Top Crop Manager

News Harvesting
Manitoba harvest ahead of schedule, 51 per cent complete

September 12, 2023  By Top Crop Manager


Harvest progress sits at 51 per cent complete across Manitoba, which is ahead of the five-year average (42 per cent), according to the province’s Sept. 12 crop report. Winter wheat and fall rye harvest is complete (100 per cent). Yield reports are averaging about 60 bu/acre for winter wheat and 70 bu/acre for fall rye. Harvest continues in spring cereal crops, with barley at 81 per cent complete, oats at 83 per cent complete and spring wheat at 85 per cent complete. Overall, cereal crops remain in fair to mostly good condition.

Regional overview

Southwest

A good week of harvest in the Southwest region but with some pocket areas that have slower progress due to high humidity and showers. Rain in the various areas of Southwest region on Sunday night delayed harvest for a couple of days. Producers continued with pre-harvest on later seeded cereals and the canola crop. Swathing of canola still happening as producers try to work with uneven crop maturity.

Fall rye and winter wheat harvest is complete in the southwest and yields look to be average with good quality. The pea harvest is complete. Quality is good. Yield looks to be average with good quality around 45-50 bu/acre.

Spring wheat harvesting continued this week with several producers getting to 75 per cent complete. Yields look to be average to slightly above average with 13.5 per cent protein on the harvested fields. Yield reports are 55-75 bu/acre range, depending upon the moisture conditions during the growing season.

Barley harvest is 70 per cent complete. Quality and yields are average with some yellowing of the kernels.

Oat harvest continued this week and is 75 per cent complete. Producers were able to get at standing crop faster than swathed crops but by midweek, all fields were dry. Yields look about average, and samples are showing effects of the recent moisture.

Canola harvest is 30 per cent complete. Yield range is 35-45 bu/acre. Most of the canola crops are in the seed color change to mature. Some producers are swathing, and, in several fields, a pre-harvest application was done.

Soybeans are at late R6 to R7 stage. Some reports of early seeded soybean fields being harvested but less than five per cent. Recent rain has helped pod fill and later seeded beans. Corn silks have dried and are filling cobs so at R6-7 stage. Heights are variable due to dry weather conditions. Corn silage is underway with 25-30 per cent complete.

Sunflowers are in the R8 stage. Black birds have returned to sunflower and some oat crops. Perhaps 10 per cent damage already in some oilseed sunflower crops. Flax crops are in the brown boll seed colour stage.

Northwest

Another good week of harvest progress, with the exception of a pause for rain midweek. Daytime temperatures have been in the mid to high 20s, while overnight temperatures have cooled off significantly. A light touch of frost was reported in some areas in Swan Valley early Wednesday morning. It is unknown if any damage occurred at this time. Frost was also reported on Monday morning in The Pas. Heavy dews in the morning have made for a later start in the day. Shorter days have also narrowed the harvest window as crops get tough in the evening. Birch River received the highest precipitation amount in the Northwest region, while The Pas received only trace amount. Post-harvest field work has been occurring.

Spring wheat harvest had another good week of progress, with most areas approximately 90-95 per cent done. Harvest in The Pas is slightly behind that. Yields have been ranging from 50-90 bu/acre, while some fields have done poorer and some better. Quality has been good, with mostly grading #1 and #2 Canada. Some baling has been able to happen after the combine for those that put up straw.

Canola harvest is nicely underway across the region and is approximately 15 per cent complete and just starting in The Pas. Desiccation and swathing have continued as crops reached appropriate stages. Initial yield reports have ranged from 40 to 55 bu/acre. We anticipate seeing good canola harvest progress if conditions cooperate this week.

Field pea harvest was able to continue towards completion and is 100 per cent complete. Yields are variable and are mostly dependent on precipitation through the season. Fields with little precipitation ranged from 40-45 bu/ac while better fields at 60-70 bu/ac. Baling of pea straw is occurring. Some post-harvest field work has been done as crops removed.

