Wet and cool weather continues to slow harvest operations in much of the province, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Seventy-three per cent of the crop is now in the bin, slightly behind the five-year (2013-2017) average of 78 per cent for this time of year. Twenty per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut. Frequent snow and rain have delayed progress in many areas, and fields remain wet. Warm, dry and windy days are needed soon to allow producers to return to the field.
Harvest is most advanced in the southwestern region, where 90 per cent of the crop is now combined. The southeastern region has 89 per cent combined, the west-central region 62 per cent and the east-central region 61 per cent. The northeastern region has 45 per cent combined, while the northwestern region has 33 per cent combined.
Eighty-four per cent of the durum, 78 per cent of the barley, 76 per cent of the mustard, 58 per cent of the spring wheat, 52 per cent of the canola, 33 per cent of the flax and 29 per cent of the soybeans have now been combined. Many crops are coming off tough and are being placed into aeration bins and dryers.
Topsoil moisture conditions continue to improve with the recent rain and snow. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 64 per cent adequate, 27 per cent short and six per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 51 per cent adequate, 34 per cent short and 14 per cent very short.
Yield estimates at this time remain about average overall, although they vary greatly across the province depending on the moisture received throughout the season. Spring wheat grades at this time are being reported as 54 per cent 1 CW, 25 per cent 2 CW, 17 per cent 3 CW and four per cent CW Feed.
The majority of crop damage this past week was due to lodging from snow and rain. Crop quality has been affected by the recent moisture and downgrading is expected at the elevator.