Harvest is proceeding quickly in the province, due to the recent hot and dry weather. Five per cent of the crop is now combined and nine per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. The five-year (2013-2017) average for this time of year is three per cent combined and four per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Seventy-one per cent of the fall rye, 24 per cent of the winter wheat, 21 per cent of the field peas, 20 per cent of the lentils, three per cent of the durum and barley and one per cent of the spring wheat and oats are now in the bin. Six per cent of the canola has been swathed or prepared for straight-cutting.
Harvest is most advanced in the southwest, where 10 per cent of the crop is combined. The southeastern region has eight per cent combined and the west-central and east-central regions two per cent. Producers in the north have less than one per cent of the crop in the bin, but many expect to be in the field soon.
The majority of the province did not receive any rainfall last week, although the Nipawin area reported 19 mm of rain, the Spiritwood area 22 mm and the Meadow Lake area 29 mm. Any further rainfall will come too late for many of the crops still in the field, as they are rapidly drying down.
Topsoil moisture conditions have significantly worsened with the hot and dry conditions. Across the province, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 31 per cent adequate, 44 per cent short and 25 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 24 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 38 per cent very short.
Most crop damage this past week was due to lack of moisture, wind and extreme temperatures. Many southern and central areas of the province recorded temperatures well above 35 C for a number of days last week; some areas such as Moose Jaw reported temperatures above 40 C. These high temperatures have caused crops to dry down rapidly, and yield and quality may be affected. There have been reports of stubble and combine fires in drier areas. Producers are busy combining, swathing crops and hauling bales.