Harvest is underway according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's Weekly Crop Report for the week of August 1st - 7th. Producers have 2% of the crop combined and 3% swathed or ready to straight cut. This is right in line with the 5 year average for this time of year, which is 2% combined and 2% swathed or ready to straight cut.
Producers have reported that 75% of fall rye, 31% of winter wheat, 11% of field peas, and 10% of lentils are in the bin. 5% of mustard and 1% of canola has been swathed.
The South West region leads in progress with 6% of crops combined. The South East has 4% combined. Central and Northern regions are expecting to be in the field in the next few weeks.
The province received some much needed rainfall this week. While the rain is welcome in most parts of the province, it is too late to be of much benefit to producers in the South where crops are rapidly drying down.
Topsoil moisture on cropland is at 2% surplus, 36% adequate, 38% short and 24% very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is currently 2% surplus, 29% adequate, 34% short, and 35% very short.
Hay yields are much lower than the average yield. Dry land hay yields are estimated to be 1 ton/acre for alfalfa and alfalfa bromegrass, 0.83 ton/acres for other tame hay and 1.5 ton/acre for green feed. Irrigated hay yields are estimated to be 2.3 ton/acrea for alfalfa, 2.0 ton/acre for alfalfa/bromegrass and 3.1 ton/acre for green feed.
Most of the crop damage in the province is due to hail, localized flooding, strong winds and lack of moisture.
In the coming weeks, producers will be continuing to spray for bertha army worms and diamondback moths, getting ready for harvest and hauling bales.
West Central Region Progress
A few producers have already begun harvesting and others are expecting to start in the next few weeks. Less than 1% of total crops in the region is combined. 29% of the fall rye, 23% of winter wheat and 1% of field peas are in the bin. 2% of canola has been swathed.
Shannon Friesen, Crop Specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture, said we are slightly ahead of where we were last year, "Last year, we did receive large amounts of rain every day for a week or two that set things back a bit. This year, crops have been advancing very quickly for us. So we are slightly ahead of last year but long term we are right on schedule."
Crop yields are expected be average or below average. Some areas did receive a much needed rainfall in the past week that helped replenish topsoil moisture. Precipitation ranged from trace amounts to 32mm in the Dinsmore area.
Friesen said any rain we do receive will be too late to be of much help in most fields, "In some areas it is too late. For early seeded crops, they are already drying down so any rain is unlikely to be a benefit but it will help replenish topsoil moisture. For later seeded crops, any rain now could potentially help us out with head filling and pod filling."
Topsoil moisture on cropland is 29% adequate, 49% short, and 22% very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 28% adequate, 37% short, and 35% very short.
Crop damage this week can be attributed to hail, strong winds, lack of moisture and localized flooding. Insects such as diamondback moths, aphids, and grasshoppers have also been a problem for many fields. Producers continue to spray for bertha armyworms and diamondback moths.
"In terms of canola insects such as bertha armyworms and diamondbacks, this certainly has been a year where we have seen more outbreaks. Producers are busy scouting for them and of course, if we are reaching economic threshold, they are actively spraying for them as well."
Friesen talked about what producers will be busy with this coming week, "A little bit of everything. For some producers, they are already in the field desiccating. They're swathing and combining. For others, they are still getting equipment ready, they're moving bales and cleaning bins for preparation of harvest."