Provincial 5-Year Average Yields for Cereal Crops in Manitoba

As Harvest 2016 progresses, there is always the question “How will this year’s yields compare to what producers typically see, i.e. average yields?”

If we use yield data reported by producers to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC)  over the last 5-year period (2011 to 2015), average cereal crop yields are as follows:

  • red spring wheat – 51 bushels per acre
  • feed wheat – 68 bushels per acre
  • CPS wheat – 48 bushels per acre
  • barley – 64 bushels per acre
  • oats – 91 bushels per acre
  • winter wheat – 63 bushels per acre
  • fall rye – 44 bushels per acre

Note: varieties insured as feed wheat can belong to a number of wheat classes, including Canada Western Soft White Spring (CWSWS), Canada Western Special Purpose (CWSP) and Canada Northern Hard Red (CNHR), as well as unregistered varieties.

So far in 2016, yields for cereal crops are ranging from average to above the 5-year average.  However, there is variability noted across the province, largely due to the amount of precipitation received over the growing season.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Data source:  http://www.mmpp.com/mmpp.nsf/mmpp_browser_variety.html

Manitoba Agriculture website: www.manitoba.ca/agriculture
Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter: @MBGovAg
Manitoba Agriculture on YouTube: www.youtube.com/ManitobaAgriculture

 

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Manitoba Barley Acres & Top Varieties in 2016

IMG_0972

In 2016, there was approximately 352,000 acres of commercial barley seeded in Manitoba, as reported by producers for AgriInsurance purposes (acres do not include pedigree or organic production), down from 383,500 acres in 2015.

The variety CDC Austenson, at 21.8% of Manitoba’s commercial barley acreage, was the most popular variety grown in Manitoba in 2016.  It was the second most popular variety in 2015 (16.6%). CDC Austenson is a 2-row feed type that was registered in 2008. It was developed by the Crop Development Centre at the University of Saskatchewan, with SeCan being the distributor.

CONLON, a 2-row feed type, is in second spot in 2016 at 19.5%; CONLON had been the most popular variety based on market share since 2004 in Manitoba and was grown on 24.4% of commercial barley acres in 2015. In third spot is Celebration at 9.3%, a 6-row malting variety. Fourth and fifth place are AAC Synergy at 9.1% and AC Metcalfe (2 row-malting) at 7.3%.  AAC Synergy is a newer 2-row malting variety developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Brandon Research & Development Centre and distributed by Syngenta Seeds Canada Ltd. It is shorter-statured variety with good straw strength and good disease package. The top five varieties were grown on 67% of barley acres in Manitoba.

Rounding out the top ten are the varieties Newdale (2-row, malting), CDC Copeland (2-row, malting), Tradition (6-row, malting), Champion (2-row, feed), and Bentley (2-row, malting).  The top 10 varieties together were grown on 91.3% of barley acres in Manitoba. The remaining 8.7% of acres were seeded to 32 other barley varieties.

In 2016, acreage devoted to the feed/food, malting and hulless categories were 49.9%, 50.1% and 0.04%, respectively. By comparison, in 2015 52.5% of acres were grown to feed/food varieties, 47.3% to malting varieties, and 0.2% to hulless varieties.

When looking at the feed/food category in 2016, majority of acres were seeded to 2-row varieties (98.5%) compared to 6-row varieties (1.5%). This trend is consistent from 2015 where 97.1% of acres were grown to 2-row and 2.9% to 6-row varieties.

In the malting barley category in 2016, 66.5% of acres were seeded to 2-row varieties (59.8% in 2015) compared to 33.5% to 6-row varieties (40.2% in 2015).

Overall in Manitoba, 2-row barley varieties were grown on 82.4% of acres in 2016 (compared to 79.5% in 2015), with the remaining 17.6% grown to 6-row varieties (20.5% in 2015).

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Source: http://www.mmpp.com/mmpp.nsf/sar_varieties_2016.pdf

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Estimating Harvest Losses in Cereals – Don’t Just Rely on the Grain Loss Monitor!

UPDATED FROM ARTICLE POSTED ON AUGUST 12, 2015

Winter wheat and fall rye harvest is underway in Manitoba. Since final yields aren’t determined until the crop is in the bin, attention now has to be focused on the harvest operation. Grain loss at harvesting time is a direct loss of income. The more grain saved, the greater the returns. The following information comes from 2 articles: ‘Grain Harvest Losses’ by V. Hofman with edits by Dr. J Wiersma & T. Allrich (University of Minnesota) and ‘Estimating Harvest Loss’ by G. Carlson & D. Clay (South Dakota State University).

