Manitoba Seeding Mostly Finished Amid Continued Dryness

Jun 09, 2021

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Seeding is essentially now finished in Manitoba.

The latest weekly crop report on Tuesday pegged seeding across the province at 99% complete, on par with the four-year average and a couple of points ahead of last year.

However, persistent dryness remains a concern, with patchy emergence has been noted in nearly all crops - especially on later or deeper-planted crops. On the other hand, crop recovery from frost in late May has been good, and cereals are generally doing well. Reseeding is complete for frost-affected soybean and canola crops but reseeding efforts continue for flea beetle-damaged canola, where insecticide applications have not been as effective as hoped.

Herbicide applications are in full swing, as wind and heat allows. Cereals applications are over half complete, while canola herbicide spray has been delayed to prioritize flea beetle suppression.

Southwest:

Daytime temperatures across the Southwest region reached the mid 30 degree C mark; average temperatures ranged from 18 to 21°C. The 37°C high over the weekend came with damaging winds. In general, most of the southern parts of the Southwest region received 2 to 10 mm. The majority of the northern districts of the region had less than 2 mm rain.

Overall, the entire region is dry. There is increased concern regarding inadequate rainfall in all parts of the region, particularly in the northern areas. Accumulated precipitation is well below normal for this time of the year. Dry conditions are an issue through the entire southwest – emergence has been effected because of dry conditions – crops that have emerged are showing issues of drought stress and a significant rainfall is needed over the next few days to offset any potential yield losses in cereals and peas. Seeding is 95 to 100% done. A few remaining acres are going to greenfeed.

Some reseeding of canola continues. Multiple stresses, including extended dry conditions, high flea beetle pressure, and sometimes crusting from last weeks’ rain are the primary causes. Damaging winds are also big issue in some areas for emerging crops, tearing at sensitive cotyledons.

Northwest:

There was an extreme weather change for this week as temperatures rose well above the 30 degree C mark compared to the frost events and cool temperatures the previous week. These high temperatures along with high winds caused stress on crops. With the exception of The Pas where rainfall over the weekend resulted in an accumulation of 10mm, the rest of the region had light localized showers that did not result in significant precipitation. With the heat, weeds are growing fast, however heat and wind is challenging herbicide and insecticide applications. Last weeks’ wind and heat dried soil out even further with surface moisture conditions in many parts of the region rated as dry. Lighter soils are more affected and are showing signs of lack of moisture.

Seeding is generally complete throughout the region with producers finishing the last few acres or where reseeding is taking place. There is some canola being reseeded due flea beetle damage, especially in the Swan River area. Wheat is emerging nicely in the region with 90% in the seedling/tillering growth stage. Nearly all other spring cereals, barley and oats, are in the same growth stage. Cereals are withstanding the heat, wind and dry conditions better than the canola and are generally in good to excellent condition.

Canola has been the most affected by the high heat and high winds over the last week. Flea beetles have been actively feeding with some producers making the decision to reseed severely affected fields. Wind and high temperatures have made insecticide and herbicide applications challenging.

Central:

Sunny skies and southwesterly winds prevailed last week, bringing well above normal temperatures. Strong westerly winds on Saturday reached up to 97 km/hr near Somerset, moved soil and temporarily reduced visibility. Daytime temperatures ranged from a high of 41°C in Gretna late in the week to 21°C over the weekend. The accompanied thundershower activity brought precipitation to the western part of the region and southeastern areas with amounts varying form trace to as much as 17 mm in Morris but next to no precipitation in the northern parts the region.

Topsoil moisture is fair to poor, depending on where rain showers hit in the last couple of weeks. Rain is in the forecast this week and many growers hope it will improve soil moisture conditions as crops grow and evapotranspiration increases. Winter wheat, fall rye and perennial ryegrass fields are growing well as temperatures have warmed and moisture sufficient to support growth. Development varies with some fall rye fields ranging from early head emergence to beginning flowering. Drought-stressed crops where rainfall has not been sufficient are thinner and with fewer tillers.

Wheat, oats and barley seeding is considered done; the frost, heat and wind have caused some leaf tip burn. Cereal emergence is good to fair but is spotty in fields that received little precipitation to date. Earliest seeded cereals emerged well, and development stage varies from four to six leaves. Herbicide application is ongoing in cereals as conditions allow. Wireworm feeding damage has caused plant stand reduction in some wheat fields.

Eastern:

Precipitation accumulation recorded at the weather stations ranged from 5 to 30 mm across the region. Moderate to severe thunderstorms that ranged from isolated to widespread brought variable amounts of rainfall, standing water in fields is evident in some of these areas. Both daytime and nighttime temperatures were well above normal throughout the reporting period. Soil moisture situation still favourable in most parts of the region given past rainfall events. There has been adequate moisture for the reseeded crop to germinate. Most producers would welcome further rainfall even those where the moisture situation is adequate now. Well-timed rainfall will be needed in the coming weeks.

Seeding is wrapped up across the region aside from canola reseeding efforts due to the frost and high flea beetle pressure. Reseeding of canola and soybeans due to frost damage was completed last week. As reported previously, somewhere between 5 and 10% of soybean acres were reseeded because of frost while less than 5% of canola acres were reseeded.

Interlake:

Scattered showers and thundershowers continue, with much variability in rainfall amounts. Most weather stations registered 7 mm or less, with Lake Francis at 13 mm. Limited acres received as much as 20 to 25 mm; crops have jumped with hot weather, in areas with higher rainfall. Although the majority of annual crop acres are still rated as adequate for topsoil moisture, frequent rains will be needed to sustain crop growth through the season. Dry conditions continue. Most crops have recovered from frost injury, but re-seeding continues, especially where multiple stresses affect crops, canola in particular. Temperatures continue to be extremely variable, with most of the region seeing highs ranging from 32 to 35°C, and some areas in the north part of the region saw overnight temperatures drop below 0°C. Some producers have seeded deeper into moisture; those crops have been slower to emerge, with patchy emergence. Any rain is improving crop condition. Some crops have been laid flat during the heat of the day.

Reseeding has not been as extensive as first expected, to the relief of many producers. Evaluations continue to see if reseeding is warranted. Strong winds continue to cause problems, with crop injury from blowing soil. Damage has been most evident on fields with low levels of crop residue, and on fields that have been rolled. Dust continues to kick up following field operations in some fields

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