More cereal crops are being cut for greenfeed in Manitoba due to drought damage, while canola stands appear thin and pods smaller than normal after prolonged heat and dryness, according to the latest weekly provincial crop report on Tuesday.
On the other hand, soybeans appear to be a brighter spot, with most crops assessed as fair to good throughout the province, and handling heat well, but will need timely rain to begin pod fill.
Meanwhile, grasshopper feeding has become more widespread, insecticide applications are occurring in all regions, primarily on hay, pasture and cereal crops, as well as roadside ditches.
The rural municipalities of Armstrong, Bifrost-Riverton, Coldwell, and St. Laurent (all Interlake region) have declared States of Agricultural Disaster due to persistent growing challenges including insects and lack of rainfall over the previous two weeks.
Temperatures were hot most of the week, with daytime highs in the low 30°C range. Overnight lows ranged from 8 to 13°C, with average temperatures of 20 to 22.5°C. Crop growth has improved with rain, warmer temperatures, and high humidity. Rainfall ranged from 2 to 25 mm, with some areas seeing as much as 30 to 55 mm in thundershowers. A storm touched down a localized area of northwest of Birtle bringing 160 mm rain and hail; reports of crop damage in that area. There are some reports of hail damage to crops in the Melita area as well. Any precipitation is welcome and all areas, particularly the northwest and eastern parts of the region, remain short for moisture.
Regular rains will be necessary to take crops to harvest. Some crops still hang on from shower to shower. Growing degree-days and corn heat units are close to normal. Precipitation continues to be below normal, ranging from 65 to 88% of normal. Topsoil moisture is currently adequate for 60 to 70% of the crops and short to very short for the remaining acres. Rains will help with grain fill. Almost all crops are shorter than normal, and a majority of crops have suffered from dry conditions. Staginess is evident in all crops. Stands are poor in areas of the lowest rainfall, but much of the region is hopeful for average yields in most crops.
High temperatures continued for most of the preceding week. Smoky conditions from wildfires has led to air quality advisories. The smoke has reduced solar radiation, cooling air temperatures somewhat. Little to no precipitation across region this week. High temperatures continue to advance the crop quickly, however also continuing to deplete soil moisture and cause crop stress. Winter wheat and fall rye are turning in the Roblin and Dauphin areas.
Spring Wheat continues in the milk stage. Approximately 75% is in the milk stage and quickly moving towards soft dough stage, while the later seeded is catching up. Spring cereals for the region are rated at about 70% in good condition. Canola remains variable across the region. While 50% is rated as good, the remainder of the crops are in poor/fair condition. Some canola has wrapped up the flowering stage and podded; yields are expected to be low in these crops. Later seeded canola in the Swan River/Roblin area received timely rainfall and continues to flower and looks to be in better shape.
Isolated rainfall events bringing 15 to 20 mm in areas west of the escarpment midweek and some more isolated showers Monday in the southern part of the region but left much of the region without any meaningful rainfall. A haze of smoke and humidity shaded the region from forest fires in northeastern Manitoba. Temperatures started cool but warmed during the week peaking on Sunday with mid-30s daytime high and high humidity. Topsoil moisture is very poor to good in areas with recent rainfall but continues to deteriorate in areas without rainfall as crops extract whatever available moisture remains.
Damage is already done for many crops in the region. Forecast is for chance of showers initially but mostly sunny and warm this week, likely to continue to stress crops and forage stands.
Most of the region did not see any significant rainfall this week. Crop development continues to be pushed on at a rapid pace in the hot and dry conditions. Yield potential for wheat and canola has been affected and producers are expecting lower yields and decreased bushel weights. Corn, soybean and sunflowers would still benefit from some substantial timely rain.
Winter cereals are in the ripening stage, harvest may begin as soon as this weekend. Spring cereals are in the early dough stage. Oats seems to be hardest hit by the moisture stress, with drier areas of fields beginning to prematurely dry down. Field Pea crops are in the pod fill stage with very low disease levels in upper and lower canopy. The peas continue to look flaccid in the heat with lower leaves drying up. Canola is at the 80% flower to pod set stage. The high heat has been hard on the canola; flower blast is expected to have yield implications.
Severe drought conditions continue across the Interlake, with four municipalities declaring a State of Agricultural Disaster over the past two weeks. The majority of spring wheat and barley are in the turning colour and moving into hard dough stage. Oats also turning colour, but some fields are showing symptoms of heat blast, with whitened glumes. Some fields are being sprayed for grasshoppers if in close proximity to hay fields or grassland areas that are being cut and baled.
More cereal crops are being turned into greenfeed due to poor grain yield potential and demand for fodder due very poor hay yields. Field peas are podding, and rapidly turning colour, moving from green to fully yellow in seven days.
Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.
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