Grain harvest losses result from shattering of the standing grain, shattering during windrowing (swathing) or direct combining, picking up the swath with the combine, and threshing, separating and cleaning within the combine. Estimates of acceptable losses for small grains such as wheat, barley and oats are placed at 3% of total yield (total yield equals harvested yield plus harvest losses).

It is usually very difficult to reduce total losses below 1 to 2% so the operator must decide on the value of the crop, the cost of combining and the time available for combining or climate conditions. Some harvest loss is unavoidable in order to get harvesting done in the time available with an end goal of cleaned harvested grain.

Estimating Harvest Losses.  Advancements in engineering have greatly improved harvest operations. Combines have various types of monitoring equipment available, including grain loss monitors, to help alert the operator to any potential problems.  A grain loss monitor is a good guide in selecting travel speed for varying conditions such as size of windrow and moisture conditions. A grain loss monitor must be calibrated to provide an acceptable grain loss reading. If the combine is used on different crops, the monitors are not only useful in limiting maximum speeds and losses, but can be used to properly feed the combine for optimum capacity.

However, a grain loss monitor is not a substitute for careful machine adjustments and good old fashioned monitoring, i.e. getting out of the combine to estimate losses. Or even better, when your local retail agronomist comes out with cold beverages, put him/her to work to estimate harvest losses.

A simple and rough estimate of grain loss requires the use of a one-foot square frame. A rough estimate of how much grain is left behind in a harvested field can be done with a few simple steps:

  1. Pick a typical area of the field after the combine has passed.
  2. Place a 1 ft by 1 ft (inside dimension) box on the ground and count the kernels found within the box. To improve accuracy, three counts (one behind the left side of the header, one behind the centre of the combine, and one behind the right side of the combine) are better.
  3. A one (1) bushel per acre loss equates to 20 wheat kernels/ft2, 14 barley kernels/ft2 and 10 oat kernels/ft2. Keep in mind that this is a ‘fudge factor’ but for the purpose of rough field estimation is an adequate estimate. There are more accurate ways to estimate harvest losses which take into consideration the width of windrower cut and combine cylinder.

If losses are on the high end, some investigation is warranted to try and identify the source of loss.  Is the crop shattering prior to the arrival of the combine (to check for losses that occurred prior to the arrival of the combine, i.e. shattering, use the method above in the unharvested areas of the field)? Are there header losses? Or are the losses due to less than perfect threshing/separation of grain within the combine?  Finding the answer may help to adjust the harvest operation and maximize the amount of grain going into the bin!

Good luck with #Harvest16!

Submitted by: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Manitoba Agriculture website: www.manitoba.ca/agriculture
Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter: @MBGovAg
Manitoba Agriculture on YouTube: www.youtube.com/ManitobaAgriculture
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STAGE CEREAL CROPS CORRECTLY FOR A PREHARVEST GLYPHOSATE APPLICATION

Modified from Post Originally Published July 30, 2014

Staging a crop for preharvest glyphosate application for perennial weed control can be difficult when there is variability of crop staging within the targeted field.  As well, kernels in the same spike will reach physiological maturity at different times, with the middle of the head maturing first. To go back to the basics, for wheat you want to apply the preharvest glyphosate when grain moisture of the wheat crop is less than 30%.  In terms of visual assessment, the wheat crop must be in the hard dough stage.  This is when the kernel has become firm and hard and a thumbnail impression remains on the seed (see Figure 1).  Remember….you can’t rely on the color of the field as an indicator.  Walk the field and hand thresh heads to determine kernel staging.

Figure 1:  Kernels at various times during grain filling: a) kernel at watery ripe, b) kernel at late milk, c) kernel at soft dough, d) kernel at hard dough showing loss of green color, and e) kernel ripe for harvest.

Source:  Growth and development guide for spring wheat. 1995.  S.R. Simmons, E.A. Oekle & P.M. Anderson.  Photographer:  Dave Hansen.

 

Another visual indicator for wheat is a change in color of the peduncle, which is the part of the stem located just below the head.  It will have turned very light green or yellow at physiological maturity (Figure 2).

wheat_spikes
Source: Topics Addressing Small Grain Crop Dry-down and Harvest . 2015. Jochum Wiersma, Small Grains Specialist; Doug Holen, Crops Extension Educator and Phyllis Bongard, Educational Development and Communications Specialist

 

So what is special about this 30% moisture content?  At the end of the hard dough stage, the kernel has reached its maximum dry weight and the wheat is therefore physiologically mature, i.e. no more weight is added to the grain.  Therefore, final yield has been determined.

