Scattered showers last week brought much-needed rain to many areas of the province, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Rainfall last week ranged from trace amounts to 53 mm in the Arborfield area. Additional rainfall in the past few days has alleviated concerns of dry conditions in some areas, although more will be needed in the coming weeks to help crops develop.
The majority of crops are in good condition and at their normal stages of development for this time of year. Twenty per cent of the spring cereals are in the heading stage, while 45 per cent of the canola and mustard and 44 per cent of the pulse crops are flowering.
Overall, topsoil moisture conditions have slightly worsened in the past week, due to the warmer temperatures and lack of moisture. Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as four per cent surplus, 62 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and five per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 52 per cent adequate, 32 per cent short and 13 per cent very short. Topsoil moisture remains in very short supply in many southwestern areas.
Haying continues, although there have been delays due to rain and high humidity. Livestock producers now have 14 per cent of the crop cut and 10 per cent baled or put into silage. Hay quality is rated as seven per cent excellent, 50 per cent good, 37 per cent fair and six per cent poor.
Hay yields so far are reported to be much lower than average and many pastures are expected to have significantly reduced carrying capacity heading into the summer. Pasture conditions are rated as six per cent excellent, 44 per cent good, 34 per cent fair, 13 per cent poor and three per cent very poor.
Producers are wrapping up in-crop herbicide applications in most areas and are applying fungicides when warranted. The majority of crop damage this past week was due to localized flooding, lack of moisture, strong winds and hail. Some crops are suffering from diseases such as root rot due to excess moisture.
Farmers are busy haying and scouting for insects and disease.