August 26, 2008


Manitoba harvest progressing, but rains cause delays



Most Manitoba farmers managed to make good harvest progress during the past week, according to the latest crop report from Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives released August 25. However, excessive rainfall in some areas caused delays and may lead to downgrading of some crops, according to the report.


Farmers in Southwest Manitoba made good harvest progress during the week, before rains hit most areas on Thursday night and Friday. Winter wheat was averaging 60 to 65 bushels an acre while fall rye averaged 45 to 50 bushels an acre. Peas were being harvested with average yields and good quality. Canola was being swathed, with cutting expected to be widespread within the next week. Sunflowers and corn were advancing, although concerns were starting to build that the crops may not mature in time before the first frost.


In Northwest Manitoba, soil conditions were variable, according to the report. Some areas saw excessive rainfall during the week, with flooding a concern in some localized regions. The winter wheat harvest was well under way, with yields ranging from 50 to 85 bushels an acre. Fusarium was evident in some areas, according to the report.


Conditions were hot and dry in Central Manitoba for most of the week, before widespread rains came on Thursday and Friday. The cereal harvest was moving forward in the Red River Valley, although fusarium was hurting grades in some areas. Yields were generally above average, with spring wheat coming in at 50 to 60 bushels an acre, winter wheat at 70 to 80 bushels an acre, barley at 80 to 100 bushels an acre, and oats at 90 to 110 bushels an acre. The canola harvest was just getting started. Sunflowers were flowering. Soy was doing well, but in need of continued favourable conditions in order to reach maturity, according to the report.


The winter wheat harvest in Eastern Manitoba was 80 percent complete, with good harvest conditions for most of the week, according to the report. However, sprouting and fusarium were a concern with some fields. The oats harvest was progressing, with yields and quality generally above average. Canola was ripe and ready for swathing or straight combining. Flax continued to ripen, while soy pods were filling. Corn in the region will need at least another three weeks of frost-free weather to produce grain quality corn.


Heavy rain in the Interlake region of Manitoba caused flooding in many areas during the week. The cereal and oilseed harvest was just getting started in the region ahead of the rains. Field access will now likely be delayed, due to the wet fields.  

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