This week’s crop report from the Ministry of Agriculture reports that southeast Saskatchewan has eight percent of the crop in the bin, with 12 percent swathed or ready for straight cut.
"Things have been underway for a number of weeks," said Crop Extension Specialist, Shannon Friesen. "Producers continue to desiccate pulse crops as well as apply pre-harvest aids on the cereals, and of course, much of that canola is now ready to be swathed."
Provincially, we are at five percent completion for harvest. Compared to being at seven percent this time last year, it would seem we are behind. However, compared to the five-year average of three percent, we are ahead of schedule.
“Certainly in the southeast, in fact, that area can grow pretty much anything,” she said. “So there’s a lot of peas and lentils and chickpeas, but there’s also a lot of soybean of course. There’s canola, flax, canary seed, barley, oats, wheat. A little bit of everything is grown in the southeast corner, mainly because it is usually just a little bit drier and we have a lot more ability to get into the field sooner and to have, of course, a longer harvest as well.”
Not much is happening bales and silos at this point.
"Baling, as well as silaging, is coming to an end for many producers, especially because we weren't able to get a second cut off of most of the province this year," she explained. "So, for the most part, it is wrapping up, although there are some producers out there who are still haying and of course silaging."
The lack of rainfalls has resulted in more rapid desiccation.
“The crop itself is rapidly drying down," said Friesen. "We were also able to get into the field just a little earlier this year than we were in 2017. So things got going a bit earlier and now they're drying down a lot quicker than they normally would."
No significant rain was reported in the area, but any rain now would be too little, too late.
"Even though we've had quite a bit of rain in some areas this year as compared to last year, we've also had some very hot temperatures, and in some areas, we really haven't seen a lot of rain in a number of weeks, even months," she noted.
Crop damage this week was, of course, due to lack of moisture, wind and extreme heat. With the record temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, there were reports of stubble and combine fires in some of the drier areas.
Friesen said the heat is certainly to blame for the fires.
“Things getting too hot, it’s dry, it’s just the perfect combination,” she said.
Producers are busy combining, swathing crops and hauling bales.