Soybeans are in the R7-R8 stage and are moving towards maturity. Flax fields are near ready for harvest.

Central

Many locations across the Central region received rainfall at levels which delayed harvest progression, with the highest amounts being Gretna (27.7 mm), Snowflake (26.7 mm), Emerson (26.3) and Pilot Mound (26.1mm). Most crops are too close to maturity to benefit from this rainfall; however, producers with pasture were grateful. Even with the rain, significant harvest progression took place last week. The cooler mornings resulted in significant dews, which delayed harvests into the afternoon, at times as late as 3pm. Over the coming week, the remaining cereals will most likely be harvested, and progress will be made with regards to canola, flax, dry bean and soybean harvest.

Harvest of spring cereals is mostly complete, with spring wheat, oat and barley harvest sitting at around 97 per cent, with most of the regions remaining cereals in the northwestern reaches of the central region. Almost all fields in the Pembina Valley are complete. Spring wheat yields are highly variable, depending mostly on how much rainfall the crop received during the growing season. Most spring wheat yields have ranged from 35 to 65 bu/acre, but yields have been ranged from as low as 16 bu/acre in extreme cases and as high as 95 bushels per acre only a few miles away. Oats have been yielding 80-130 bu/acre, with some in the driest areas as low as 60 bu/acre. Barley is between 70 and 100 bu/acre.

Corn continues to quickly approach harvest, with fields either at R5 (dent) or in the case of the earlier maturing hybrids, R6 (physiological maturity). Most of the crop looks promising; however, fields that have received the least amount of rainfall are in the poorest condition. Most silage corn fields are rapidly approaching harvest, with a number of producers harvesting over the past week, yields ranging between 13-15 tonne/acre.

Canola harvest continues, with harvest progress at approximately 60 per cent for the region. The proportion of canola harvested in the Pembina Valley is closer to 80 per cent, and is approximately 20-30 per cent around Portage, Gladstone and Holland. Pre-harvest herbicides and swathing is complete. Harvest is expected to quickly progress next week. Yields vary greatly, between 20 and 55 bu/acre, with averages closer to the 30-40 bu/acre range. Some fields still achieved high canola yields, with some in the north of the region around Elie achieving 70 bu/acre yields, and around Portage 60 bu/acre in some cases. Flax harvest is underway, with approximately 20 per cent harvested. Most flax fields are at stage 12 (seed ripe), with a few fields at stage 11 (brown capsule). Sunflower fields are at the R9 (bracts becoming yellow and brown).

Soybean harvest has begun in the central region, with approximately 30 per cent harvested, with most soybean between R7 (one or more brown pod on the main stem), with mid and early maturing varieties at or approaching R8 (95 per cent brown pod). Early soybean yields are mostly between 20 to 30 bu/acre. It is possible that fields that received more rainfall during the season may receive higher yields. Cutting and harvest are underway for dry beans, with harvest standing at approximately 60 per cent. Edible bean yields range from 1,000 to over 2,000 lbs/acre with approximately 60 per cent harvested in the region. White mould has been noticeable in some soybean and dry bean fields.

Bailing of straw is underway, especially for producers using straw for cattle bedding or feed. Producers have also been harrowing cereal and canola stubble, testing soils for nutrients levels, and ditching.

Eastern

Rainfall accumulations over the reporting period ranged from 12-40 mm with virtually all of this rain occurring last Tuesday as part of widespread rainstorms and showers that touched every district. The rainfall event delayed progress on harvest for at least a couple of days in most areas but dry soils previous to the rain helped with restoring field access. Throughout the rest of the week, localized light showers and drizzle in some districts further delayed progress. At the same time, day and nighttime temperatures remained at seasonal levels and some days saw elevated humidity and/or heavy morning dews that meant later starts to harvest. Regardless, by the end of last week, harvesting was widespread with producers making significant progress each day. Fall tillage, fall fertilizer application and soil testing were also ongoing. Isolated instances of relatively light frost were reported at the end of last week, but no crop damage was expected given that long season crops like corn, soybeans and sunflowers were well advanced.

