By Top Crop Manager
Harvest season is fast-approaching in the Prairies, but the three provinces are all in vastly different situations. Detailed reports are below.
Harvest has started in winter wheat and fall rye as of the week ending Aug. 16. An average of 57 per cent of winter wheat has been harvested across the province, with the northwest region severely under-indexing at one per cent harvested. Harvest will continue as humidity drops and weather conditions allow. Quality has been variable. For fall rye, an average of 22 per cent across the province has harvested, with the northwest region once again far behind. Minimal pea harvest and barley harvest has begun in some regions. Crop conditions appear good to very good in most parts of the province.
Canola crops are highly variable, with some in excellent condition and some in poor condition. The annual canola disease survey is also beginning this week. Crops will be assessed for blackleg, sclerotinia, verticillium, clubroot and other diseases.
Insect concerns have popped up in localized spots across Manitoba. These include luges bugs in the Swan Valley and soybean aphids, cereal aphids and grasshoppers throughout Manitoba. Soybean aphids in particular have reached economic thresholds in some crops, while many populations remain below thresholds but should be monitored closely. | READ MORE
As of the week ending Aug. 8, harvest has begun in Saskatchewan, although all crops combined are only one per cent harvested, which is slightly behind the five-year average of two per cent (as of this time in 2021, harvest progress was at seven per cent).
Sporadic weather systems moved throughout the province over the week, with some regions having hot, dry days while others experienced cool, rainy days, further delaying crop development. The southern half of the province was generally dryer than the northern half with the exception of the Weyburn area, which received 25 mm of rain compared to the rest of the region which received between trace amounts and 10 mm. The declining trend in topsoil moisture continues as rains overall have been quite minor and infrequent during the past few weeks. Cropland topsoil moisture is currently rated as three per cent surplus, 58 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and 15 per cent very short. Livestock producers have also reported struggling with their haying operations. |READ MORE
Alberta’s crop reports now cover two-week periods. As of the two-week period ending Aug. 9, Alberta’s crop quality has declined somewhat. Among all crops, 77.9 per cent are rated as good or excellent, down from 80.4 per cent on July 26. However, quality for this week is still significantly higher than the five- and 10-year average.
From beginning of July, crop development was accelerated by above-normal temperatures and, at this point, is on par with the five-year averages. Spring seeded cereals across the province are mostly in the beginning of the dough development growth stage, while fall seeded crops are in the ripening stage. About 90 per cent of canola and 99 per cent of dry peas, lentils and chickpeas are in the podding stage. Harvest operations have begun for fall-seeded crops and pulses in the south and central regions.
Provincial surface and subsurface soil moisture reserves deteriorated from the last report (respectively by 22 and eight per cent), as a result of less precipitation, above-normal temperatures and wind. Currently, surface soil moisture is rated at 39 per cent good, eight per cent excellent and two per cent excessive, while 51 per cent is rated as poor or fair.