Relatively warm, dry conditions this week allowed farmers to make good harvest progress. Farmers with crop still in the field are hoping for these conditions to continue until harvest is complete, while farmers who have completed harvest are hoping for rain to rejuvenate topsoil and subsoil moisture before winter.
Eighty-nine per cent of the crop is currently in the bin, up from 74 per cent last week, and well ahead of the five-year (2016-2020) average of 63 per cent for this time of year. An additional seven per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut, this is mostly canola and flax waiting to be harvested.
Harvest is most advanced in the southwest region, where 94 per cent of the crop is now combined. The southeast region has 92 per cent combined and the west-central 89 per cent. The east-central region has 84 per cent combined, the northeast 90 per cent and the northwest 77 per cent.
Ninety-nine per cent of lentils, 99 per cent of field peas, 97 per cent of durum, 89 per cent of barley, 94 per cent of spring wheat, 93 per cent of chickpeas, 80 per cent of oats, 80 per cent of canola and 64 per cent of flax has now been combined. An additional 15 per cent of canola is swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Many areas of the province did not receive rainfall this past week; the most rainfall received was 10 mm in the Macklin area. Other parts of the province received small amounts of rain ranging between 1 mm to 5 mm, which will do very little to maintain or replenish the topsoil moisture.
Provincial cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 25 per cent adequate, 46 per cent short and 29 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 16 per cent adequate, 40 per cent short and 44 per cent very short. These conditions have declined across the province due to strong winds and a lack of rain.
The majority of crop damage this week was due to wind, frost, waterfowl, wildlife and lack of moisture. We would like to remind producers that Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) provides compensation for damage caused by wildlife through the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program; you do not need to be an existing Crop Insurance customer to file a claim. If you do experience wildlife damage, please report it immediately by visiting the SCIC website or calling 1-888-935-0000.
Pasture conditions are rated as seven per cent good, 29 per cent fair, 41 per cent poor and 23 per cent very poor. Conditions vary across the province, with the southeast and east central regions in fair-to-good condition due to recent rainfall that helped rejuvenate pasture grass.
Farmers are busy wrapping up harvest, hauling bales, moving cattle, hauling water and post-harvest field activities such as herbicide application. Several reports indicate that farmers are holding off planting winter cereals due to low topsoil moisture.
With harvest underway in Saskatchewan, we want to remind producers to exercise caution and remain safe.
A complete, printable version of the Crop Report is available online at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/crop-report.
Follow the 2021 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.
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