Interlake Crops Suffering the Worst in Manitoba

Jul 28, 2021

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Crops in the Interlake Region are suffering the worst in Manitoba, while those in the Southwest and Northwest appear to be holding up better.

The latest weekly crop report on Tuesday showed canola and spring wheat crops in the Interlake at just 5% good to excellent, with sunflowers and corn at 15% and soybeans at 20%. On the other hand, crop conditions in the Southwest and Northwest ranged from a low of 50% good to excellent for canola to a high of 75% for peas and soybeans (see soil moisture map below).

Crops in the Central Region ranged from 20% good to excellent for oats to 75% for sunflowers, while Eastern conditions ranged from only 10% good to excellent for oats, peas and canola to 80% for sunflowers.

Multiple rural municipalities in the province have declared agricultural states of disaster over the past month due to ongoing drought and high temperatures. Alonsa, Fisher, Grahamdale, Lakeshore, McCreary, Mossey River, North Cypress-Langford, Rockwood, Rosedale, Ste. Rose, and West Interlake have mostly recently made the declaration, in addition to four others previously.

The Manitoba Farm, Rural & Northern Support Services hotline is available 24/7 for farmers and ranchers dealing with crises and stressful situations by calling 1-866-367-3276.

Southwest:

A warmer week again, with daytime temperatures up to 27 to 31°C; daily averages around 20°C. Minimum overnight temperatures ranged from 5 to 11°C. Some good rainfall in most of the region early in the week, rainfall amounts from 3 to 56 mm. Crop growth has improved with rain, though any precipitation is welcome and all areas, particularly the north and east part of the region, remain short for moisture. Topsoil moisture is temporarily adequate for 50 to 65% of the crops and short to very short for the remaining acres.

Winter cereals are very close to harvest. Spring cereal crops, especially oats, have rapidly changed colour. Crops have dried out on sandy ridges. Heat and dry conditions spurred rapid advancement this week, and most wheat crops are in the late milk to soft dough stages. Early seeded canola has finished flower, and later crops are in full bloom, benefitting from recent rains. Peas are looking promising, but harvest has not started.

Northwest:

Temperatures moderated this past week, mostly keeping below 30°C across the region. Along with some precipitation, gave crops in the area a break from the recent intense heat and dry conditions they’ve been put through. Precipitation amounts ranged from 8 mm in Swan Valley to 40 mm at San Clara, with some localized areas in Swan River receiving more. Windy conditions over the weekend again contributed to evapotranspiration depleting soil moisture. Soil moisture conditions across the entire region are well below normal and struggling to support the crops, hay and pasture.

The effects of the dry conditions continue to show in terms of reduced yield, burnt crops and depleted water sources. Spring cereals are into the dough stages. Spring wheat around Roblin/Swan River is approximately 50% in soft dough, while the southeastern part of the region is more advanced due to drier conditions. Spring wheat remains at 70% in good condition while the rest of the crop falls into fair/poor. Oats and Barley are in the milk stage and heading into dough.

Central:

Sunny, warm conditions continued, with isolated rainfall events midweek brought up to 25 mm in areas located mostly in the southern part of the region while much of the rest received only around 5 mm. On days with north to north east winds a haze of smoke and humidity shaded the region, originating from forest fires northern Manitoba. High daytime temperatures were constant, with higher humidity. Overnight lows cooled below 20°C, but with minimal dew.

Topsoil moisture availability 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. Rain is needed to replenish soil moisture in all areas of the region. Damage is already done for many crops in the region.

Eastern:

Rainfall this week ranged from 6 to 18 mm across the region. While any rain is welcome, this week’s precipitation was too little too late for the early season crops. The region did see isolated showers in areas that received anywhere from 15 to 25 mm, but unfortunately, these events were localized so most areas missed out, the rainfall amounts received were not adequate to alleviate the dry conditions. Day and nighttime temperatures last week remained above normal.

Stress from lack of moisture is widespread throughout all districts and overall crop conditions continued to deteriorate. Crop development was being pushed along at a rapid pace in the warm dry conditions. Rainfall will no longer help cereals and peas, but may have minimal benefit to flax and canola. Corn, sunflowers, and soybeans would all still benefit. Winter cereals are ripening, harvest will begin shortly and likely be in full swing by the weekend.

Interlake:

Severe drought conditions continue across the Interlake, with an additional four municipalities (Fisher, Grahamdale, Rockwood, and West Interlake) declaring a State of Agricultural Disaster over the past two weeks.

The earliest pea crops and perennial ryegrass fields have started harvest. Yield reports unavailable at this time. Cereals are ripening, and may have less seed formed in the head than expected, due to continued drought and heat stress from earlier sensitive flower stages. Canola crops have finished flowering across the region, with a few crops nearly finished blooming towards the south end of the region. Heat blast and drought stress in canola has been severe, with many pods on plants failing to form, or filling only a partial pod. This will result in significant yield reduction.

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