Better weather helps Saskatchewan harvest: report

Winnipeg (MarketsFarm) – Relatively warm and dry conditions allowed Saskatchewan farmers to make some harvest progress during the week ended Oct. 14, although operations continue to run well behind normal, according to the latest report from Saskatchewan Agriculture.

The overall harvest progress increased to 69 percent done, from 55 percent the previous week. That compares with the five-year average of 88 percent for this time of year.

While many areas received mixed precipitation, others received very little and were able to spend more time in the field, according to the report. Forecasts calling for more warm and dry weather over the next week should allow for continued progress.

The harvest was most advanced in the northeastern region, at 85 percent complete, while the east-central was the farthest behind at only 51 percent done.

On a crop-by-crop basis, 83 percent of the barley, 79 percent of the mustard, 69 percent of the canary seed, 68 percent of the durum, 66 percent of the spring wheat, 58 percent of the canola and 43 percent of the chickpeas were harvested. An additional 35 percent of the canola is swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland were rated as 19 percent surplus, 77 percent adequate and four percent short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture was rated as 10 percent surplus, 83 percent adequate and seven percent short. Some fields remained saturated with excess water, particularly in southern regions.

Most crop damage during the week was due to lodging, strong winds, localized flooding and frost. Geese and wildlife also continued to cause damage by feeding on swathed crops. Quality downgrades due to sprouting were being reported, with the majority of crops coming off tough or damp.

Most livestock producers indicated they have adequate supplies of hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain heading into winter.

In addition to combining, farmers were also busy drying grain and hauling bales during the week.

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