A stretch of warm and relatively dry weather allowed most producers to return to the field and resume harvest operations last week, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report. Thirty-nine per cent of the crop is now in the bin, up from 23 per cent last week but remaining well behind the five-year (2014-2018) average of 62 per cent for this time of year. Crops have been slow to mature and dry down due to frequent showers. Much of the crop harvested so far is tough and is being put into grain dryers and aeration bins.
Harvest is most advanced in the southwest region, where 58 per cent of the crop is now combined. The west-central region has 46 per cent combined and the southeast region 40 per cent. The northeast region has 31 per cent combined, the northwest region 23 per cent and the east-central region 22 per cent.
Ninety-four per cent of the fall rye, 93 per cent of the winter wheat, 89 per cent of the field peas, 88 per cent of the lentils, 59 per cent of the barley, 48 per cent of the durum, 36 per cent of the mustard, 31 per cent of the spring wheat and 17 per cent of the canola is now in the bin. An additional 61 per cent of the canola and 19 per cent of the mustard is swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Some eastern areas of the province received heavy rainfall last week, which will further delay harvest. While the majority of the province received small amounts of rainfall, the Lipton and Ituna areas both received 94 mm.
Across the province, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 15 per cent surplus, 79 per cent adequate and six per cent short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as six per cent surplus, 81 per cent adequate, 12 per cent short and one per cent very short.
The majority of crop damage this past week was due to hail, strong winds, lodging and localized flooding. There continue to be many reports of crops sprouting, bleaching and staining, and downgrading is expected at the elevator. Geese and wildlife are also feeding on swathed crops and causing damage.
Pasture conditions are rated as 10 per cent excellent, 47 per cent good, 30 per cent fair, 12 per cent poor and one per cent very poor.
Farmers are busy hauling bales and continuing with harvest operations as time and weather permit.