Drought slams Sask crop – report

Saskatchewan crops deteriorated again and fields are ripening quickly in dry conditions, according to the weekly Department of Agriculture crop report for July 24.

The report issues crop conditions every two weeks and this report showed deterioration, particularly in durum and lentils, given their concentration in the south where the drought is most severe.

The amount of durum rated good to excellent fell to just 21 percent, down from 43 percent in the July 10 report. Last year at this time, the good to excellent rating was 95 percent.

Spring wheat good to excellent condition was 58 percent, down 10 percentage points from 68 percent in the July 10 report. Last year, the rating was 93 percent.

Canola good to excellent condition was 52 percent, down from 57 percent July 10. Last year it was 92 percent.

Pea good to excellent fell to 50 percent from 62 percent July 10. Last year the rating was 82 percent.

Lentil good to excellent fell to 39 percent, down from 62 July 10. Last year it was 62 percent.

Some areas of the province, mostly in the north, got some rain this past week, but many southern and central areas remain very dry. Rainfall ranged from nil to 98 millimetres the Barthel area in the northwest part of the province, the report said.

Harvest is just beginning in parts of the province, with pulses being desiccated and some winter cereal and pulse crops being combined.

Hay harvest continues with 74 percent of the crop baled or put into silage. Another 14 percent is cut and ready for baling, the report said.

Yield is down because of the dry weather. Hay quality is rated as nine percent excellent, 61 percent good, 25 percent fair and five percent poor.

Most producers will not be able to have a second cut of hay this year because of the dry conditions.

Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as five percent surplus, 35 percent adequate, 38 percent short and 22 percent very short.

Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as four percent surplus, 29 percent adequate, 34 percent short and 33 percent very short.


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