With more weather misery on the way, the Manitoba harvest remains far from the finish line.
The latest weekly crop report on Tuesday pegged the overall provincial harvest at just 71% complete, up only 4 points on the week and well behind the three-year average of 85% done for the second week of October.
Although the spring wheat, barley and oat harvest in the province is near complete, more than 20% of the canola still remains out in the field, along with about two-thirds of the flax and dry beans. The soybean harvest was 14% done, compared to 70% on average, while the sunflower harvest is just getting underway. At 14% complete, the corn harvest was running a relatively modest 4 points behind average.
According to the report, the quality of unharvested cereals, dry beans, and canola is decreasing with repeated rains, “and sprouting is becoming severe on unharvested swathed crops.”
Meanwhile, it appears little progress will be made in the near-term. A winter-like storm is expected to impact parts of the eastern Prairies through Saturday, leading to major harvest delays for the worst-hit areas of south-central Manitoba, southern sections of the Interlake region, and portions of southeast Manitoba.
Another cool and wet week in the Southwest region. Rainfall was variable but enough to stop harvesting many days. Harvest operations resumed late Sunday into Tuesday. Harvest is about 60% complete in general. Majority of areas south of #1 highway are close to 65 to 70% done, while some pockets further along. North of the Trans-Canada 50 to 55% done but areas near Highway 16 and south of Highway 45 are only 30 to 45% complete.
Canola is ready for harvest, and yields are modest at 40 to 50 bu/ac. Losses have been noted in both swathed and standing canola due to wind and hail. Most producers are harvesting canola at high moisture levels, which needs to be dried later. Spring Wheat is 85% harvested. A considerable amount of standing wheat remains in northern parts of the region. Producers are harvesting standing canola before spring wheat due to grain moisture content and crop value. Some oat fields are still unharvested and are severely lodged. Oat harvest is 95% complete. Barley is 98% done.
Soybeans are at or very near maturity. There are very few acres done in some southern areas of the region. Corn is at dent stage (R5). Plants are starting to dry down. Some talk of silage resuming soon but field access for wagons is an issue. Very few acres have been harvested as silage to date. No reports of any grain corn harvest yet.
Soil moisture is rated as 100% adequate to surplus. Dugouts are at 85% capacity. Runoff starting to occur, some creeks are starting to flow again, low spots have standing water. A few combines have become stuck in the muck.
Variable harvest conditions prevailed last week with cooler overnight temperatures (frost most mornings), intermittent showers fell, as well as some good harvest weather with temperatures hitting 20°C. The rain was mostly trace amounts with the exception of 15 to 20 mm around Ste. Rose/Laurier and Alonsa. These rain showers made harvest progress a challenge, however producers are managing to advance the harvest with overall progress estimated at 85% complete.
Spring wheat harvest is 95% complete with some wheat crops standing and waiting for dry down while producers move on to canola fields. Spring wheat yields at Roblin and The Pas are in the range of 60 to 90 bu/ac, around Swan River yields are 50 to 75 bu/acre. Most of the wheat harvested this week is coming off at high moisture and is being dried and/or aerated.
The canola crop is either swathed or standing for straight combining. The canola harvest advanced with overall progress at 80% complete in the region. Harvest conditions were especially challenging this week around Swan River as snow last week knocked the crop down and high winds scattered swaths. Canola harvest at The Pas is 65% complete. Reported yields in the region are in the 40 to 60 bu/ac range with some fields around Swan River hitting 70bu/acre. The killing frosts have ended growth of the soybean crop, however very few soybean fields are harvested; the estimate is 5% for the region. With the exception of a few fields around Dauphin area, the harvest of field peas is generally complete in the region. There is a wide range of reported yields, 40 to 80 bu/ac, yields are higher where moisture was adequate through the growing season.
Oats are close to 100% harvested around Roblin and 75% complete at Swan River. As for flax, 100% of the crop remains standing.
Rainy, cool weather limited harvest to a few partial days this week and into Monday. Precipitation was widespread across region ranging from a low of 12 mm to high of 23 mm. Harvested grain is usually tough and must be put on aeration or dried before longer-term storage. Soil moisture remains rated as good to excessive with the recent rains. The slow rate of rainfall allowed for good infiltration of the water but the cumulative rains have caused water to pond in low-lying areas of fields and filling up ditches.
