Fields in the North West, North East and Peace Regions as well as some areas in the Central Region received some more snow over the past weekend. Consequently, harvesting operations were practically at a standstill, changing less than one per cent provincially from last week with about 73 per cent of the crops now in the bin. Snow, frost and the cool wet conditions have impacted both yield and quality for crops left in the fields. Even so, producers are still hoping to complete their harvest in the next two weeks, weather permitting. Excessive surface soil moisture remains a challenge for producers. Regionally, the excessive surface soil moisture is reported as less than one per cent in the South, seven per cent in Central, five per cent in the North East, 35 per cent in the North West and 15 per cent in the Peace Region.
Preliminary dryland yield estimates declined slightly in almost all Region and for the province as a whole, but still remained similar to two weeks ago, with the provincial yield index up 13.7 index points from the 5-year average. Average yields for potatoes are estimated at 13.1 and 18.8 tons per acre, respectively, on dryland and irrigated fields. Irrigated yields for dry beans and sugar beets are reported at 2,420 pounds per acre and 24.5 tonnes per acre, respectively.
Provincially, crop quality deterioration continues due to the challenging wet harvest season. About 76 per cent of hard red spring wheat is now graded in the top two grades, down two per cent from the 5-year average and in the line with the 10-year average. Most of the decline has been reported for Canada number 1 hard red spring which is now at 32 per cent (compared to 49 per cent of the provincial 5-year average). About 70 per cent of durum wheat has graded number 2 or better, down nine and eight per cent from the provincial 5-year and 10-year averages, respectively. Again, most of the decline is due to Canada number 1 dropping to 36 per cent, down 19 and 21 per cent from the provincial 5-year and 10-year averages, respectively. While 19 per cent of barley is eligible for malt (up eight per cent from the provincial 5-year average), 67 per cent of barley is graded as number 1 (up one per cent from the provincial 5-year average). About 77 per cent of oats is graded in the top two grades, down one and two per cent from the provincial 5-year and 10-year averages. Almost 96 of harvested canola is in the top two grades (up three and five per cent from the provincial 5-year and 10-year averages), with 86 per cent graded as number 1.