Saskatchewan farmers were able to move forward on harvest last week while rainfall bogged down operations in Manitoba, the two provinces’ agriculture departments reported Tuesday.
Reporters in parts of Saskatchewan expressed concerns about flooding, ergot, bleaching, staining and lodging, the province said. Southern areas in the province got up to 50 mm of rainfall on Sunday and Monday.
Overall, Saskatchewan’s crop is about 20 per cent harvested, up 10 per cent from the previous week but behind the 2003-07 average of 35 per cent. The majority of its crop damage last week was credited to insects and wind.
With 10 per cent of Saskatchewan’s spring wheat harvested, crop reporters estimate 70 per cent will grade No. 1 Canada Western (CW) and 23 per cent will grade No. 2 CW. The 10-year crop report average is 46 per cent 1 CW and 23 per cent 2 CW.
Thirteen per cent of Saskatchewan’s durum crop has been harvested, as has nine per cent of its canola, 61 per cent of its lentil crop, 73 per cent of the pea crop, 89 per cent of fall rye, 78 per cent of winter wheat and almost half of the province’s triticale, the province said.
About 45 per cent of Saskatchewan’s pastures are reported in good to excellent condition, the province said; 15 per cent of reporters rate livestock water supplies as inadequate, up from 11 per cent at the end of July.
Rain delays, flood warning
Rainfall led to delays ranging from short to severe in Manitoba’s growing regions. In the northern Interlake, from Gimli north to Gypsumville, harvest has been “severely delayed” by heavy rains this past weekend, with field access “difficult to impossible,” the province reported.
Across the Interlake (the region between Lakes Manitoba and Winnipeg), rainfall this past weekend ranged from 40 to 100 mm. Pockets of the region, such as its southwest around Woodlands, escaped the heavy rain and were able to continue harvesting.
The provincial water stewardship department on Tuesday issued a flood warning for part of the southern Interlake from Ashern to Gypsumville. A
flood watch has now also been issued for Lake St. Martin. Most of the warning and watch area got 75 to 100 mm of rain in recent days, with another 35 mm seen as possible by late Tuesday night. Overland flooding continues in the watch area with water ponded on many fields and ditches running full, the province said.
In the southern region east of the Red River, rainfall this past weekend ranged from 13 to 33 mm, enough to cause harvest delays of up to a week. Winter wheat harvest in the region is nearly complete, with quality expected to take a hit due to sprouting and fusarium, while winter wheat seeding is expected to be delayed even more than previously expected. “Continued seasonal conditions remain necessary to preserve yield potential and accelerate crop development, particularly in corn, sunflower and soybean,” the province said.
In the province’s central region, including the Red River Valley and Portage la Prairie, the weather forecast doesn’t bode well for more harvest. Progress was made last week between scattered showers, the province said, and windy conditions during the warmer spells led to problems in canola and lodging in standing cereals. “Concern remains for long-season and late-seeded crops maturing,” the province said.
In Manitoba’s northwest, rains have also stalled the harvest around Dauphin and Ste. Rose du Lac, which got 75 to 120 mm of rain over the long weekend. Rains have also stalled harvest around The Pas and the Swan Valley area, while the Gilbert and Grandview areas were able to make some progress.
Rainfall in Manitoba’s southwest ranged from just 15 mm in the far southwest corner of the region, to as much as 80 mm around Shoal Lake, Oakburn and Hamiota. Winter wheat harvesting in the region is nearly complete. Many crops in the region have been swathed or desiccated and now run the risk of lower quality and yield due to rainfall. Many farmers in the southwest are concerned the potential for an early frost to hit sunflowers, corn and later-seeded canola, the province said.