Hot Days, Cool Nights Slowing Manitoba Crops

Manitoba crops continued to be stressed by high daytime temperatures and frosty overnight lows this past week, according to the latest weekly provincial crop report on Tuesday.

Although seeding is now essentially complete, the report said crops are progressing slowly amid the extreme temperatures, which climbed to as high as 38 degrees C and dipped to as low as freezing. Despite some rain this past week, soil moisture levels also remain low.

Flea beetles persist in canola, while cutworm damage is showing up in canola, cereals, soybeans, corn and sunflowers, the report added.

Cattle have been moved to pasture in nearly all areas, but feed supplies remain very tight and forage growth is hampered by early grazing, lack of moisture and continual frosts.


Rainfall last week and over the weekend gave a much-needed boost to crops. Much of the Southwest region received 3 to 9 mm while areas immediately south of Riding Mountain Park received more, ranging from 11 to 15 mm. Very dry pockets persist around Hamiota and Melita. Dry topsoil conditions are still a major concern in most of the Southwest region.

Seeding ranges from 95 to 100% complete. Some producers are reseeding canola, mainly due to flea beetle damage. Shorter than normal winter cereals are showing signs of nutrient deficiency due to lack of available moisture. Fall rye is heading, and is about 14 inches tall. Winter wheat is at the flag leaf stage, with no signs of foliar disease. Canola was showing some signs of moisture stress early last week, but have somewhat improved after cool humid nights and root development finding deeper soil moisture.

Crops are still struggling to advance in most parts of the region. Emergence is very slow due to dry seedbed conditions. Recent rain will benefit to most of the crop. Majority of germinated canola crop is at cotyledon to 1 leaf stage.


Variable weather continued in the Northwest region last week. Temperatures reached above 30°C throughout much of the region but overnight lows dipped close to zero. Around Roblin, Swan River and The Pas, frost was visible Monday morning, but early reports are that crop damage appears to be minimal. Hail fell near Roblin mid-week, although there did not appear to be serious damage. Rainfall amounts varied; The Pas received 30 mm, Dauphin/Ste. Rose 11 to 25 mm; around Swan River area 3 to 10 mm and Roblin area 12 mm. These rainfall events were welcome where soil moisture is lacking however, other areas are still looking for rain as hot weather and wind continues to worsen soil moisture conditions.

Soil moisture conditions around Roblin are 30% adequate, 60% short, 10% very short; Swan River area is rated as 10% very short, 50% short and 40% adequate; soil moisture at The Pas is 90% adequate, 10% surplus.

Overall seeding progress throughout the region is virtually complete for all crops with operations winding down at The Pas. The extent of frost injury from last weekend varies with some fields around Grandview reseeded due to frost damage. There was noticeable growth in the canola this week in areas that received rain; however, the dry soil conditions and hot, windy weather has resulted in patchy emergence and slow growth in many other areas.

Generally, crops in the Northwest region are rated as good but some canola fields are in very poor condition due to a combination of insect feeding, frost and delayed emergence from dry soils.


Highly variable weather occurred during the week. Dry conditions prevailed at the start, becoming very hot on Friday with maximum temperatures reaching 38°C. Combined with strong southerly winds gusting up the 80 km/hr causing localized soil blowing where fields had poor surface cover from crop residue or plant growth.

Soil blasting of seedling plants resulted in some of those fields where crops were small. Those fields are being assessed as candidates for reseeding. Saturday conditions cooled to below normal temperatures bringing variable amounts of precipitation to the region. Rain amounts ranged from 4 mm above the escarpment to 27 mm in the Winkler area. The highest amounts of precipitation received were in the north-central part of the region and in the Red River valley. St. Claude area was hit by hail and crop damage assessment is underway.


Rainfall during past weekend was welcomed by all producers. Accumulations across the Eastern region ranged from as little as 5 mm to over 50 mm. Rainfall amounts were highest along the U.S. border and in northwest areas of the Eastern Region. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region rated as adequate on 80% of acres with the balance being short to very short. Soil moisture conditions of hay and pasture lands were rated as adequate on 40% of acres with 30% short and 30% very short.

Strong winds associated with weekend storms caused a limited amount of seedling sandblasting damage in some fields. A strong wind/suspected tornado event occurred over a limited area north of Beausejour which resulted in some crop and property damage. Daytime temperatures across the region last week were mostly above normal until the weekend. While this promoted crop emergence and growth, producers remain concerned about the cool temperatures forecasted for the coming week.

Spring wheat and oats remained in good condition with the crop at the 3 to 4 leaf stage with 2 to 3 tillers. Corn staging ranged from V2 to V3 with good overall condition but crop development has been slow. Canola growth staging ranged from cotyledon to 4 leaf stage. Canola crop condition ranged from 20% fair to 80% good due to frost, flea beetles or uneven emergence. Soybean crop stage ranged from emergence to first unifoliate with uneven emergence noted in some fields and stand assessments continuing. In some fields, uneven stands have seen seedlings drying out partway through the germination and emergence process. Sunflower growth stage ranged from cotyledon to early V4 with development noted as slow and crop condition rated as good.


Temperatures have been extremely variable, but have been trending upwards. Daytime temperatures reached the mid-30s (°C); average temperatures ranged from 15 to 18°C. The 35°C weather on Friday came with damaging winds and thunderstorms. In general, most of the northern part of the Interlake received 5 to 18 mm, average 12 mm. Gimli to Teulon and south saw amounts from 20 to 90 mm. Hail hit an area of about 2500 acres in the Balmoral area, with most damage done to soybeans. Although there is some standing water from higher rainfall amounts, the precipitation was very welcome. Growing degree days, precipitation and corn heat units well below normal for this time of year. Cooler temperatures forecast for the coming week will slow crop advancement.

Re-seeding of canola acres continue. Multiple stresses, including extended cool and dry conditions, along with several frosts and high flea beetle pressure, and sometimes cutworm damage have been hard on the crop. Damaging winds finished off some fields. A few acres will remain unseeded due to extremely dry conditions. Timely rains are needed to support all crops.

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, and stands are uneven. Topsoil moisture is currently adequate for 60% of the crops and short for 40%.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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