Crop report: Suppliers watching pesticide supplies, Saskatchewan gets relief from extreme heat
By Top Crop Manager
The latest crop report shows improvements in Saskatchewan and Alberta. However, Manitoba continues to be hit with challenges from excess rainfall and extreme weather.
Crop quality is varying across the province for the latest report, which covers the week ending Aug. 2. Crops in southern areas are generally in better condition than areas in the north. Most spring wheat fields have completed flowering, with kernel development underway. Later-seeded wheat has largely finished flowering, with most of the crop being rated good to excellent, with a few exceptions due to extreme moisture. Fusarium head blight fungicide application in spring wheat is complete. Some armyworm damage has been discovered in the Beausejour area, and higher wheat midge counts were observed in the Roblin areas. Barley crops range from flowering to head filling, oat crops have finished flowering and are becoming heavier with grain fill developing and fall rye is turning colour and at the hard dough stage.
Corn development ranges from VT to R2 stage. Corn crops in the Red River Valley are most advanced. Nutrient demand will be highest in the next 30 to 40 days. Most of the province’s corn crops are quite tall. Canola crops range in quality across Manitoba. Flowering is complete in parts of the central and northwest regions, while other areas are still in mid-bloom. Sixty per cent of canola crops are rated as good, with 15 per cent excellent and 25 per cent fair. Rising diamondback moth larvae levels have been observed. Flax crops are nearly done flowering across the province, and sunflowers are at the R4 to R5 stages.
For pulses, soybeans are growing rapidly and are in the R2 to R5 range. The majority of field peas range from flowering to R3. Later seeded fields are further behind.
With crops now growing past the appropriate timing windows, fungicide application is slowing across the province. Producers report that they have dome “much more” fungicide application this year than in previous years. Some insect concerns have also arisen including bertha armyworm in the eastern region, soybean and pea aphids in those same crops and grasshoppers in all regions (mostly confined to field edges and headlands). Crop protection companies are warning of potential supply chain issues related to increased demand for insecticide supplies. | READ MORE
Saskatchewan has continued to experience inconsistency in terms of conditions and crop development throughout the province. Crops continued normal development in areas that received rain during the week ending July 25, whereas areas in the west central region that remain very dry has seen some crops “go backwards in development and condition.” Some grain producers in the southwest and west-central regions have begun desiccating some of their pulse crops to get them ready for combining as the heat and dry conditions has shortened the growing season.
Hot weather in the province caused a slight decline in topsoil moisture, with the highest concentration of dry soils being in the western half of the province.
Despite challenges, due to a break in the extreme heat and some timely rains, crop conditions are largely rated as fair to good. Some areas of the province have large portions of crops rated as excellent with the highest ratings being seen in cereals. Still, some adverse weather has made haying difficult for some producers.
Strong winds, drought stress, hail, heat, grasshoppers and crop disease were the main issues of concern. Many producers are still actively spraying fungicides to protect their crops from fungal diseases as they continue to get rain followed by hot days that create ideal conditions for pathogens. The most common diseases being reported are anthracnose, ascochyta and root rot on pulse crops like lentils and field peas, and some cereals are being pressured from fusarium and rust (stem, leaf or stripe). |READ MORE
The latest report for Alberta, which covers the period ending July 26, is the first of the season to include yield expectations. On average, major crops are rated as 74 per cent good to excellent, well above the 10-year average of 66 per cent. Yield expectations are 110 per cent of the 10-year provincial yield average. All regions of the province are reporting yield estimates relatively consistent with, or ahead of, long term normal. The main differential is June rainfall. While Alberta has occasionally struggled with dry weather this year, the province saw more rainfall in June 2022 than June 2021. At this time last year only 20 per cent of all crops were rated as good or excellent and yield expectations were only 60 per cent of the 10-year average.
Still, a dry July in the Peace, northwest and northeast regions mean the regions have largely moved back to below long-term normal soil moisture levels. South and central regions are generally the areas with the most moisture. In the south region, yield expectations are 107 per cent of the 10-year average, but those estimates are highly variable. The area is also experiencing an extreme level of flea beetles, at 31 per cent moderate or over threshold. In the central region, yield expectations are 116 per cent above the 10-year average. Despite dryer conditions in the northeast and Peace regions, yield expectations are 110 per cent and 122 per cent of the 10-year average, respectively. In the northwest, yield expectations are 96 per cent of the 10-year average. |READ MORE