia is becoming more evident, especially at field edges and saline areas – testing for glyphosate resistance should be a priority, especially when found in glyphosate tolerant crops.
Haying continues where possible, but most is finished. Forage availability continues to be a big concern for the region. Yields are extremely variable depending on moisture levels; yields are coming in at 20 to 60 per cent of average production. Productivity is best on new stands, and fertilized stands. As crops are short, availability of cereal straw will be limited. Much of the straw available has been spoken for. Almost all pastures have been grazed down, and are rated in poor condition. Some feeding has begun in the northwest; many expect to be feeding as early as the end of August to early September. More indications of animals going to market due to lack of feed available. Topsoil moisture for hay and pasture is rated as 40 per cent short and 60 per cent very short.
Dugout levels are declining and some are dry. Water quality is a concern in low dugouts. W ater supply is rated as 40 to 50 per cent adequate, but significant rain is needed for replenishment. Water hauling to pasture troughs is becoming more common in north Interlake. Some wells are being drilled deeper. More reports of wells drying out. Concern over adequate supply is increasing with continued dry conditions.