If application of a preharvest glyphosate occurs prior to the 30% moisture content, yield can be reduced, along with quality factors such as test weightIn addition, early application prior to the recommended timing may result in grain with glyphosate levels above maximum residue limits.  This could have implications depending upon target market.

So in timing an application on a variable field, this will be difficult but remember its likely better to apply on the later side than too early.  Also remember that depending on weather conditions, glyphosate can take up to 2 weeks for optimal weed control. However, under hot, dry conditions harvest could commence is as little as 7 days after application.  So keep harvest timing and weather forecasts in mind as well when planning your preharvest application.

Notes: Do not apply to wheat, or any crops, grown for seed.  Not all glyphosate products are registered for preharvest application on all crop species – always refer to individual crop labels for a list of registered uses and crop species. Check with malt barley or milling oat buyers prior to application to confirm acceptance of glyphosate-treated grain.

Following label instructions and keeping in mind pre-harvest intervals are also key component in Cereals Canada’s Keep It Clean initiative. More information is available at http://www.cerealscanada.ca/keep-it-clean/

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

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Historically, what has been seeding progress prior to May 1st?

Some producers have started their 2016 seeding operations, with spring wheat being seeded and from what I’ve heard a few acres of corn as well.  With some seeding done, I’ve been asked the question: “What has been seeding progress prior to May 1st in Manitoba in recent years?”.

Producers who participate in AgriInsurance provides seeding date information to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).  This dataset provides us a historical perspective of when seeding has taken place in the past.

In Table 1, cumulative seeding progress prior to May 1st for six crop types is provided.  A five year (2010-2014) average cumulative seeding progress is noted, along with what was seeded prior to May 1st in 2015. Please note that data is for final insured crop in the ground.

Table 1:  Seeding progress in Manitoba prior to May 1st.

Historical Planting Progress prior to May 1st

Data Source:  Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC)

What the table doesn’t show is the wide range of seeding progress prior to May 1st over the past few years.  If we look at seeding progress for red spring wheat in Manitoba, we’ve seen less than 1% of acres seeded prior to May 1st (2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014) but as many as 65% of acres (2010) planted in April.

Look for future updates to historical seeding progress as we enter May!

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture

Follow Manitoba Agriculture on Twitter (@MBGovAg) to receive updates on seeding progress through the weekly Manitoba Crop Report.
The weekly crop report is also available at Manitoba Crop Report.

 

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Cereal Varieties – 2015 Insured Commercial Acres

The “Cereal Varieties – 2015 Insured Commercial Acres” report is available on the Canadian Grain Commission’s web site. The report covers Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia and shows the number of insured acres of seeded varieties of wheat, durum, barley, oats, rye and triticale (plus other crop types). The report shows total acres of each cereal crop by province. Information for wheat is further broken down by class.

The report is based on information from Manitoba Management Plus Program, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance, Alberta Agricultural Financial Services Corp. and BC Crop Insurance.

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Grain Commission’s report is based on acres insured through provincial crop insurance in the western provinces and does not reflect total acres seeded.
  • Seeded area reported reflects commercial seed production and excludes pedigreed seed and organic production.
  • In the report, classification of varieties are based on the Canadian Grain Commission’s lists of designated varieties.

Associated links

 

For further information, contact the Canadian Grain Commission – Statistics and Business Information. 

Email: [email protected]

 

 

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Don’t Rely Solely on Your Grain Loss Monitor – Estimating Harvest Losses in Cereals

It is harvest time in Manitoba. Since final yields aren’t determined until the crop is in the bin, attention now has to be focused on the harvest operation. Grain loss at harvesting time is a direct loss of income. The more grain saved, the greater the returns. The following information comes from 2 articles: ‘Grain Harvest Losses’ by V. Hofman with edits by Dr. J Wiersma & T. Allrich (University of Minnesota) and ‘Estimating Harvest Loss’ by G. Carlson & D. Clay (South Dakota State University).

Grain harvest losses result from shattering of the standing grain, shattering during windrowing (swathing) or direct combining, picking up the swath with the combine, and threshing, separating and cleaning within the combine. Estimates of acceptable losses for small grains such as wheat, barley and oats are placed at 3% of total yield (total yield equals harvested yield plus harvest losses).

It is usually very difficult to reduce total losses below 1 to 2% so the operator must decide on the value of the crop, the cost of combining and the time available for combining or climate conditions. Some harvest loss is unavoidable in order to get harvesting done in the time available with an end goal of cleaned harvested grain.

