Via Government of Saskatchewan
Harvest is very close to being wrapped up in the West Central region, even after a week of some light rain showers producers were able to make good progress in their fields. Eighty-nine per cent of the crop has been harvested so far, up from 80 last week and well ahead of the five-year average of 69 per cent. Many producers have completed harvest and are now carrying out other field chores while they wait for rain to replenish their soils.
Light rain showers passed over the region this past week with many areas getting small amounts of precipitation. The Harris and Smiley areas received 12 mm, the Cando and Sonningdale areas 10 mm and the Rosetown area nine mm. The region desperately needs a large rain event to improve soil moisture conditions before freeze up.
Rainfall in the region this past week has done little to improve current topsoil moisture conditions. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 11 per cent adequate, 46 per cent short and 43 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 12 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 50 per cent very short.
Pasture conditions are rated as 23 per cent fair, 37 per cent poor and 40 per cent very poor. Pastures have suffered through heat and drought all season long and now many of them are not fit to graze cattle. Next spring, if early moisture is not received, they may not be able to support cattle grazing at all.
The main cause of crop damage this past week was hard frost, wind and lack of moisture. There were some reports of damage caused by waterfowl. There was also lodging reported in areas that received strong winds.
Producers are busy combining, baling straw, hauling bales, harrowing and hauling water for cattle.