Lagging Manitoba Harvest Now Ahead of Normal

After previously lagging, the Manitoba harvest has now caught up and surpassed the average pace.

Amid mostly warm, dry conditions, the Manitoba harvest is now 70% complete, according to the latest weekly crop report on Tuesday. That is up from 56% a week earlier and slightly ahead of the three-year average of 68%.

Cereal harvest is nearly complete across the province, with wide ranging yields, the report said. The spring wheat, barley, and oat harvests were all at least 92% done. Canola was 78% combined and dry beans 21% off. The flax and soybean harvests were both 9% finished. No corn was yet reported harvested.

Repeated frosts and warm daytime temperatures rapidly advanced soybean and corn crops, the report said. Desiccation is occurring on sunflowers, it added.


Another dry and windy week in southwest Manitoba. Sub-zero temperatures arrived for one or two nights but daytime temperatures were mostly double-digit, which allowed farmers to continue harvest and other field operations. Recent frost is not damaging anything at this stage as soybean and corn are already maturing and drying down due heavy frost earlier in September.

Most northern districts have adequate moisture levels in cropland, while southern districts around Melita and Reston are short in soil moisture. Some areas can use a good rain to increase the soil moisture level for coming year and improve tillage.

Overall harvest is 50 to 60% complete. Harvest progress is coming along well. Canola harvest is 50 to 55% complete in general. Yields are modest to below average at 35 to 50 bu/acre. Quality is also variable. There are some reports of yield loss due to major rainstorm which arrived in the Southwest at the end of June and early fall frost is also causing quality issues in some canola fields. Spring wheat is 80 to 85% harvested across the region. Yield and quality is good to excellent in many cases. Barley is 95 to 100% complete. Yield is above average. Oats are 90 to 95% done.


A cool start to the week followed by warm dry conditions allowed for good harvest progress in the Northwest region. Early in the week overnight temperatures dipped well below zero, resulting in heavy morning frost but daytime temperatures were close to 25 degrees C by the end of the week. There were scattered intermittent showers on Sunday night but harvest operations continued Monday.

Cereals are generally ripe and ready for harvest when moisture and weather permit. Ninety percent of the spring cereals are harvested, with the exception of some oats that need additional time to fully ripen. Spring wheat harvest is nearly complete around Roblin, approximately 85% complete around Swan River and 50 to 60% at The Pas. Reported spring wheat yields range from 90 bu/acre down to 60 bu/acre. The canola is drying well, with roughly 90% of the swathed crop harvested at Roblin, and 40 to 50% combined at Swan River. There remains standing canola that is almost ready to straight combine. The staginess through the growing season has affected canola quality and yields, which range from 40 to 60 bu/acre. The flax crop is ripe with a start to harvest.


Harvest progressed well this past week with no rain, moderate to warm temperatures and moderate winds. Winds picked up Monday with speeds up to 70 kph causing light ground drifting of crop residue and soil from fields with low crop residue and dry topsoil. Frost hit late in the week with temperatures dipping to -4°C in the eastern side of the region. Corn suffered the most with leaf tissue burn into the crop canopy. Most other unharvested crops were mature already and did not suffer injury.

With favourable weather conditions in the forecast, harvest is expected to progress well this week. Wheat harvest is considered complete in the Red River Valley and north of the TransCanada Highway. West of the escarpment wheat harvest is wrapping up with about 90 to 95% done. Depending on rainfall received, yields reported range from 50 to 100 bu/ac with grain quality in the top two grades mainly.

Barley fields are harvested with reported yields ranging from 70 to 120 bu/ac with good quality. Oat harvest is also complete. For many, harvest is caught up to late maturing crops. Straw is being baled up on many harvested cereal grain fields and even canola. Most corn fields were touched by the frost and burned tissue is drying down prematurely possibly causing lighter bushel weight to harvested grain.

Most corn fields are in the dent (R5) stage to physiologically mature (R6 or black layer). Planting of winter cereals started but planting intentions are reduced due to dry topsoil conditions. Fieldwork is occurring as crops are harvested. soil nutrient sampling is ongoing. Manure is being applied to fields from intensive livestock operations having suitable field conditions


Across the region, killing frosts were experienced last week on Thursday and Friday mornings. Lows ranged from about -2.5°C to below -5°C with sub-zero temperatures lasting as long as nine hours in some locations. Most corn, soybeans and sunflowers in the region had further development terminated by the frost and began drying down. Minimal yield or quality impacts were expected on soybean and sunflower crops because of their advanced stage of development. Corn test weight on some fields may have been affected, depending on the maturity of the hybrid being grown, and assessments continue.

Overall harvest completion was estimated at 60% in the Eastern region. Spring cereal harvest is complete, while canola harvest across the region was about 90% done, with yield reports continuing to range from 25 to 50 bu/acre with good quality. Soybean harvest was about 5% complete with the expectation of significant progress this week if weather allowed for continued dry down of the crop. So far, yields were averaging around 35 bu/ac based on a limited number of reports.

Before the killing frost, corn was in the R5/dent stage with many fields almost at black layer. Cornfields are now drying down with producers hopeful that future weather allows for rapid progress with this process. Desiccation of sunflower fields proceeded rapidly last week and will be complete within days. Winter wheat and fall rye seeding was complete. Fall fieldwork was proceeding at a good pace and producers were satisfied with their progress.


Harvest continues; many producers are caught up on cereals and canola, and are waiting for soybeans to be ready. Heavy dews have continued to limit harvest hours, but good winds have helped reduce impact. Crop moisture levels are not dropping as fast as hoped, but the weather forecast looks promising for the next few days. Soybean harvest should ramp up by next week. Great progress has been made on fall tillage, with first pass over the land complete on many acres.

Temperatures are extremely variable, with daytime highs ranging from low teens to low 20s. Overnight lows dipped well below 0°C, with more reports of frost injury. Average daily temperatures range from 8°C to 10°C. Frosts have aided crop dry down in mature crops. Although conditions have improved, almost all weather stations in the region register 80% or less of normal rainfall amounts, with minimal precipitation falling in the key times of growth.

Crop yields are variable; higher yields are the result of an earlier extra rain or two. Yields have a broad range but have often been better than rainfall amounts would indicate. Lighter textured soils were most affected. Cereal harvest for many in the region is complete; overall progress is estimated at 90 to 95% done. Yields have generally been good; strong winds did cause yield loss in some circumstances. Straw has been baled immediately following cereal harvest; yield is better than recent years. Most have been picked up, allowing for fall tillage operations.

Canola harvest is estimated at 75 to 85% complete. Early yield reports range from 25 to 50 bu/ac; with average yields expected to be in the 35 to 45 bu/ac range. Disappointing yields are reported where strong winds caused damage to both standing and swathed canola. Some of the reseeded canola is yielding better, especially with timely rains early on. Flax harvest continues, with yields ranging from 20 to 45 bu/acre.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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