Dry conditions across Manitoba are causing crops to advance too quickly — moisture stress is evident in corn, soybean and sunflower crops, according to the weekly report from Manitoba Agriculture.
These drought-like conditions are being punctuated by violent thunderstorms bringing torrential rain and large hail that result in the destruction of acres of crops in a matter of minutes.
Over the weekend the Swan River area received hail and wind damage, with reports of fields being stripped of their produce.
The Birch River area received a hail storm Sunday night; total damage is still unknown.
Soybean harvest in August? Earliest seeded soybeans rated 5-50% brown pod in Carman today. Heat and drought will push harvest weeks ahead in parts of Manitoba. #westcdnag #harvest18 pic.twitter.com/CKEP5dyDyC
— Kristen MacMillan (@kristenpodolsky) August 14, 2018
Livestock producers continue to cut hay with well-below average yields — feed shortages come winter and fall look likely.
Even if a prolonged spell of decent rainfall occurs, it won’t help increase yields, as most of the potential for hay is made at the start of the growing season.
The government is encouraging producers to use the Manitoba Hay Listings page on the Manitoba Agriculture website to find additional feed sources.
Livestock producers are also facing water shortages. Dugouts in pastures are being reported as 40% full with some producers having to supply water to pastures.