Spring wheat harvest was about 90 per cent complete. Average yield on spring wheat has been better than expected at around 70 bu/acre with 13.5 per cent or higher protein levels and grading #1 or #2. Oat harvest was about 90 per cent complete with yields at around 130 bu/acre on average and good bushel weights. Barley harvest was also about 90 per cent complete with yields averaging out at around 100 bu/acre. Spring cereal harvest is expected to wrap up this week.

Corn fields were in the R5 (dent) growth stage with starch accumulating. Recent warm weather and stronger winds have sped up the drying process. Some of the early maturing hybrids are close to the R6 (“black layer” or physiological maturity). The majority of the crop remained in good to excellent condition. A limited number of fields on lighter soil profiles located in low rainfall areas were showing signs of moisture stress and drying down prematurely.

Sunflower fields were at the R9 (bracts becoming yellow and brown (growth stage). Producers were monitoring bract colour change and the weather while making plans for desiccation of the crop over the next two weeks. The crop remained in good to excellent condition.

Most canola crops in the region were harvest ready or close to harvest ready and needing only a bit of drying time. Canola harvest became general as the week went on with about 25 per cent of acres harvested. Initial yield estimates were around 55 bu/acre on average with good quality. Canola harvesting is expected to become the main focus of growers this week if the weather is suitable. Swathing and pre-harvest herbicide applications were about 90 per cent complete with only late seeded fields left to consider. Agronomists noted that timing pre-harvest herbicide applications has been challenging this year because of the unevenness of crop development found in many canola fields which has led to delays.

Flax crop growth stages ranged from late stage 11 (brown capsule) to stage 12 (seed ripe) with lots of variability being noted in fields. Growers were monitoring crop development and the weather while making plans for desiccation of the crop over the next two weeks. The crop remained in fair to mostly good condition.

Soybean harvest had begun last week with less than five per cent of acres harvested. Most soybean fields were somewhere in the late R7 (one or more brown pods on the main stem with lots of leaf drop) to R8 (95 per cent brown pod/physiological maturity) and drying down. Some pre-harvest applications had begun last week on select fields to either control rank weed growth or desiccate the crop and speed up harvest. Overall, crop condition remained good on most fields.

Interlake

The North Interlake region continues to receive spotty rain with scattered thundershowers. Arborg area received about 24mm of rain last Tuesday, which delayed harvest progress and affected grain quality on swathed crops. Over the weekend, showers prevented growers from combining. Producers are having a difficult time harvesting dry grain due to high humidity and heavy dew in the morning. Most crops are past the stage of benefiting from the rainfall.

Spring wheat harvesting continues and is about 80 per cent complete. Yields reported are in the 65-80 bu/acre range. Some producers report spring wheat yield to be below and slightly above average depending on rainfall, though quality is good and grading (#1 and 2). Protein ranges from 13.9-15.5 per cent, dependent on yield. Producers reported some bleaching on wheat after last week’s storm and rainfall.

Oat harvesting continues with yields ranging from 100-170 bu/acre and is about 90 per cent done. Barley harvest is advancing well, with yields to date ranging from 60- 80 bu/acre. Some oats are being reported as light, but most are a good test weight.

Soybeans are turning rapidly in most fields. Most soybeans are in the R7 to R8 stage. Majority of fields looking above average. Edible bean harvest has started in Fisher branch and Vidir area and will continue over the next few weeks.

Canola harvesting has started nicely at about 10 per cent complete but swathing and desiccating is still ongoing. Overall, the canola crop is looking good.

Silage corn harvesting has started in some areas of the north and south Interlake with yields ranging from 14-15 tonnes per acre.

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