Southern Sask. harvest underway

Saskatchewan farmers are starting to get into fields, especially in the south where three per cent of the crop has been combined.

Overall, producers in the province have combined one per cent of the crop, in line with the five-year average. Two percent has been swathed or is ready to be straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly crop report released Aug. 9.

Yields range from average to well-below average throughout the province. Most crop damage is attributed to lack of moisture, strong winds and high temperatures.

Areas around Cabri and Leader in southwestern Saskatchewan saw hailstorms that severely damaged crops.

Field activity is expected to pick up with most producers in the central and northern regions likely to start harvest work soon.

Fifty-five percent of fall rye, 15 percent of winter wheat, eight per cent of field peas and seven percent of lentils have been taken off fields so far.

One percent of canola has been swathed.

Topsoil moisture has improved with recent rain with cropland rated at 42 per cent adequate, 40 percent short and 18 percent very short.

Hayland and pasture topsoil moisture is rated at 32 percent adequate, 41 percent short and 27 percent very short.

Topsoil conditions are worse in southern areas. In southeastern parts of the province, cropland topsoil was 29 percent adequate, 59 percent short and 12 percent very short.

Yields in the area are reported at average to well-below average with good overall quality.

In the southwest, cropland topsoil was rated at 16 percent adequate, 44 percent short and 40 per cent very short. Yields in the southwest are rated from average to well-below average but quality is reported as good.

In east-central Saskatchewan, most crops are reported in good condition, but high temperatures and lack of moisture are starting to have an impact. Yields are expected to be above average, but some crops in drier areas will yield much below expectations.

Heat and lack of moisture are also affecting crops in west-central regions, although most crops remain in good shape. Yields are expected to be average to below-average.

Crops in the northeast are rated at good to excellent and yields are expected to be average overall, but farmers lucky enough to receive timely rain can expect above-average yields.

Farmers in the northwest expect average to above-average yields, depending on field conditions. Many producers have been able to start harvest earlier than usual.

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