Persistent Dry Conditions in Manitoba Despite Rains this Past Week

Over the past week, localized rainfall has occurred over much of Manitoba, with severe thunderstorms in the eastern part of the Red River Valley and into the Eastern region, according to the latest weekly provincial crop report.

Despite these rains, persistent dry conditions in the Interlake, Dauphin/Ste. Rose areas are concerning grain and forage producers.

Alfalfa weevil and grasshopper feeding continue to cause concern among hay and forage growers. In the southern Central region, forage and hay yields have been slightly better than expected, but in most other regions, yields have been less than half of normal. Silage yields are expected to be significantly reduced in the Interlake, the report said.

Normal to above normal temperatures in the past week has benefitted crop development. Rainfall was very spotty and in thundershowers with varied amounts. Deloraine and Shoal Lake received more, but most areas in other parts of the region received 5 to 15mm range.

Crops like soybean, corn and sunflowers can use significant moisture at this stage. Cereals and canola are needing moisture in their reproductive stages. Growing degree days are still below normal in most of the region.

Canola is very stagey, with some fields that were not reseeded, in full flower. Producers are planning for sclerotinia fungicide applications, as crop is very thick. Soybean crop needs a lot of heat at this stage. Peas are flowering with some early seeded crops forming pods.

Winter cereals are starting to ripen. 80% of spring cereals are heading and several producers are using fungicide spray for the Fusarium Head Blight risk. Overall crop is looking very good some areas are in need of moisture. Most fall rye fields are turning very fast. Barley appears to be the best cereal for stands this year.

Crops are looking good but yield potential is not very promising due to shortage of moisture at early and reproductive stages of the crop.


Generally, good growing conditions continued in the Northwest region last week. Daytime temperatures were close to 30°C, and welcome rain showers fell through most of the region. Rainfall amounts ranged from 9 mm in the Dauphin/Ste. Rose area; Bowsman area 36- 75mm; Swan River/Grandview and Laurier 25mm and around The Pas 13 mm.

These showers have helped crops to advance; however, the driest parts of the region received the least amount of rain and crops in those areas are showing the effects of lack of moisture. Soil moisture conditions around Dauphin/Ste. Rose area continue to be short; Swan River and Roblin areas are 90% adequate, soils in The Pas are 100% adequate.

There was good progress on the growth of the crop in the region in areas with adequate precipitation while areas with limited moisture are showing symptoms of drought stress. The canola crop advanced this week with 75% of the crop flowering; the later seeded canola is now bolting. Approximately 80 to 90% of spring cereals are heading out. Field peas in the region are in the vegetative stage with 40% of the crop flowering. Soybeans are beginning to flower (R1 stage).

Haying has started throughout the Northwest, with yields 50% of normal. Silage yields are still looking favorable at this point.

Seasonal temperatures prevailed for the week benefitting crop growth and development. A localized rain system brought moderate precipitation to the southern part of the region with amounts between 5 to 12 mm. Severe thunderstorms occurred Monday over the eastern Red River Valley and into the Eastern region, with rainfall up to 20 mm at Morris and 61 mm at Brunkild, along with some hail. Aubigny area reportedly received 125 mm during this same storm system. Some of the central part and the northern parts of the region are still waiting for rain. Soil moisture conditions have improved from those recent rainfall events but soils have been able to absorb much of the moisture received so far. Overall, rainfall received since May 1st remains below the long-term average across the region.

Wheat, oats and barley are growing reasonably well depending on the local moisture conditions with those crops in the heading to fully headed out stage. Disease pressure has been low to date given the prevailing dry conditions but some foliar diseases have been noticed with the recent moisture conditions favourable for disease development especially on the western side of the region. Fungicide applications have been going on wheat at anthesis to protect against fusarium head blight. Corn growth is accelerating with the recent warmer temperatures.

