Weekly Provincial Summary
Provincial seeding progress sits at 87% completion, up 22% from last week, and behind the 5-year average of 99% for Week 23.
Many farms are nearing completion, with a large percentage of farms completing seeding from Friday to Sunday last week. Completed farms were moving on to custom seed for neighbours in an effort to speed up completion ahead of Monday night’s rain.
High humidity has encouraged foliar disease development in dense canopy fall rye and winter wheat crops, foliar fungicide application is occurring on flag leaf and head emergence stages.
Many fields, particularly in the Southwest and Central regions have had fertilizer and seed floated on.
Estimates are 5 to 15% of all canola acres were broadcast seeded this year.
A concentrated push to finish seeding this past week led to a sharp increase in planted acres, with many farms in the Eastern, Central, and Southwest regions finished seeding, while parts of the Interlake and eastern side of the Northwest region remain unplanted. Some reseeding of canola has occurred after crusting events and severe flea beetle damage.
Recent rains have stopped seeding progress once again, and those farmers yet to finish planting are coming to the realization that there will be unseeded acres on their farms this year. Estimates are that over 250,000 acres will be unplanted by the June 20 seeding deadline, concentrated south near Lake Dauphin, the northern Interlake, and adjacent to the Red River, where fields have only recently seen standing water drain away.
As farmers shift mentality to in-crop management, herbicide application is becoming widespread, and calm conditions last week saw many spring cereal and corn fields see their first herbicide application, together with numerous applications of insecticide for flea beetles and cutworms and young grasshoppers in localized areas. Repeated rains and warm soils have led to widespread nitrogen fertilizer losses, either via leaching or denitrification. In-crop nitrogen-deficiency symptoms are showing up as chlorotic (yellowed) leaf margins, in combination with other symptoms of crop stress due to saturated soils. A drop in nitrogen prices (down approx. 30% from spring highs) may encourage in-crop top-dressing. The rush to seed crops wherever possible led to poorer seedbeds in some cases, which will impact in-season management and harvested yields.
Ag retailers are dealing with inventories of returned corn seed, cancelled soybean orders, and either a tight supply or surplus of canola seed, depending on location. There are a few crops where seeding deadlines can still be met (Table 2) and farmers will attempt to plant as soon as fields dry out after the most recent rains.
Livestock have been turned out to pasture, and forage growth is generally sufficient. Biting insects and mosquitoes are becoming a nuisance for cattle.