As of August 11, 2014 harvest operations are just beginning in some areas of the province, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report. Pulses are being desiccated and canola swathed. There has also been some combining of pulses and winter cereals in southern regions. Many crops are starting to turn and general harvest will begin in the coming weeks.
Warm weather this past week has helped crop development; however, additional warm weather will be needed going into harvest as crops are 10 days to two weeks behind normal in many areas.
In some areas, swathed hay is drying too slowly, and livestock producers are facing other baling challenges. Haying progress varies, depending on rain showers. The estimated average dry land hay yields are reported as 1.5 tons per acre (alfalfa), 1.4 tons per acre (alfalfa/brome hay), 1.1 tons per acre (other tame hay), one ton per acre (wild hay) and two tons per acre (greenfeed). On irrigated land, the estimated average hay yields are 2.4 tons per acre (alfalfa), 2.2 tons per acre (alfalfa/brome hay), four tons per acre (other tame hay), 1.8 tons per acre (wild hay) and 2.6 tons per acre (greenfeed).
Rainfall this past week ranged from trace amounts to several inches in some southern and central regions. Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as five per cent surplus, 85 per cent adequate, nine per cent short and one per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as four per cent surplus, 80 per cent adequate, 15 per cent short and one per cent very short.
Storms moved through the province last week, damaging some crops with heavy rain, strong winds and large hail. Grasshoppers and lygus bugs are also causing some damage, as are leaf spot diseases and fusarium head blight.
Farmers are busy finishing haying, desiccating pulses and getting ready for harvest.
Follow the 2014 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.