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No Wet Weather Reprieve for Manitoba

Manitoba farmers managed to get more crop in the ground following the province’s June 20 seeding deadline, but wet conditions remain the main story for the province. 

The latest weekly crop report on Tuesday said an additional 150,000 acres were seeded in the province beyond the seeding deadline, bringing this year’s total unseeded area down to just under 700,000 acres. However, severe weather and heavy rains damaged crops in parts of the province the past week, notably in the Southwest and Northwest regions, where up to baseball-sized hail destroyed crops and damaged farm infrastructure near Binscarth and Russell. 

Meanwhile, repeated rains and warm soils have led to widespread nitrogen fertilizer losses, either via leaching or denitrification, the report said. In-crop nitrogen-deficiency symptoms are showing up as chlorotic (yellowed) leaf margins, in combination with other symptoms of crop stress due to saturated soils. The rush to seed crops wherever possible led to poorer seedbeds in some cases, which will impact in-season management and harvested yields, it added. 

Humid and warm conditions are ideal for fusarium and sclerotinia (white mould) disease development this year, and many farmers are preparing to spray fungicides on wheat, canola, and peas when conditions permit, and crop development advances. 

Spraying progress has rapidly advanced, despite challenging winds and very wet fields. Aerial application is widespread for insect control, while ground sprayers attempt to manage weeds. Rutted fields and stuck sprayers are common this year, and most spraying has had to be done in the evenings or early mornings when winds are calmer. Many canola fields have yet to be sprayed for the first time, and weed pressure is high, the report said. 

Spring wheat crops are tillering to beginning to see stem elongation (jointing). Later seeded cereals are at 2- to 4-leaf stage. Canola crops range from cotyledon to late rosette stage, with a few (relatively) early sown crops bolting and beginning to bloom. Most canola is between 4- to 6-leaf stage, where not excessively damaged by flea beetles. 

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