By Top Crop Manager
Harvest continues across Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. While Saskatchewan and Alberta have reaped the benefit of favourable weather conditions, Manitoba’s heavy rainfall has caused it to fall behind.
Manitoba’s harvest progress continues to fall behind its averages. As of the week ended Sept. 27, harvest completion rose by only seven percentage points, now at 47 per cent complete. It is now 3.5 weeks behind the five-year average of 79 per cent complete by week 39. This means Manitoba is falling farther behind as the season progresses; this time last week, harvest progress was three weeks behind. Precipitation, which has hampered Manitoba’s growing season at every step of the way, has continued to be the issue, with drizzling rains, high humidity and overcast conditions preventing the bulk of harvest operations until the weekend.Crops that were harvested before the start of this week were often tough to damp, and had to be artificially dried.
Additionally, as the province cools, killing frosts have arrived in much of the western side of the province as of Sept. 22, and in much of the rest of province as of Sept. 27. Some crop injury is expected in green canola and soybeans, but damage is expected to be relatively light. Soft field surfaces have also shown more compaction and tracking from machinery than fields combined earlier in the month, and farmers are making frequent header adjustments to align with soil conditions to reduce earth tag in soybeans. Unharvested cereals have seen some bleaching and staining from recent wet weather, especially where they lie in swath. Quality downgrades are expected in the northern parts of the eastern, southwest and Interlake regions. Light frosts have producers concerned over nitrates in their annual crop silage and greenfeed still standing, and are advised to feed test their annual crops for nitrates prior to feeding. | READ MORE
After a short period of ideal harvest conditions, Saskatchewan producers experienced cool, damp weather for the week ending Sept. 19. This slowed and even halted some harvest operations. However, harvest progress remains ahead of the five-year average at 73 per cent. An additional 18 per cent of the crop is ready to be swathed or straight-cut. Harvest is most advanced in the southwest region, where 96 per cent of the crop is now combined. West-central is shortly behind at 89 per cent. All regions are now past 50 per cent.
For crops, lentils and field peas lead the way at 97 per cent each, followed by durum at 94 per cent. Canola and flax remain the farthest behind at 52 per cent and 35 per cent combined, respectively. An additional 36 per cent of the canola is ready to be swathed or straight-cut.
Provincial cropland topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 37 per cent adequate, 40 per cent short and 21 per cent very short. Such conditions have declined across the province due to strong winds and a lack of rain. | READ MORE
As of July, Alberta’s crop reports are now released every other week. This week’s report released covers the two weeks ending Sept. 20. During that two weeks, combining progress has more-than-doubled, with 77 per cent of the province’s crops combined. That’s well ahead of the 10-year average of 53 per cent and up form 37 per cent two weeks prior. Significant progress was made in the northeast and northwest regions. However, the Peace region experienced significant rainfall, slowing progress. Potatoes are the only crop significantly behind long-term averages for harvest completion.
For the last several times, deteriorating soil moisture has been a concern for growers. That trend has continued, with the exception of the Peace region. Near-normal precipitation in this growing season helped deliver on the above average yields reported for 2022; however, soils are now back at pre-June low soil moisture levels.Large areas of the province are now back to ‘moderately low’ to ‘very low’ soil moisture levels relative to long-term normal. | READ MORE