Saskatchewan Harvest Inches Forward 




The Saskatchewan harvest continued to take just baby steps this past week, with most producers in the province still not yet underway. 


The latest weekly crop report on Thursday pegged the provincial harvest at 1% complete as of Monday, up from less than 1% a week earlier and slightly behind the five-year average of 2%. Last year, an estimated 7% of the Saskatchewan crop was in the bin, illustrating just how different the growing conditions have been in the province between this year and last. 


An estimated 7% of the lentils were off as of Monday, followed by 4% of the peas and 2% of the barley, the report said. Fall rye and winter wheat were 7% and 6% harvested, respectively. The bulk of the progress to date has been made in the Southwest and West-Central regions. 


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.  


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. Farther 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. 


Regardless, the declining trend in topsoil moisture continued this past week, as rains overall have been quite minor and infrequent during the past number of weeks. Cropland topsoil moisture was rated 3% surplus, 58% adequate, 24% short and 15% very short as of Monday, compared to 4% surplus, 64% adequate, 25% short and 7% very short a week earlier. 


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, the report said. 


Southeast: 

Very few producers have started their harvest operations with only a handful of lentil fields being combined so far. Harvest will be starting for some producers in the region in the next 7-10 days while others are still at least two weeks away from their crops being ready for harvest. Producers with more mature crops have been busy desiccating to dry down their crop and make it easier to process through their combines.  


There was not much rain in the region and this has quickened the pace in which crops are ripening, but producers have noted that more hot days are still needed. 


There was very little rain in the region this week with most areas getting between trace amounts and 10 mm, the Weyburn area, however, received 25 mm. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 10 per cent surplus, 76 per cent adequate, 12 per cent short and two per cent very short.  


The majority of crop damage this week was due to wind, hail and grasshoppers. Strong winds lodged crops across the region and some fields also received hail. This hail caused significant damage in localized areas with some reporters citing 50 per cent loss on their durum. Grasshoppers remain an issue and producers are hopeful that they can begin harvesting soon in order to limit the amount of damage by the hoppers. 


Southwest: 

Farmers have been working hard to get the crop off their fields over the past week and they now have five per cent of their crop harvested. This is slightly ahead of the five-year average (2017-2021) of three per cent for this time of year. Winter cereals and pulse crops such lentils and field peas have been harvested so far while producers wait for their durum, canola and flax fields to get closer to maturity. 


Hot windy weather continued throughout this past week and no rain of any significance was received. This has caused a further decline in the topsoil moisture in the region. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 23 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and 48 per cent very short.  


The majority of crop damage this week was due to heat, drought stress and wind. There are still reports of grasshoppers in the region and producers have done all they can to control them. Now that harvest has begun the grasshoppers have become an issue plugging up combines and producers must spend large amounts of time cleaning their machines. 


East-Central: 

Winter cereal crops are beginning to turn and are estimated to be about two weeks away from harvest, spring seeded crops are estimated to be about 4 weeks away from harvest in some parts of the region. The weather over the past week was great for crop development. Canola is noted to be nearly done flowering and filling seed quite nicely. 


Producers with less mature fields are beginning to worry about early season frosts if their crops do not see a drastic increase in their development. Some producers in the western half of the region have begun to desiccate their pulse crops due to crops in these areas being a little further along from the drier hot conditions. 


There was very little rain this past week which has helped crops begin to ripen a little faster. Producers who still have crops that are flowering would like to see just a little more rain to help those crops fill with seed. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 59 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and 10 per cent very short.  


There was very little crop damage this week besides strong winds lodging some crops and constant pressure from grasshoppers. 


West-Central: 

More producers this past week started their harvest operations, some applied desiccants while others have pulled out their harvesting equipment and machinery and have started to get them ready. Combining of some pulses has begun and producers indicate that this will be general across the region soon. Crop yields are expected to be higher in parts of the region when compared to last year but overall the yield for the region will be average to below average. 


There were some spotty showers in the region this past week. Most showers resulted in only a few millimeters of precipitation, but the Macklin area received 61 mm and the Rosthern and Hague areas received up to 35 mm. This rain will help keep crops from burning off in the heat and will be extremely beneficial to pastures. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 54 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and eight per cent very short.  


The majority of crop damage this week was due to heat, wind and dry conditions. There were also reports of localized hail. Pastures are suffering due to hot, dry conditions and some are becoming incapable of supporting cattle, forcing producers to either move them or supplement with hay bales. 


Northeast: 

Crops are slow to ripen across the region with most producers predicting at least one to two weeks before harvest will begin. Some producers may begin to swath their barley in the coming week but that is highly dependent on the weather. Rainy, windy weather has allowed less mature crops to fill with seed but has stopped more mature crops from fully ripening.  


Producers are hoping that an early season frost or severe hail storm will not occur and damage their crops before they have the chance to begin their harvest operations. 


There were some large rainstorms over the past week with many areas receiving between 20-30 mm over the course of a day. The Nipawin area received 62 mm, the Prince Albert area 53 mm and the Humboldt area 29 mm. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 85 per cent adequate and 13 per cent short.  


Northwest: 

The region received a much-needed rain this past week which many producers hope isn’t too late to help the later seeded crops as they begin to mature and fill with seed. Crops in the region are still a week or two from being harvested and they need some dry hot weather for them to fully mature and dry down. Producers are optimistic about their yields since much of the region received a normal amount of rain compared to last year where they were abnormally dry. 


The rain was widespread across the region this week with most areas receiving 20-35 mm of precipitation. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as six per cent surplus, 87 per cent adequate and seven per cent short.  


The rainy weather has delayed haying operations in the region and some producers have still not finished, the rain has also caused some feed to become mouldy, reducing yield and quality. Overall, hay yields in the region look very good and producers for the most part should not have an issue with winter feed supplies. 


Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

Information contained herein is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed by the parties providing it. Syngenta, DePutter Publishing Ltd. and their information sources assume no responsibility or liability for any action taken as a result of any information or advice contained in these reports, and any action taken is solely at the liability and responsibility of the user.