The past week saw very sporadic weather systems move through Saskatchewan with some regions having hot dry days while others experienced cool rainy days that have further delayed crop development. Producers in the latter areas would like to see some hot dry weather to help crops mature and allow for harvest to begin.
Most of the province has not started harvest operations; overall progress has reached one per cent as producers in the southwest and west central regions get their harvesting operations in full swing. This is slightly behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of two per cent. At this time in 2021, the provincial harvest progress was seven per cent, illustrating just how different the growing conditions have been in the province between this year and last.
Most of the southern half of the province did not get much rain over the past week, with most rainfall reports being between trace amounts and 10 mm; the Weyburn area, however, received 25 mm. Further north, the Rosthern and Hague areas received 35 mm, while in the west, Macklin area producers received up to 61 mm over the course of an evening. Prince Albert also received some localized and very heavy rainfall, with some producers reporting 71 mm over two days. The rain will be beneficial to pasture land and flowering crops, but producers would like to see warmer weather in the forecast to speed up crop development.
The declining trend in topsoil moisture continues as rains overall have been quite minor and infrequent during the past few weeks. Cropland topsoil moisture is currently rated as three per cent surplus, 58 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and 15 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 56 per cent adequate, 22 per cent short and 20 per cent very short.
Many livestock producers have struggled with their haying operations this summer due to rainy weather either delaying cutting and baling or, in some cases, strong winds blowing away swathed hay. Many producers are still finishing up their operations while others have finally completed haying; hay yields appear to be average or above average in the east and north regions and below average in the southwest and west central regions. Estimated average dryland hay yields for the province are 1.52 tons per acre for alfalfa, 1.5 tons per acre for alfalfa/bromegrass, 1.20 tons per acre for other tame hay, 1.0 tons per acre for wild hay and 2.2 tons per acre for greenfeed. Estimated average irrigated hay yields are 2.5 tons per acre for alfalfa, 1.74 tons per acre for alfalfa/bromegrass and 2.8 tons per acre for greenfeed.
The majority of crop damage this week was due to wind, heavy rains, hail, drought stress, heat, wildlife and grasshoppers. Some parts of the northwest reported a light ground frost over the past week- no crop damage was reported but producers are conscious of what an early season frost would do to their crop.
Farmers are busy wrapping up haying, getting ready for harvest, desiccating and swathing crops and combining in some areas.
A complete, printable version of the Crop Report is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/crop-report.
ed significantly across the province last week with some areas getting nothing and others experiencing large, localized storms that resulted in flooding and crop damage. The Unity area received 53 mm, the Briercrest area 49 mm, the Avonlea area 40 mm, the Mayfair area 37 mm, the Lake Lenore area 24 mm, the Bulyea area 17 mm and the Swift Current area 9 mm.
Even with the rainfall received this past week, topsoil moisture across the province continues to decline slightly. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as four per cent surplus, 64 per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and seven per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 65 per cent adequate, 20 per cent short and 13 per cent very short.
After receiving much more rain than last year, pastures in some areas of the province have recovered from the 2021 drought and pasture condition ratings have improved tremendously. Pasture conditions are rated as 16 per cent excellent, 41 per cent good, 25 per cent fair, 12 per cent poor and 6 per cent very poor. Many pastures in the west still had cattle pulled off due to a lack of vegetation or dried up water sources.
The majority of crop damage this week was due to minor flooding, drought, disease, wind, grasshoppers and hail. Several storms crossed the province over the last week leaving behind some substantial crop damage. Some crops were laid down and lodged by strong winds and heavy rain while others were destroyed by hail. Hailstorms damaged crops from Marengo all the way to east of Lake Diefenbaker; buildings, machinery and vehicles were also damaged.
A complete, printable version of the Crop Report is available online at www.saskatchewan.ca/crop-report.