Via Government of Saskatchewan
After another incredibly dry week for the west-central region, producers have continued their harvest operations. Harvest progress has reached 61 per cent, up from 36 per cent last week and is well ahead of the five-year average of 38 per cent. Yield estimates for the region are well below average. Producers in crop district 7B (Kerrobert, Macklin, Wilkie and Biggar areas) have discovered some of their fields are yielding closer to average than expected.
Topsoil moisture conditions have deteriorated all season long with very little precipitation being received in July and August. The region will need significant moisture this fall to replenish both the topsoil and subsoil moisture in field and pastures. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 25 per cent adequate, 39 per cent short and 37 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 16 per cent adequate, 43 per cent short and 42 per cent very short.
Livestock water supplies continue to decline and producers are hauling water great distances to ensure their cattle have an adequate supply. Water on pastures has become toxic in some areas and there are localized reports of cattle deaths from high concentrations of sulphate and sodium in the water.
Crop damage was attributed to the dry conditions, grasshoppers and wind. Many swathed crops were blown around and added to further yield loss. Grasshoppers still continue to eat anything green. Hot grain has become an issue for many producers and they will have to find ways to cool it off before they are able to store it for long periods of time.
Producers are busy combining, swathing, moving cattle and hauling grain.