According to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report 47 per cent of the crop is now combined, up from 39 per cent last week. An early-winter storm slowed down most harvest operations in the province; however, producers were able to make some progress before the storm hit. The five-year (2014-2018) average is 75 per cent combined for this time of year.
Thirty-four per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut. Much of the crop harvested so far is tough and is being put into grain dryers and aeration bins. Farmers will need several weeks of warm and dry weather to get the crop off.
Harvest is most advanced in the southwest region, where 68 per cent of the crop is now combined. The northeast region has 50 per cent combined and the southeast region 46 per cent. The west-central region has 46 per cent combined, the northwest region 34 per cent and the east-central region 33 per cent.
Ninety-four per cent of field peas, 91 per cent of lentils, 68 per cent of barley, 58 per cent of mustard, 57 per cent of durum, 46 per cent of canary seed, 44 per cent of spring wheat, 37 per cent of chickpeas and 24 per cent of canola is now in the bin. An additional 62 per cent of canola and 17 per cent of mustard is swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Most areas of the province received significant precipitation last week. The Admiral area reported 103 mm, while the Moose Jaw area received up to 60 mm. Although the moisture further delays harvest, it helps topsoil moisture conditions.
Across the province, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 31 per cent surplus, 65 per cent adequate and four per cent short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 20 per cent surplus, 72 per cent adequate, seven per cent short and one per cent very short.
The majority of crop damage this past week was due to hail, strong winds, lodging, localized flooding and frost. There continues to be many reports of crops sprouting, bleaching and staining and downgrading is expected. Geese and wildlife are also feeding on swathed crops and causing damage.
Farmers are busy drying grain and waiting for the weather to improve so they can continue with harvest operations.