Adverse weather slows Saskatchewan harvest: report

Cool and wet weather limited harvest progress in Saskatchewan during the week ended Oct. 1, with the overall harvest rate only increasing five percentage points, to 73 percent complete, according to the latest provincial report.

The harvest was running behind the five-year average of 78 percent complete, and compares with 2017 when 89 percent of crops were already harvested by the beginning of October.

Frequent snow and rain delayed progress in many areas during the week. Warm, dry and windy days will be needed to allow producers to return to the field, said the report. Lodging was reported because of the snow and rain, with quality downgrades expected.

Harvest operations were most advanced in the southwest, at 90 percent combined. Meanwhile, the harvest in northwest Saskatchewan was only 33 percent complete.

On a crop-by-crop basis, 84 percent of the durum, 78 percent of the barley, 76 percent of the mustard, 58 percent of the spring wheat, 52 percent of the canola, 33 percent of the flax and 29 percent of the soybeans have now been combined. Many crops were coming off tough and being placed into aeration bins and dryers.

Topsoil moisture conditions improved with the recent rain and snow. Cropland topsoil moisture was rated as three per cent surplus, 64 percent adequate, 27 percent short and six per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture was rated as one per cent surplus, 51 percent adequate, 34 percent short and 14 percent very short.

Yield estimates remain about average overall, although they vary greatly across the province depending on the moisture received throughout the season. Spring wheat grades were being reported as 54 percent 1 CW, 25 percent 2 CW, 17 percent 3 CW and four percent CW Feed.

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