Crops in northwestern Sask. faring relatively well

A canola field just north of Livelong, Sask. Recent heat in northwestern Saskatchewan has helped spur crop development. (Lisa Guenther photo)

While crops in southeast and east-central Saskatchewan struggle against surplus moisture, fields in the province’s northwest generally look good.

“As long as nothing silly happens between now and harvest we should be good,” said Dave Shepherd, manager of AgriTeam Services at Glaslyn, 67 km north of North Battleford.

Errin Tollefson, agronomist with Cavalier Agrow at Medstead, about 25 km southeast of Glaslyn, said crops in her area are generally looking good as well.

Shepherd said Glaslyn-area crops are a little behind the norm, and trailing crops in the Turtleford area, about 45 km west.

Tollefson said recent heat has moved crop development forward. Barley was looking a little drowned out, she added. “But now that we’ve had some hot weather, it’s turning around in a heck of a hurry.”

Recent rain levels in the northwest range from trace to 35 mm around Neilburg. Shepherd noted some areas around Glaslyn “could use a decent rain” over the next couple of weeks. Tollefson said the Medstead area was set for moisture right now.

The latest Saskatchewan Agriculture crop report notes localized flooding and disease have caused most crop damage in the northwest. And both Tollefson and Shepherd noted cereal leaf disease and root rot in peas. Shepherd added it’s normal to see some crop disease each year. [Related story]

Tollefson said pea fields with longer rotations generally look good. “It seems to be the tighter pea rotation fields and the more water-logged fields that are struggling,” she said.

Scout for insects

So far there haven’t been major insect problems in the area, said Shepherd. But farmers should be scouting in the next couple weeks.

Bertha armyworm and diamondback moths topped Shepherd and Tollefson’s scouting lists. Tollefson said trap counts have been low for both pests, but she still recommended scouting.

Whether wheat midge will be a problem remains to be seen, but “once wheat starts flowering you’ve got to be scouting for that,” said Shepherd.

Farmers should also keep their eyes peeled for grasshoppers, as some Medstead-area fields housed them last year, said Tollefson.

“I haven’t seen many yet this year and hopefully the moisture will keep them suppressed,” she added.

— Lisa Guenther is a field editor for Grainews at Livelong, Sask. Follow her at @LtoG on Twitter.

About the author

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Field Editor

Lisa Guenther

Lisa Guenther is field editor for Grainews based at Livelong, Sask. You can follow her on Twitter @LtoG.

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