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Harvest of Most Manitoba Crops Lagging

The Manitoba harvest was slowed by rain over the weekend, with progress on most crops still lagging a year earlier.
Although the winter wheat and fall rye harvests in the province have essentially now wrapped up on par or slightly ahead of last year, the latest provincial crop report on Tuesday pegged the canola harvest at only 12% complete versus 45% in 2018. Similarly, the spring wheat harvest, at 45% done, was behind 70% last year and the oat harvest was trailing last year by 30 points at 45% finished.
At 75% finished, the barley harvest was on par with a year earlier and peas were a relatively modest 9 points behind last year at 90% complete. No progress was yet reported on a number of other crops, including flax, sunflowers and soybeans.
Thunderstorms and large rain events brought significant moisture this past week into the weekend, with up to 105 mm rain at Oakburn. Cooler temperatures have slowed maturity in late seeded canola and corn. Some pea size hail fell near Pierson and Cromer. Rainfall is too late to impact yields in most crops, but soybean, corn and sunflowers will benefit for seed fill.
Overall harvest in the southwest is about 10 to 15% complete with the majority of operations working south of the Trans-Canada highway. Winter wheat and fall rye harvest is complete and yields reported are average to below average with good quality. Fields pea harvest is almost complete with yields reported to average to above average with good quality. Spring cereal harvest has begun throughout the region. 60% of the barley has been harvested and yields are reported to be average to above average with good quality. Recent rains may affect remaining barley crop quality. Hard red spring wheat harvest is 15% complete, with yields reported to be average to slightly above with good quality, but low protein so far. Most canola is swathed or physiologically mature and 40% remains standing. Some fields have been desiccated prior to the rain. Yield is expected to be average.
Weather conditions were variable this past week with daytime highs of 25 to 28°C, while nighttime temperatures dipped into the low single digits in many parts of the region. The lowest temperatures recorded around Roblin and Swan River reached 1°C overnight. There was general rainfall through the region this week, with reports of hail in the Ste. Rose area, but damage is still being assessed. Harvesting in the region was halted due to the unsettled weather.
Overall progress is difficult to estimate due to wide variability within the region; the best estimate is less than 30% of the crop is harvested. Field pea harvest is 80% complete with variable yields, ranging from 40 to 100 bu/ac. The yield variability is reflective of soil moisture conditions throughout the growing season. Pre-harvest applications in spring wheat continue as staging is reached. Maturity of the spring wheat crop is very variable in the region. At The Pas, the spring wheat remains standing and needs time to fully ripen. Around Roblin, swathing is underway, in the Swan River area harvest of spring wheat has begun. Operations are further ahead in the Dauphin area with 70% of the wheat combined; completed harvest at Ste. Rose reports yields of 25 to 55 bu/ac. Canola continues to mature throughout the region. Swathing has begun around Dauphin and continues to move west and northward toward The Pas. Soybeans are at the R4 to R5 stage, but have been slow to fill and continued warm weather is needed for the soybean crop to reach maturity.
Harvest operations progressed well, early in the week. Rainfall over the weekend and into this week, halting harvest operations, while bringing welcome moisture for late season crops and forages. Rainfall was general with precipitation amounts varying from 8 mm at Holland to 60 mm near Plumas. Topsoil moisture has improved in many areas, but remains poor in the north-central parts of the region that continue to miss meaningful rainfall.
Spring cereal (wheat, oats, and barley) harvest is about 50 to 60%complete. Cereal straw is being dropped and baled for livestock. Corn and soybeans are into the grain fill stage and benefitting from the recent rain. Spring wheat yields in the Red River Valley are reported from 50 to 80 bu/ac, with excellent quality. On the escarpment, reported yields are 60 to 90 bu/ac with minor fusarium damage. Protein levels vary from 13 to 15.5%. Harvested barley yielding well in the 80 to 120 bu/ac. Oat yields are reported as 100 to 135 bu/ac. Pre-harvest products continue to be applied. Winter cereal harvest is done with winter wheat yields reported in the 60 to 70 bu/ac range while fall rye ranges from 50 to 120 bu/ac, and hybrid varieties yielding greater than open-pollinated types.
Field pea harvest advanced well with a 75% of that crop harvested. Reported yields are in the 40 to 65 bu/ac and good quality grain. Some pea straw is being dropped and baled as potential livestock feed source. Corn is in the seed filling stage. In some areas, cob development is being limited for lack of moisture, but recent rainfall will help seed filling. More advanced and well developed corn crops are into the dough stage. Soybeans are in the R6 to R7 stage whereas above the escarpment R6 would be more typical. Lower leaves are starting to drop and plants turning brown on early maturing lines. Canola harvest is most advanced in the Red River Valley with yields reported as 25 to 45 bu/ac. On the escarpment canola harvest is just starting.
Recent higher rain accumulations have resulted in standing water, for a short time, but producers anticipate returning to harvest later this week. Soil moisture conditions on cropland have improved and rated as 5% surplus, and 80% adequate, the remainder 10% short and 5% very short. Soil moisture in hay and pasture lands were rated as 30% adequate, 30% short and 40% very short.
Overall harvest progress at 40%. Signs of moisture stress in long season crops have been noted and have become more general in the region, including wilting and small pod drop in soybeans; firing of lower leaves and abortion of kernels in corn. Spring wheat, oats and barley harvest continues. Across the region, 75% of spring wheat harvested with an average yield of 60 bu/ac and good quality, but protein levels ranging from 11 to more than 13.5%. Oat harvest is 85% complete, with an average yield of 100 bu/ac. Barley harvest is completed with an average yield of 70 bu/ac. Canola harvest began last week in southern and central districts with 15% of the crop harvested. Initial yield reports ranged from 40 to 50 bu/ac. Canola is expected to be the focus of harvesting across the Eastern region once harvesting resumes. Canola pre-harvest applications were completed last week across the region and only a small amount of canola swathing remained.
Rainfall occurred in the north part of the Interlake this weekend; a number of locations received as much as 25 to 50 mm, with isolated areas in the northwest seeing as much as 100 to 125 mm. Rainfall amounts were variable in south Interlake, although some as much as 25 mm, most received less than 10 mm. Humidity levels remain high. Higher rainfall amounts were welcome for pasture regrowth, and possibly some later maturing corn, soybeans and corn silage, but too late for most annual crop, greenfeed and this year’s hay crops. Premature ripening due to dry conditions is evident in all crops. Rainfall accumulations to date for most of the region are 40 to 60% of normal. Topsoil moisture is minimal, even in areas receiving rains.
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