As of August 18, just over one per cent of the 2014 provincial crop has been combined, while four per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report.
The five-year average (2009-2013) for this time of year is two per cent combined and five per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut. Harvest operations are the furthest ahead in the southwestern region where four per cent of the crop has been combined. At this time, average crop yields are being reported in most areas.
Provincially, 19 per cent of fall rye, nine per cent of field peas, eight per cent of winter wheat and three per cent of lentils are combined. Seven per cent of canola and four per cent of mustard are swathed. Recent warm weather has encouraged crop development; however, frequent rain showers and heavy morning dew are delaying crop maturation and harvest operations for many producers.
Rainfall this past week ranged from trace amounts to several inches in some southeastern and west-central areas. Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as seven per cent surplus, 82 per cent adequate, 10 per cent short and one per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as four per cent surplus, 79 per cent adequate, 16 per cent short and one per cent very short.
Heavy rain, strong winds and hail caused the majority of crop damage this week. Grasshoppers, wheat midge, fusarium head blight and sclerotinia are also causing some damage.
Farmers are busy desiccating, swathing, combining and finishing up haying operations.