Storms cause severe crop damage in areas of Manitoba

Tue Aug 3, 2010 5:07pm EDT
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Hail and wind wiped out crops in isolated parts of central Manitoba during the past week, but elsewhere warm temperatures benefited crop development, the government of the Canadian province said on Tuesday.

Southwest: Spotty rain showers over the past week resulted in varying amounts of precipitation across the region. The warmer weather helped to dry up some areas and improve crop conditions. Early seeded cereal crops are filling and several areas are reporting high levels of leaf disease. Later seeded cereal crops are tillering and starting to head. Early seeded canola is podding and has handled the excess moisture well. Later seeded canola is in full flower and has been stunted from the excess moisture. Most of the flax is in flower and some producers have applied fungicide for disease control. Sunflowers and corn responded well to the heat from last week. Peas are flowering and podding with some wetter areas starting to show disease issues with root rot. Winter wheat and fall rye continue to progress well and harvest will likely start toward the beginning of August. Some fall rye has been taken for silage, with average yields. Fusarium head blight is evident in many winter wheat fields. Haying has progressed well over the past week with most producers reporting average to above average yields; however, quality is below average because of the maturity of the crop and some of it receiving precipitation.

Northwest: Throughout the week, all areas of the region had rain showers; thunderstorms with light hail were also reported in some areas. Frequency of showers and higher precipitation amounts occurred in the north and eastern areas. Cereals have almost completed flowering. Approximately 30 percent of wheat is into early dough stages. Canola is advancing through late flowering with around 30 percent podding. General crop conditions and development is most favorable through the Roblin, Swan River and The Pas areas. Winter wheat and fall rye crops are beginning to ripen.

In areas Grandview and west to Roblin, pasture conditions are improving. In addition, general haying operations were under way with yields average to above average. Conditions and yields are more variable in remaining areas of the region, moving east and north. The most serious excess moisture conditions persist in the Westlake, Winnipegosis and Ethelbert areas.

Central: Precipitation was variable throughout the region this past week. Hail and high winds caused crop damage southwest of Morden and in the Manitou-Darlingford areas, with localized damage as high as 100 percent in some fields. Other areas reported varying amounts of hail damage. Sunny weather and warm temperatures for much of the week aided advancement of all crops. Rain was welcome in crops that have shallow root systems due to earlier excess moisture; timely rains will be important for continued development. Crops throughout the region are extremely variable from field to field, and even within fields, due to excess moisture earlier in the season. Bare spots in low-lying areas due to excess moisture are becoming more evident. Root rot diseases continue to show up in crops affected by excess moisture, including soybeans, canola and cereals.

Spring cereals continue grain fill, with oats in the milk stage and most wheat finished flowering and in the milk to soft dough stage. Canola development ranges from full flower to full pod formation. Early flax fields have finished flowering while most of the remainder are in full flower; many producers have applied fungicide. Soybeans continue to flower. Nodulation looks good in most fields. Color continues to improve, although chlorosis is still evident in many fields. In the most advanced corn fields the tassel can be seen above the canopy, but has not yet fully emerged.

Eastern: More precipitation fell this past week resulting in crops continuing to struggle in many areas of the region. Crop uniformity is better in the southern areas of the region where less precipitation fell throughout the season. In other areas, uneven development will be an issue at harvest time. Many fields are recovering from excess moisture but are showing yield reductions in low areas.

Spring wheat and oat fields are 100 percent headed out with good yield potential. Early seeded canola is fully podded while late seeded canola is wrapping up flowering. Soybean fields have begun podding and have excellent nodulation while other fields are struggling through wet field conditions with limited nodulation and root development.

Flax has nearly completed flowering and is 45 to 50 cm in height. Corn is tasseling in some areas. In other areas, corn development is behind normal. Winter wheat is in the soft dough stage with very good yield potential.   Continued...