According to the Weekly Crop Report from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, producers have made tremendous progress as 56 per cent of the crop is now in the bin, up from 36 per cent last week.
Here in the southeast, 67 per cent of the crop is now in the bin. This is up significantly from 42 per cent last week and remains well ahead of the five-year (2016-2020) average of 49 per cent for this time of year. An additional 17 per cent of the crops are swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Provincially, 24 per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut. There were several areas affected by rain delays but the majority of the province was able to continue their harvest operations without issue.
Matt Struthers, Crops Extensions Specialist, said the workaround for the low hay yield this season has been an example of true farming community spirit and teamwork.
"Everyone out there is combining, swathing, and then, because of the livestock feed shortage, just with pasturelands being very poor all year, the hay yield is very low, but livestock producers are out there trying to get their hands on anything that they can use for feed," he explained. "And thankfully. there's been a very good cooperation between livestock producers and grain farmers."
"The livestock producers been able to get out there and start boiling up straw that's coming off the field after a grain farmers gone through it, so it's very good to see," Struthers noted. "They're doing the best they can, and hopefully there isn't going to be a large reduction in the number of animals across the province that are unable to be fed."
He reminds producers to be careful out there while moving equipment and during harvest.
"Then, also for motorists to remain vigilant and exercise patience when you're traveling down a road or highway, and combines get across it, or grain truck is going across it, or something like that. You know, just be careful out there, and let's let's all get home safe."
Ninety-six per cent of field peas, 93 per cent of lentils, 74 per cent of mustard, 66 per cent of barley, 75 per cent of durum, 58 per cent of spring wheat and 31 per cent of canola has now been combined. An additional 44 per cent of canola is swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Estimated average crop yields at this time are 27 bushels per acre for hard red spring wheat, 19 bushels per acre for durum, 38 bushels per acre for barley, 20 bushels per acre for canola, 21 bushels per acre for field peas and 817 pounds per acre for lentils. Crop yields were greatly affected by drought conditions during critical growing stages this season and yields are far lower in some areas than anticipated.
Rainfall last week ranged from trace amounts to 102 mm in the Rhein area which resulted in flooding and standing water in fields. Provincial cropland topsoil moisture conditions deteriorated slightly with recent strong winds even though rainfall was received in many parts of the province. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 38 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 23 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture improved this week and is rated as one per cent surplus, 25 per cent adequate, 39 per cent short and 35 per cent very short.
The majority of crop damage this past week was due to strong winds, drought and hail. Areas that received precipitation over the past few weeks have reported that standing crops such as cereals and lentils have experienced severe weathering and are being downgraded at the elevator. Some fields are in such poor condition that some producers have indicated they will not be harvested.