Harvest operations are underway in the province. Thirty-five per cent of the winter wheat, 25 per cent of the fall rye, four per cent of the peas and one per cent of the lentils are combined, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Haying operations continue with 79 per cent of the hay crop now baled or put into silage and 10 per cent cut and ready for baling. Continuous rain has caused haying and harvest delays.
Hay quality is rated as 59 per cent good, 36 per cent fair and five per cent poor. Hay is slow to dry in the swath due to the high humidity and rain. Provincial hay yields are reported as 1.7 tons per acre for alfalfa and alfalfa/bromegrass, 1.4 tons per acre for other tame and wild hay, and 2.4 tons per acre for greenfeed.
Harvest in the southeastern region is the furthest advanced. Eighty-two per cent of the winter wheat, 16 per cent of the peas and two per cent of the lentils have been combined in the region, and six per cent of the canola has been swathed. In comparison, 11 per cent of the winter wheat and four per cent of the peas have been combined in the southwest. Canola is being swathed and pulses are being desiccated in various areas of the province.
It was another extremely wet week for the majority of the province, with many areas receiving heavy downpours that caused crop damage due to lodging and flooding. The Rhein area received 120 mm of rain, Langham 112 mm, Rosetown 99 mm, Tisdale 96 mm, Kyle 94 mm, Jedburgh 92 mm, Leader 84 mm, Moose Jaw 79 mm, Cando 63 mm, Kinistino 60 mm and Glaslyn 46 mm. Having received 537 mm of rain since April 1, the Kyle area holds the provincial record for cumulative rainfall. The driest part of the province is the Speers area, which has received only 108 mm of rain since April 1. A few areas in the far southeast and northwest received little rainfall during the past week.
Due to the excess moisture, field access will be an issue for producers in some areas, and wet fields may result in harvest equipment getting stuck. Lentils and peas in many areas of the province have suffered from season-long excess moisture. Diseases and hail have also caused crop damage.
Provincially, cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 26 per cent surplus, 70 per cent adequate and four per cent short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 12 per cent surplus, 80 per cent adequate and eight per cent short.
Farmers are busy haying, desiccating and harvesting when weather allows.