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Livestock producers continue with haying operations throughout the province, although frequent rain and high humidity have slowed progress. Twenty-two per cent of the hay crop has been cut and 28 per cent is baled or put into silage. The five year average (2011-2015) for hay progress is 23 per cent cut and 40 per cent baled or put into silage. Crops across the province are developing normally, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Fifty-three per cent of the fall cereals, 69 per cent of the oilseeds, 67 per cent of the spring cereals and 65 per cent of the pulses are at their normal developmental stages for this time of year.
Average dryland hay yields for the province are 1.6 tons per acre for alfalfa; 1.5 tons per acre for alfalfa/bromegrass; 1.3 tons per acre for other tame hay and 2.2 tons per acre for greenfeed. Dryland hay yields are slightly above the five- and 10-year averages of 1.4 tons per acre overall. Irrigated hay is estimated at 2.2 tons per acre for alfalfa and 2.3 tons per acre for alfalfa/bromegrass. Hay quality is rated as nine per cent excellent, 62 per cent good, 26 per cent fair and three per cent poor. Despite the rain and humidity slowing down cutting and baling, the standing hay crop remains in good condition due to favourable growing conditions.
Significant amounts of rain fell on much of the province throughout the week. Precipitation varies from trace amounts to 98 mm. Heavy rain over the past couple of weeks has caused crops to lodge, and they remain under flooding stress in some areas. Lentils and peas in many areas of the province are suffering from too much moisture. Diseases and hail have also caused crop damage.
Provincially, cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 22 per cent surplus, 76 per cent adequate and two per cent short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 11 per cent surplus, 86 per cent adequate and three per cent short.
Farmers are busy with haying operations and controlling diseases and insects as necessary.