Rain brings slight reprieve to Sask. farms

Winnipeg – Saskatchewan producers were able to make good harvest progress earlier in the week before cooler temperatures hit, according to the weekly crop report from Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, released Aug. 30.

Twenty-seven percent of the provincial crop is now harvested, which is ahead of the five-year average of 13 percent. Seventeen percent of the crop is swathed or ready to be straight-cut.

Harvest is most advanced in the southwest corner of the province where 46 percent of the crop is combined. In the southeast 42 percent is done, west-central is at 23 percent, east-central 16 percent, northeast 10 percent and five percent is combined in the northwest.

The fall rye harvest is almost complete at 96 percent done, while 76 percent of dry peas are in the bin. The winter wheat harvest is 78 percent done, lentils are at 74 per cent, mustard is 30 percent complete, barley is at 36 per cent, durum is 32 done, spring wheat is at 16 percent and canola is seven percent harvested. There is 43 percent of the canola crop and eight percent of mustard swathed or ready to be straight-cut.

Early reports have yields varying across the province depending on how much rain fields received during the summer.

Light showers fell throughout the province over the course of the week. The most rainfall was recorded in the Ponteix area, in the southwest corner, where 29 mm fell. However many southern and central areas have not received any significant rainfall in almost two months and crops are continuing to rapidly dry down in those spots.

Despite the rain topsoil moisture conditions throughout the province remain unchanged. Cropland topsoil moisture conditions are rated at 25 percent adequate, 46 percent short and 29 percent very short. Hayland and pastures are at 21 percent adequate, 38 percent short and 41 percent very short.

Most crop damage during the week was due to lack of moisture and strong winds. There are still reports of stubble and grass fires even though the rain helped reduce fire risk in some areas. Concerns remain about feed shortages in drier areas.

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