Hot weather pushes Sask harvest ahead of five-year average

Harvest progress in Saskatchewan is ahead of schedule this year due to the recent hot, dry weather, according to the weekly crop report from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, released Aug. 16.

Five per cent of the provincial crop has been combined, while nine per cent is swathed or ready to be straight-cut, according to the report. The five-year average for this time of year is three per cent combined and four per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Seventy-one per cent of fall rye, 24 per cent of the spring wheat, 21 per cent of the field peas, 20 per cent of the lentils, three per cent of the durum and barley and one per cent of the spring wheat and oats are harvested. While six per cent of the canola crop has been swathed or ready for straight-cutting.

Provincially harvest is most advanced in the southwest corner at 10 per cent combined. In the southeast farmers are eight per cent complete, while in the west central and east central regions they are at two per cent. The northern part of the province has less than one per cent of the crop harvested.

Moisture conditions across the province continue to worsen with little rainfall falling during the heatwave. The most rain was recorded in the Meadow Lake area in northwestern Saskatchewan where they received 29 mm of rain, the Spiritwood area in the north central portion of the province received 22 mm, while around Nipawin in northeastern Saskatchewan they received 19 mm of rain. The report warns that any more rain will come too late for many of the crops that are still in the field, as they are rapidly drying down.

Topsoil moisture conditions have worsened and are now sitting at 31 per cent adequate, 44 per cent short and 25 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 24 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 38 per cent very short.

Crop damage this week was due to the dry and hot conditions. Many places in the southern and central areas of the province recorded temperatures well above 35 C for a number of days during the week.

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