Harvest ahead of five-year average, topsoil moisture continues to deteriorate

Saskatchewan Crop Report for the week ending August 20

Another week of warm and dry weather has allowed producers to make great strides in the field, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Sixteen per cent of the 2018 crop is now in the bin, up from five per cent last week and significantly ahead of the five-year (2013-2017) average of seven per cent for this time of year. Twenty-two per cent of the crop is now swathed or ready to straight-cut. Reported yields vary greatly, depending on moisture received in the past few months.

Seventy-five per cent of the fall rye, 57 per cent of the winter wheat, 55 per cent of the field peas and lentils, 24 per cent of the mustard, 16 per cent of the barley, 14 per cent of the durum, five per cent of the spring wheat and soybeans, and three per cent of the canola are now in the bin. An additional 29 per cent of the canola and 14 per cent of the mustard are swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Harvest is most advanced in the southwest, where 31 per cent of the crop is now combined. The southeastern region has 24 per cent combined, the west-central region 13 per cent and the east-central region seven per cent. The northeast now has four per cent combined, while the northwest has one per cent. Many producers in the north expect to be in the field within the next week.

Little to no rainfall was received across the province, although the Radville area reported 8 mm. Topsoil moisture conditions have significantly worsened this week in the face of the warm and dry weather. Across the province, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 25 per cent adequate, 44 per cent short and 31 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 17 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and 48 per cent very short. Many southern and central areas have not received significant rainfall in close to two months and crops continue to rapidly dry down.

The majority of crop damage this past week was due to lack of moisture and warm temperatures. As well, strong winds have blown swaths around. Some areas in the province received frost, although damage is expected to be minimal as crops were advanced enough. Pastures and hay crops continue to decline due to lack of moisture. Pasture conditions are currently rated as 17 per cent good, 28 per cent fair, 29 per cent poor and 26 per cent very poor. There continue to be reports of stubble and grass fires and concerns remain of feed shortages in some drier areas. Producers are busy combining, swathing crops, desiccating crops and hauling bales.

Visit the Saskatchewan Agriculture website for Crop District Maps, a Weekly Rainfall summary, Hay and Pasture Moisture conditions, and more (PDF).

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