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Crop-Saving Rains for Manitoba but More Still Needed

Rainfall over the past week has in many cases saved drought-stricken Manitoba crops.

However, timely rains will still be needed in one to two weeks’ time to sustain crop growth and yield potential, according to the latest weekly crop report on Tuesday.

Drought has already negatively affected tillering and yield development in winter cereals, the report said, adding that some spring wheat crops also have fewer tillers than normal, depending on soil texture. Additionally, some crops in the province may be maturing quicker than normal and moving into reproductive stages faster than expected due to drought stress, it said.

Meanwhile, Crown Lands are available for haying by livestock producers, and will be allocated by draws on June 11 and June 21.


A much-needed rain fell across the Southwest this past week. Rainfall accumulation in the region was between 45 mm to 115 mm. Rain fell over several hours, allowing opportunity to soak in. Some runoff was available to replenish dugouts and sloughs. There are some reports of standing waters in low-lying areas and these wet conditions are temporarily challenging producers with their herbicide spray, causing some ruts in fields. High temperatures are drying up fields quickly.

Growing degree-days and Corn Heat Unit accumulation are within 5% of normal. Seeding of all crops is 100% complete. Canola is recovering from insect damage and dry conditions. However, late seeded canola is just emerging. Early seeded canola is starting to cabbage out. Most fields are receiving herbicide application as hot and windy weather put producers behind schedule. Now with recent moisture both crop and weeds are coming along rapidly.


The entire Northwest region received a most-welcome rain this past week. Rainfall amounts ranged from 32 mm up to 107 mm, with Grandview, McCreary and Ruthenia accumulating over 100 mm. Some localized areas received higher amounts up to 125mm. There was some temporary pooling of water in fields, while areas that received larger amounts continue to hold water in low areas. This rain will help replenish subsoil moisture. Some areas that received lower amounts will still need more to replenish.

The recent precipitation and heat moved crops along nicely in the region. Spring cereals across the region are in the seedling/tillering stage and are in good condition. Field peas are continuing in the vegetative growth and are also looking to be in good condition. Canola across the region is in various stages. Most of the canola is in the rosette stage except where reseeded or late emergence due to dry conditions. Flea beetles and cutworms continue to be a problem, and have contributed to reseeding many acres as well as multiple insecticide applications.


Early week sunny skies were replaced by thunderstorm systems on Wednesday to Friday, bringing significant and sometimes intense precipitation to the region relieving concerns over moisture limitations to crops and forage growth. Strong south winds on Friday gusting over 100 km/hr in the southwestern part of the region. Winds caused some soil blowing to fields with low crop residue and sandblasting emerging crops, with edible beans most noticeably affected. Some infrastructure damage reported resulting in extended power outages to many parts of the region. Accumulated precipitation ranged from 10 mm in Emerson to 114 mm in the Manitou area with water pooling in low-lying areas of fields where precipitation was highest. Rill erosion is noticeable on fields in areas with rolling topography, higher rainfall and poor ground cover. Most areas received 30 to 60 mm. Year-to-date rainfall is now reported as approaching or above normal for most areas of the region while heat units received to date is near normal.

Soils were dry and much of the rain infiltrated improving topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions. Daytime temperatures cooled from the highs of the previous week to below normal during the rainy period but returning to near normal during the weekend. Topsoil moisture is good to excessive now depending on where rain accumulation was highest. Sunny and warm conditions are in the forecast this week, which should stimulate crop and forage growth.


Recorded rainfall this week ranged from 7 to 35 mm across the Eastern region. Most areas had somewhere between 20 and 40 mm with reports coming in of up to 75 mm in isolated extreme cases. In areas where heavier events occurred, there was still a bit of standing water evident in low areas, with some ruts left behind sprayers. Above normal daytime and overnight temperatures with adequate moisture for growth resulted in rapid crop growth. Most producers are finished seeding or have said they are not going to pursue reseeding canola anymore and deal with whatever thin crop remains.

Winter wheat and fall rye is at head emergence to flowering. Spring cereals are at the 4- to 6-leaf stage with stem elongation. Corn is at the V4 to V5 stage. Field peas are reaching 10th node. Sunflowers are at the V3 stage. Canola is at the cotyledon stage on re-seeded acres and at the 3-leaf to rosette stage on original acres. Flax is at the stem extension stage. Soybean is at the cotyledon to unifoliate on re-seed acres and 2 nd to 3 rd trifoliate leaf stage on original crop.


Crops have generally improved over the region this past week, wherever moisture was received. Growth spurts have been observed in flax and new, fertilized alfalfa stands. Canola is moving into the 3- to 4- leaf stage, but still is very stagey. Peas are looking good, while spring wheat is booting, and will soon reach flag leaf. Cereal crops are not consistent, with some uniform in density, while others are thin and patchy. Cornfields are stressed, and somewhat spindly, and may end up as silage.

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