Crops continue to develop quickly in the province, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Many pulse and winter cereal fields in drier areas are rapidly drying down and producers have begun desiccation in some areas. Some producers expect harvest to get underway in the next few weeks. The majority of crops remain in fair to excellent condition, depending on moisture received over the past few weeks.
Some areas received rainfall last week that will replenish the topsoil moisture and help crops fill. Rainfall in the province ranged from nothing to 71 mm in the Craik area. Many southern and central areas remain very dry, and are in need of significant rain to help later-seeded crops fill heads and pods.
Topsoil moisture conditions remain relatively unchanged from last week. Provincial topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as two per cent surplus, 51 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and 12 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 44 per cent adequate, 36 per cent short and 19 per cent very short.
Livestock producers are continuing to hay, and 63 per cent of the hay crop has now been baled or put into silage. An additional 19 per cent is cut and ready for baling. Hay quality at this time is rated as four per cent excellent, 65 per cent good, 25 per cent fair and six per cent poor. Hay yields are significantly lower than normal for many producers and hay will be in short supply this year in some areas. Most producers have indicated that there will not be a second cut of hay this year.
The majority of crop damage this past week is attributed to hot temperatures, strong winds, hail, localized flooding and lack of rain. There have been some reports of grasshoppers in some areas as well as diseases such as root rot and leaf spots. Producers continue to scout for pests and prepare equipment for harvest.