A number of canola fields above the escarpment partially reseeded will have different stages of development as the season progresses. Canola is most advanced in the Red River Valley with many fields in full flower, while bolting to early flowering above the escarpment. Flax is flowering. Sunflower is at V10 to early bud formation (R1). Field peas are growing well and flowering. Soybeans are blooming in half of the fields in the ltona area, while areas above the escarpment are still in the vegetative stage. Soybeans and edible beans are in need of water in north and central part of the Red River Valley but doing well above the escarpment. Fall rye fields are starting to ripen while winter wheat is in the soft dough stage.

Good progress has been made on the first cut hay crop with yields running 25 to 50 % of normal. Producers are expressing concern with the poor hay crop and feed shortages. Culling of cows and reducing herd sizes has begun and will increase if conditions remain dry.


Rainfall accumulations across the Eastern region ranged from zero to greater than 20 mm, however most districts received trace amounts due to isolated thunderstorms. Rainfall accumulations did not make a difference to soil moisture status and crops in some fields are starting to show early signs of moisture stress, particularly in the mid-day heat. Soil moisture conditions on cropland across the region were rated as adequate on 85% of acres with the balance being short to very short. Daytime and nighttime temperatures were normal to above normal for the majority of last week.

Plant growth continued at a rapid pace, particularly for warm season crops. Producers want to see significant rainfall as soon as possible to limit loss of yield potential in cool season crops and to allow the establishment of high yield potential in warm season crops. Crop condition is generally good but has started to deteriorate and will accelerate if rainfall does not arrive next week.

Spring cereals were headed out and flowering this past week. Corn growth stage ranged from V8 to V10, while soybeans ranged from V6 (6th trifoliate) to most crops being in R1 (beginning bloom). Sunflower growth stage was R1 with canola fields ranging from 5% bloom to being past 50% flower. Spring cereals and canola have struggled with crop uniformity for flowering stages.

Overall, crops appear to be starting to lose their condition and possibly some yield potential.


Highs for daytime temperatures ranged from 29 to 31°C this past week. Minimum overnight temperatures dropped, ranging from 1.4 to 7.5°C. Crop growth has improved with warmer temperatures. Trace rainfall only for most of the region, although thundershower accumulations were higher. A narrow band in the north Interlake, including Eriksdale, Poplarfield and over to Riverton received as much as 20 to 40 mm. Any precipitation is welcome and all areas, particularly the north and east part of the region, remain short for moisture. Precipitation continues to be below 50% of normal. Some reseeding is taking place on fields that haven’t germinated, in the northwest. Timely rains are needed as crops just barely hang on from shower to shower. Topsoil moisture is currently adequate for 50% of the crops and short to very short for the remaining acres.

All crops are shorter than normal, and majority of crops have suffered from dry and cold conditions, sometimes frost and in many cases, insect pressure. Peas and flax have fairly even stands and are progressing well. Flax is flowering, most fields are on the short side. Peas also shorter than normal and in full flower/podding. Sunflowers are growing well. Canola is starting to fill in, many fields are at full flower. Stands are on the thin side, and in some cases very stagey. Most soybeans are at V3-R1; majority of fields are short, but nodulation is generally reported as excellent. Most corn – both grain and silage – has improved in both growth and colour, although leaf curling due to persistent dry is evident in some fields. In the driest areas, silage corn is yellowing/browning.

Cereals have rapidly advanced, and most have headed. Crops are drying out on sandy ridges, evident in cereals and canola. Some oat and barley acres will remain flexible, going as grain or greenfeed as necessary. Barley silage will be cut in the next week or two, followed by oat/pea silage.

Forage availability is a big concern for the region, especially as many producers have exhausted their surplus feed supplies. Without rain, some producers predict they will be short of pasture by mid-July, and feed shortages will be an issue. There is little regrowth on grazed pasture due to low rainfall, and many are just hanging on.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

Information contained herein is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed by the parties providing it. Syngenta, DePutter Publishing Ltd. and their information sources assume no responsibility or liability for any action taken as a result of any information or advice contained in these reports, and any action taken is solely at the liability and responsibility of the user.