Livestock producers continue to make good haying progress as 39 per cent of the hay crop is now baled or put into silage. An additional 27 per cent is cut and ready for baling according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Hay quality is currently rated as three per cent excellent, 52 per cent good, 34 per cent fair and 11 per cent poor. Hay yields have been well below normal for many producers this year and will be in short supply in several areas. Most producers have indicated that there will not be a second cut of hay.
Rainfall was highly varied across the province this past week, though the moisture will help with filling pods and heads in the later crops. Rainfall ranged from nil to 57 mm in the Turtleford area. Provincially, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as two per cent surplus, 76 per cent adequate, 21 per cent short and one per cent very short. Topsoil moisture on hay land and pasture is rated as one per cent surplus, 66 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and four per cent very short.
Crop conditions across the province are also varied, with the majority of crops being in fair-to-good condition. Producers have indicated that some crops are in excellent condition and some remain in poor condition. Some crops are one-to-two weeks behind in development and this may be of concern depending on weather at harvest time and when the first fall frost occurs. Some early-seeded and winter cereals crops are beginning to ripen, and desiccating pulse crops and harvest operations will be starting in the coming weeks across the province.
The majority of crop damage this week was from strong winds, hail, localized flooding, insects such as grasshoppers and aphids and a lack of moisture. There are reports of ascochyta blight causing significant damage in chickpea crops in the south.
Producers continue with haying operations, scouting for pests and are getting ready for harvest.