Estimating Harvest Losses.  Advancements in engineering have greatly improved harvest operations. Combines have various types of monitoring equipment available, including grain loss monitors, to help alert the operator to any potential problems.  A grain loss monitor is a good guide in selecting travel speed for varying conditions such as size of windrow and moisture conditions. A grain loss monitor must be calibrated to provide an acceptable grain loss reading. If the combine is used on different crops, the monitors are not only useful in limiting maximum speeds and losses, but can be used to properly feed the combine for optimum capacity.

However, a grain loss monitor is not a substitute for careful machine adjustments and good old fashioned monitoring, i.e. getting out of the combine to estimate losses. Or even better, when your local retail agronomist comes out with cold beverages, put him/her to work to estimate harvest losses.

A simple and rough estimate of grain loss requires the use of a one-foot square frame. A rough estimate of how much grain is left behind in a harvested field can be done with a few simple steps:

  1. Pick a typical area of the field after the combine has passed.
  2. Place a 1 ft by 1 ft (inside dimension) box on the ground and count the kernels found within the box. To improve accuracy, three counts (one behind the left side of the header, one behind the centre of the combine, and one behind the right side of the combine) are better.
  3. A one (1) bushel per acre loss equates to 20 wheat kernels/ft2, 14 barley kernels/ft2 and 10 oat kernels/ft2. Keep in mind that this is a ‘fudge factor’ but for the purpose of rough field estimation is an adequate estimate. There are more accurate ways to estimate harvest losses which take into consideration the width of windrower cut and combine cylinder.

If losses are on the high end, some investigation is warranted to try and identify the source of loss.  Is the crop shattering prior to the arrival of the combine (do the above steps before harvest to determine this)? Are there header losses? Or are the losses due to less than perfect threshing/separation of grain within the combine?  Finding the answer may help to adjust the harvest operation and maximize the amount of grain going into the bin!

Good luck with Harvest 2015.

Submitted by: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, MAFRD

 

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Cereal Crops Recovering from Frost Injury

The May 30th frost impacted spring cereal crops across Manitoba. Fortunately, majority of spring wheat, oats and barley were at the tillering stages of development where the growing point is still below ground and therefore protected from the cool air temperatures (the growing point moves above ground at jointing or stem elongation).

However, this doesn’t mean cereal crops escaped without some symptoms of injury.  In MAFRD’s June 3 webinar (available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/UDa3uWMmZzg), I covered some of the basics of frost injury symptoms in cereal crops and what to look for in terms of recovery. (And for those interested in canola and flax, my colleague Anastasia Kubinec of MAFRD covered some excellent material for those crop types in the same webinar).

For cereals, you want to look for new leaf growth (normal green color) from the growing point that should follow within 2 to 3 days after the frost event. It can go upwards of 5 days if growing conditions are cool.  Below is a great photo by Lionel Kaskiw with MAFRD which shows barley impacted by frost recovering.  You’ll also notice the water-soaked appearance of some of the older leaves, a classic symptom of frost injury.

Frost Damaged Barley

Frost-Damaged Barley Recovering; Note New Leaf Growth Emerging from the Growing Point – Photo by Lionel Kaskiw, MAFRD (2015)

Fortunately, the loss of leaf tissue at this early stage should have little impact on yield.  But be cautious when applying herbicides in the coming days.  Generally, you want to wait for at least 48 hours after the frost event, as well as seeing the crop resuming growth.  However, please check with your local chemical representative in terms of when it should be safe to apply herbicides after a frost event as it can be product-specific.

More additional information on frost damage, refer to MAFRD’s Spring Frost Damage Bulletin.

Submitted by:  Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, MAFRD

 

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Thinking about Reseeding Cereals? Read this First.

I have been receiving a few calls on producers considering reseeding poor barley stands, or concerned about their cereal crops in general. So I thought I would take this chance to review some key points producers and agronomists should think about if considering reseeding their cereal acres. A lot of the information is derived from a great article by North Dakota State University staff titled “Replanting or Late Planting Crops” (Publication A-934; Revised). I have included some of that information and added Manitoba-specific data and comments.

Why are some cereal fields impacted? Many producers were able to start seeding their cereal crops early in 2015. However, slow and/or uneven emergence was noted in many fields due to cool soil temperatures, dry soil conditions (in some areas of the province) and below normal temperatures following emergence. The slow growth was further complicated by excessive rainfall, wind, snow and frost over May Long weekend, and then another frost event on May 30. Not only do these conditions bring with it concern for erratic crop emergence and poor plant stand establishment, it can also promote a number of seeding diseases and root rots.

The Main Question to Answer. At the end of the day, producers must try and answer the question “Will which result in greater net return – keeping the original stand or replanting to the same/different crop?”.

