Crops across the province are advancing nicely, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Eighty-one per cent of the fall cereals, 77 per cent of the spring cereals, 75 per cent of the oilseeds and 79 per cent of the pulse crops are at their normal stages of development for this time of year. The condition of the majority of crops ranges from fair to excellent.
A week of wild weather has brought much-needed moisture to many areas of the province; however, strong winds and hail storms have caused severe damage to fields. Rainfall ranged from trace amounts to 72 mm in the Rhein area. The Whitewood area reported 41 mm of rain, the Mossbank area 38 mm, the Harris area 52 mm, the Nipawin area 64 mm and the Frenchman Butte area 31 mm. Some areas in the southwestern and west-central areas are still in need of significant rain to help crops develop and fill.
Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as three per cent surplus, 59 per cent adequate, 32 per cent short and six per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 52 per cent adequate, 32 per cent short and 14 per cent very short.
Livestock producers are busy haying, although there have been frequent delays due to rain and high humidity. Twenty-two per cent of the hay crop has been cut and 26 per cent baled or put into silage. Hay quality at this time is rated as eight per cent excellent, 62 per cent good, 27 per cent fair and two per cent poor. Many swaths are significantly smaller than normal and pasture growth has been limited in some areas.
Producers have been applying fungicides for diseases such as sclerotinia in canola and fusarium head blight in cereals. High temperatures and lack of rain continue to damage crops in many areas of the province. Other sources of crop damage this week include localized flooding, strong winds and hail. Leaf spot diseases and root rot have also caused some damage. With the recent heat, many flowering crops, such as canola, have been damaged by heat blasting.