As of August 4, 2014 Saskatchewan’s livestock producers now have 72 per cent of the hay crop baled or put into silage, with an additional 13 per cent ready for baling, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.
Rain showers and high humidity are keeping swathes from drying properly and have decreased hay quality in some areas. At this time, eight per cent of the hay crop is rated as excellent in quality, 77 per cent good, 14 per cent fair and one per cent poor.
Rainfall in the province ranged from nil to several inches. While rain was welcomed by many producers to help alleviate dry conditions, additional rain will be needed to help later-seeded crops mature and fill. Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as five per cent surplus, 84 per cent adequate, 10 per cent short and one per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 79 per cent adequate, 16 per cent short and two per cent very short.
Pasture conditions are rated as 15 per cent excellent, 68 per cent good, 15 per cent fair and two per cent poor. Livestock producers have adequate water supplies for their animals.
There are reports of crops starting to turn. Desiccation of peas and lentils has just started in some southwestern and west-central areas. Some crops that were damaged by recent hail are being swathed for feed. Strong winds, heavy rain and damaging hail have caused the majority of crop damage this week. Grasshoppers and leaf spot diseases have also caused some damage.
Farmers are busy haying, hauling grain and getting ready for harvest.