Crop stress mounts in Saskatchewan – report

Most crops throughout Saskatchewan are at the normal stage of development but heat and dry weather are creating stress, according to the latest weekly report from Saskatchewan Agriculture.

“Many areas in the province remain very dry and crop conditions continue to decline due to hot temperatures and lack of rain,” the report said.

“Topsoil moisture is quickly deteriorating and rain is needed for crops to fill and for topsoil to be replenished. Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as three percent surplus, 32 percent adequate, 43 percent short and 22 percent very short.”

As for spring cereals, 62 percent is at average stage of development, 29 percent is behind and nine percent is ahead

Oilseeds crops are 61 percent at normal development, 32 percent behind and seven percent ahead.

In pulses, 70 percent are normal, 16 percent area behind and 14 percent area ahead.

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About 20 percent of the hay crop has been cut, with 59 percent baled or put into silage. Hay quality is rated 13 percent excellent, 54 percent good, 26 percent fair and seven percent poor, the report said.

Pastures are declining due to lack of rain.

In the dry southwest, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated 10 percent adequate, 38 percent short and 52 percent very short. Many areas in the region have received only 50-75 millimetres of rain since April. Many crops in the region are becoming severely heat-stressed and yields will be affected. Much of the canola has been damaged. Winter cereal and pulse harvests may start this week.

In the southeast, heat and lack of moisture is also damaging crops. Topsoil moisture on cropland is rated 27 percent adequate, 43 percent short and 30 percent very short.

Topsoil moisture on cropland in the west-central region is rated at 27 percent adequate, 65 percent short and eight percent very short.

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