Warm weather favours some Man., Sask. crops

Warm, dry conditions last week have allowed some Manitoba crops to catch up but have cooked other crops, especially in Saskatchewan.

The weather allowed farmers in Saskatchewan to make good progress with haying, with 26 per cent of the first cut having been cut, baled or silaged compared to just six per cent the previous week, at yields of about two tonnes per hectare, about 10 per cent below the 10-year average.

However, heat and lack of rainfall were found to be the major source of crop damage during the past week in Saskatchewan, the ag ministry said in its weekly crop report Monday.

Topsoil moisture conditions in the province “deteriorated” from the previous week. While the weather allowed the few areas of surplus moisture to dry out, regions of short to very short topsoil moisture also increased. Forty-seven per cent of crop land and 36 per cent of hay and pasture are rated as having adequate topsoil moisture.

Provincewide, spring cereals are 14 per cent headed and 43 per cent at the shotblade stage; canola and mustard are 45 per cent at the flowering stage and 45 per cent at the rosette stage; pulse crops are four per cent in the pod stage and 56 per cent flowering; and fall cereals are 17 per cent in the dough stage and 73 per cent heading.

Manitoba

Meanwhile, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives on Monday also reported warm weather and little rain, both of which allowed some crops to catch up, such as sunflowers in the southwest and all crops in the central region, and allowed other areas, such as the Interlake between Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba, to recover from excess moisture.

Early-seeded cereal crops are starting to head and canola starting to bolt in the province’s southwest, with first-cut hay stands ranging from average to well below average yields as the stands get older. Early-grazed pastures will need a long rest period, the province said.

Further northwest, crops in the Ste. Rose du Lac area and the northern Swan Valley are suffering from excess moisture and some fungicide applications are underway, with wheat crops in the northwest about 40 per cent headed and about 55 per cent of the canola crop flowering. It’s feared the canola flowering will coincide with extreme heat, causing some blossom abortion.

Warm weather has been good for all crops in the central region west of the Red River, the province said. The earliest wheat and barley crops and canola are flowering and oats are heading. Flax is at bud to early bloom with some pasmo reported in thicker stands; other crops such as corn and soybeans are doing well in the region. Grasshopper numbers are on the rise, with some farmers already spraying in the region, the province said.

East of the Red, most spring cereals are at or near heading, while the majority of the canola crop is podding. Most cornfields caught up somewhat from spring and were knee-high by July 4; sunflowers also responded well to warmer weather. Winter wheat and fall rye were rated “excellent,” and most hay was rated good.

In the Interlake region, winter wheat and some other cereals have headed, while canola is flowering and flax is beginning to flower. Corn in northern areas is slow and thin at just 30-40 centimetres high on average. Bertha armyworm traps are showing high populations in the region’s northwest, while alfalfa seed weevils have done some damage in the region’s north as well. Haying conditions, however, were excellent with yields average to above-average.

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