Harvest well ahead of five-year average

Prolonged lack of moisture and warm temperatures have caused crops to ripen fast

Leaves are starting to turn colours as fall approaches and frost warnings have been
issued a few times this past week. Sunny skies and warm weather will keep harvest on schedule for the next few weeks.

Crossroads Staff

Farmers in the west central and southwestern parts of the province are making progress with harvest, and both areas are well ahead of their five-year averages.

According to the latest crop report from Saskatchewan Agriculture, 23 per cent of the crop is in the bin in the west central region, and that is well ahead of the five-year average of eight per cent for this time of year. Kindersley, Eston, Major, Rosetown, Kerrobert, Macklin, Wilkie, Biggar and Outlook are in the west central region.

In the southwestern region, the harvest is moving along quickly with 46 per cent of the crop in the bin. Producers in southwestern Saskatchewan are even further ahead of the five-year average of 24 per cent completion for this time of year. Elrose, Kyle and Leader are in the southwestern region.

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The ministry of agriculture releases a crop report each Thursday during the harvest and the crop report featured herein covers the period of Aug. 21 to 27. An additional 30 per cent of crops were swathed or ready to cut by Aug. 27 in the west central region.

The most rainfall reported in the west central region over the period of the report was 15 mm in Conquest. A prolonged lack of moisture and warm temperatures have caused crops to ripen fast, and several pastures and hay fields were in need of rain to help them recover from a dry season.

Topsoil moisture conditions in the region continued to deteriorate and, for cropland, it is rated as 13 per cent adequate, 60 per cent short and 27 per cent very short. Pasture and hay land topsoil is nine per cent adequate, 59 per cent short and 32 per cent very short.

The reported yields from the region vary greatly and the yields depend on how much moisture a field received throughout the season. Overall, the yields are ranging from average to well below average for west central growers.

A lack of moisture and wind contributed to crop damage for crop districts in the west central region. The risk of fire and feed shortages for livestock producers are still concerns in the region. Producers are busy combining and swathing as conditions will allow.

In the southwestern region, an additional 16 per cent of crops were swathed or ready to be cut by Aug. 27 and strong winds in the region have also contributed to the crop damage to go along with damage caused by a lack of moisture.

A majority of the region received some light rain during the week, but the most rain was received in the southern part of the region with Ponteix receiving 29 mm of rainfall in total. Pastures and hay land were still in need of significant moisture.

Topsoil moisture conditions have improved slightly and on cropland, it is rated as 11 per cent adequate, 45 per cent short and 44 per cent very short. The pasture and hay land topsoil moisture is 11 per cent adequate, 33 per cent short and 56 per cent very short across the region.

The reported yields for the southwestern region very greatly depending on moisture levels in the fields from throughout the growing season. The yields have ranged from average to well below average, but harvest reporters have indicated that yields are a lot better than expected for crops including pulse crops.

Similar to other regions, the risk of fire and feed shortages for livestock producers are the concerns resulting from a lack of moisture this season. The ministry’s latest crop report was released yesterday after the Crossroads editorial deadline.

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