Sask. crops progressing, but dryness an issue

Dry conditions are becoming more widespread in Saskatchewan, especially in the southern part of the province where there has been little rain.

According the Saskatchewan Agriculture crop report for the week ended July 3, topsoil moisture province-wide on cropland is rated as five percent surplus, 49 percent adequate, 37 percent short and nine percent very short.

Hayland and pasture soil moisture are rated as five percent surplus, 40 percent adequate, 38 percent short and 17 percent very short.

However, in the southwest, cropland soil moisture is rated 24 percent adequate, 55 percent short and 21 percent very short. Hayland and pastures are rated as 12 percent adequate, 47 percent short and 41 percent very short.

The Maple Creek, Val Marie and Rockglen districts are particularly hard hit.

Overall, crops are at their normal stage of development for this time of year, but some are falling behind due to lack of moisture.

Of fall cereals, 26 percent are in the dough stage and nine percent of spring cereals are heading. Thirty percent of canola, 37 percent of mustard and two percent of flax are flowering.

Most producers are completing herbicide applications and starting to apply fungicides, where necessary.

Some areas in the northern growing area are dealing with wet conditions.

Wind, insects and dry conditions were starting to cause some damage. There were a few reports of localized flooding and hail.

Haying is progressing across the province with 19 percent of the hay cut and 10 percent baled or in silage. Hay quality is rated as eight percent excellent, 54 percent good, 29 percent fair and nine percent poor.

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