Daytime temperatures remained cool combined with cloudy conditions keeping humidity high. Frost was reported in many locations west of the escarpment. Forecast for this week is one warmer, windy day, followed by cooling wet conditions turning to snow, which is expected to stall field operations once again.
Overall harvest is estimated at 75 to 80% complete. Harvest of wheat, oats and barley is considered done in the Red River Valley and nearly complete west of the escarpment. Spring wheat yields in the Red River Valley are reported in the 50 to 80 bushels per acre, with low FDK while on the escarpment yields are in the 60 to 90 bu/ac with low but some FDK. Earliest harvested wheat is of good grade. Reported protein levels vary from 14 to 15.5%. Harvested barley yielded in the 80 to 120 bu/ac range with low vomitoxin. Oats yields are reported in the 100 to 135 bu/ac range.
Much of the corn is in the hard dough stage. Most advanced corn crops are dented and nearing physiological maturity. Some early reports of corn harvested in the Carman to Morden area. Silage corn harvest continues where field access is possible. Some poorer fields destined for grain are being harvested as silage.
Canola yields range from 25 to 55 bu/ac due to seasonal moisture variations. Above the escarpment, canola harvest is 70 to 75% done with 45 bu/ac average yield. Standing canola has dried faster than swathed fields and can be harvested sooner and at lower moisture content. Sprouting is reported at significant levels in swathed canola and will affect yield and quality.
Rainfall accumulations for the week across the Eastern Region ranged from 15 mm to over 40 mm. With most days being cool and cloudy last week, very little field drying occurred. Rainfall amounts were highest in southern districts with flooding happening in these areas that have received between 100 and 250 mm of rain over the past month. Reports of quarter sections of pasture and standing crop under a foot of water have been received. No significant progress in harvesting or fieldwork was made. Significant levels of head rot in sunflowers were noted in some fields. Occasional light frosts occurred in most districts of the Eastern Region over the last week. Soil moisture conditions across the region were rated as 100% surplus for cropland as well as for hay and pasturelands.
Across the region, spring wheat harvest was almost complete with an average yield of around 65 bu/acre. Quality on the remaining wheat harvested had degraded significantly due to sprouting and mildew. Protein levels remained mixed with reports ranging from 11% to greater than 14.5%. Oats harvest was also almost complete with an average yield of over 100 bu/acre. Quality on the remaining oats harvested had degraded significantly due to mildew. Barley harvest was complete with an average yield of 70 bu/acre. Increased head breakage and head loss in the remaining barley crop was noted. Most of the cereal acres left to harvest were in northern districts.
Canola harvest was 90% complete with an average yield of 45 bu/ac and good quality. Most of the remaining acres to harvest were in northern districts. Soybean harvest had just begun with less than 10% of acres done. Early yield reports ranged from 30 to 40 bu/ac with good quality. Corn silage harvest was approximately 15% complete with yields of 15 to 20 tons/ac and rainfall continuing to delay progress. Overall harvest progress for the region was approximately 70% complete.
Scattered showers and cloud cover through the week, followed by 15 to 30 mm rain overnight Friday continue to limit harvest progress. Shorter days and heavy dews have also impacted harvest operations. Sun and wind allowed combines back into the fields on Monday, helping to wrap up canola acres and get in to soybeans. Pasture and hayfields have greened up with all the precipitation. Producers are scrambling to get as much harvest done as possible before the rain and snow forecast in the next few days.
Many are surprised that field conditions allow travel with minimal problems, but areas of higher rainfall are struggling to get crop off, leaving deep ruts noticeably south of Arborg and near Petersfield. Soil moisture levels are slowly increasing at depth with September and October rains. Accumulations in that time range from 100 to 250 mm and higher. A hard frost would be welcome to get remaining crops off the field.
Harvest progress is estimated as 75% complete for the region, with some areas higher. Yields are highly variable, but much is coming in at average to slightly below average. Many report better than expected yields, considering the year. All but the last few cereal fields have been harvested; lodging, sprouting and green growth are issues in remaining crop.
Much of the canola is harvested, with many producers finished. Harvested acres estimated at 85 to >90% complete. Those finished are concentrating on getting the soybeans off. Early soybean yields range from 15 to 35 bu/ac, with average yield currently estimated in the 20 to 30 bu/ac range. No quality issues to date.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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