Crops are developing quickly in the southeast, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report.
“This time of year is a bit slower for many producers, as we’re mostly waiting for the crop to advance,” said Crop Extension Specialist, Shannon Friesen. “But, in the meantime, of course, producers have been busy getting ready for harvest, and, in fact, harvest may begin for many producers across the south over the next couple of weeks.”
Producers have begun desiccation in some areas. Some producers expect harvest to get underway in the next few weeks. The majority of crops remain in fair to excellent condition, depending on moisture received over the past few weeks.
“Many of the pulse crops are drying down very, very quickly, so those would be pulse crops like peas and lentils,” she explained. “Desiccation operations are now underway. Winter cereal crops, as well, have been drying down quickly. So as long as the weather holds for us and we continue to get some warm weather, a lot of those crops will continue to really advance rapidly and we should be in the field before we know it.”
Some areas received rainfall last week that will replenish the topsoil moisture and help crops fill.
“Lucky for us, topsoil moisture hasn’t changed too much,” she noted, adding that the areas that were very short were in the west and north parts of the province and that the southeast did quite well for moisture this year, especially compared to last year.
Provincial topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as two percent surplus, 51 percent adequate, 35 percent short and 12 percent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as one percent surplus, 44 percent adequate, 36 per cent short and 19 per cent very short.
Livestock producers are continuing to hay, and 63 percent of the hay crop has now been baled or put into silage. An additional 19 percent is cut and ready for baling. Hay quality at this time is rated as four percent excellent, 65 percent good, 25 percent fair and six percent poor. Hay yields are significantly lower than normal for many producers and hay will be in short supply this year in some areas. Most producers have indicated that there will not be a second cut of hay this year.
Friesen noted that there were some reports of crop damage.
“We did have some extreme heat for a number of weeks, that has caused some damage,” she explained. “Of course the lack of moisture in many areas, we’ve had some strong winds, of course, some hail along with these storms. And certainly we’ve had reports of grasshoppers around the Radville and Weyburn area, and certainly as well, some diseases like root rot and leaf spots as well.”
Producers are continuing to scout for pests and are preparing their equipment for harvest.