The final decision should be backed by sound agronomic and economic information as well as taking into consideration AgriInsurance coverage and contracts. Agronomic information to consider should include: level of injury, crop uniformity and overall plant health of the original stand, alternate crop choices if reseeding, and management practices related to crop growth and development for either the original stand or the replanted crop. Producers and their agronomists should accurately assess all these factors in order to make an informed decision. I realize that is a lot of information to gather. Perhaps it is easy to think of it in a few steps.

Step 1: Evaluate original crop stand and yield potential. The best possible evaluation of the surviving stand is needed because the critical yield comparison ultimately will be between the original stand versus the replanted stand with a later than optimum planting date.  Remember, you need to allow time for crop to recover from injury prior to assessing plant stands!

To accurately evaluate the existing stand, stand counts should be taken at random from several areas of the field. For more information read the article “Doing Plant Stand Counts in Your Cereals”: http://cropchatter.com/doing-plant-counts-in-your-cereals/.  Typically for cereals, minimum stand levels that should be considered acceptable before reseeding is done ranges from 8 to 14 plants per square foot (NDSU). During early growth stages, most cereal crops can sustain some stand loss without experiencing significant yield reduction due to increased tillering. Keep in mind barley and oats typically tiller more than spring wheat.

However, the minimum stands stated is assuming plant stands are relatively uniform in distribution; what can complicate this assessment is the damage in fields can be distributed randomly throughout the field.

In addition to the direct effect of stand reduction, indirect effects of crop injury, such as increased weed competition and increased disease potential, should be considered. Damaged crops usually grow slowly until they have recovered, which provides the potential for greater weed competition.

Step 2: Evaluate yield potential & agronomics of replanted crop options. Crops replanted later in the season almost always will yield less than those planted at an optimum time. Figure 1 shows the yield potential of various crop types as seeding moves into June in Manitoba.

Figure 1: Percent Average Yield from 2005-2013 for Manitoba Crops Planted in Week/Month as Reported to MASC

Picture1

Not only yield potential should be considered however. A short growing season increases risk of damage by fall frost affecting both yield and quality of the replanted crop. Increased risk of high daytime temperatures can also affect crop development. For example, there is increased risk of the crop flowering when daytime temperatures are high which can increase probability of floret abortion.

Delayed seeding may also increase potential of yield loss due to disease and insects. MAFRD articles Crop Choices in a Late Planting Scenario and Mitigating Risks Associated with Delayed Seeding will provide additional information to producers.

Step 3: Determine Reseeding Costs. Comparison of the estimated yield of the original stand with expected yield of the replanted crop minus any costs associated with reseeding must be considered.

The decision to reseed ultimately must be made by comparing the economics of the original plant stand with that of a replanted crop. This can be subjective and each case must be considered individually in terms of time of year, alternate crop choices, previous herbicide use, crop economics, AgriInsurance coverage and contracts, and other related factors.  If a producer has AgriInsurance, it is recommended they contact their MASC agent prior to terminating a field and replanting.

Once again, I’d like to acknowledge information from NDSU’s article “Replanting or Late Planting Crops” (Publication A-934; Revised).

Submitted by: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist

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Historical Seeding in Progress in Manitoba – First Week of May

Producers who participate in AgriInsurance provides seeding date information to Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC).  This dataset provides us a historical perspective of when seeding has taken place in the past.  Seeding date data information is broken down into a week:month format, i.e. 1:05 is Week 1 in the 5th Month (May).  So 2:05 is Week 2 in May, and so on.

Each week is then categorized dependent on the day of the week in which the month starts.  So if Week 1 starts on a Sunday, there will be 7 days of seeding captured in Week 1.  However, if Week 1 starts on Friday (like we have in 2015), there are 9 days captured in Week 1.  Confused yet?  Essentially, each year will have a different number of days captured in each weekly timeframe, varying from 5 days up to 12 days.  However, the data still provides good reference points to seeding progress in Manitoba.

In Table 1, cumulative seeding progress to the end of Week 1 in May for six crop types is provided.  The last five year (2009-2013) average cumulative seeding progress is noted, along with what was seeded in the same timeframe in 2014.   Please note that data is for final insured crop in the ground.

Table 1:  Seeding progress (%) in Manitoba by end of Week 1 in May (1:05).

End of Week 1 May Seeding Progress

Based on the May 11th Manitoba Crop Report, overall seeding progress is estimated at 55% complete.  There isn’t a provincial breakdown provided of seeding progress by crop type, but in looking at each region, seeding of spring cereals is ahead of the 5-year average of 2009-2013, and well ahead of 2014!

Submitted by: Pam de Rocquigny, Provincial Cereal Crops Specialist, MAFRD 

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