There were widespread concerns last week about the impact of weekend rains, particularly on the quality of the spring wheat crop. Harvest operations have stalled in most areas, but desiccation is taking place in others, and combining will resume in the days ahead. Scattered showers are forecast for the upcoming week, but amounts don't appear significant. Temperatures are seasonal, which is cooler than earlier in the month when the heat helped advance the crop.
We expect quality and yields to remain sensitive to harvest weather conditions until mid-September, for cereal and pulse crops. Canola and flax aren't being negatively impacted by the weather. Canola yield potential and (very) early harvest results are coming in slightly above earlier expectations. Sunflowers and soybeans have benefited the most from last week's rain as they had been getting set back due to dryness.
The maturity of the cereals ranges from ready to go, to a month away, meaning there remains a risk of frost and sprout damage in the weeks ahead. Durum that was mature and received last week's heavy rains will be downgraded to some degree, but this was only reported in pockets along the U.S. border. Central/western Saskatchewan durum remains in great shape.
Disease concerns in spring wheat are mounting. Fusarium is going to be a widespread issue in 2014, and there has been a definite rise in the number of spring wheat fields now infested, even the ones that were sprayed. Lodging is reported in some oats, but only in small pockets that received multiple inches of rain at once last weekend. Early results on barley in southern Alberta are disappointing in terms of yield and test weight.
Pea and lentil quality concerns have started to arise due to the recent rains, but again the amounts and the damage were not widespread. Where the fields have lodged, they are sitting in standing water in some cases but where harvest is advancing, yields are coming in at the top end of the historic range. It will take another week before a broader assessment will be possible. Green peas and lentils are at risk, while yellow peas and red lentils tend to better withstand adverse harvest conditions.