With no meaningful rain in the last couple of weeks and lack of subsoil moisture reserves the crops are starting to take a step backwards. Our south land which has had less moisture is showing the greatest stress, with some areas already browning off. We were fortunate to pick up another 6-8mm over the last week on our central and north land, which comprise 75% of our overall land – and that has helped to hold the conditions up to now.
This next week will be the greatest stress on the crops to date. Forecasted highs are in the low to mid 30’s each day through the weekend. No rain is forecast for the next 7-10 days, even after that it is questionable whether we will see any meaningful precipitation. There is a major high pressure ridge that is centered over Montana, Idaho and the Dakota’s, and that is blocking any moisture from reaching up into our region. As hot as we are forecast to be, regions of B.C. and Alberta are forecast to reach low to mid 40’s. They have had decent moisture up until now, but even with good moisture reserves it is going to be a very stressful environment for plants.
It is quite the contrast to areas in the Midwest USA – where they have had upwards of 10 inches of rain in the past week, with more rain in the forecast. This same high pressure ridge that is keeping us dry, is blocking the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico from going north, forcing it over Iowa, Illinois and other southern states. You can see by the graphics on the image below.
We are in an environment where we likely will not be spraying much fungicide this season. With dry conditions there has been very little disease, and as we enter into the window of fungicide application, with no disease present, even if it were to turn moist, no disease on lower leaves means it would take a while for the disease to cycle and form before it would become a problem.