Crop reports stoke hay shortage concerns

MarketsFarm – Rainfall varied across the Prairie provinces during week ended August 2, as concerns of a hay shortage continue.

Approximately 39 per cent of the hay crop in Saskatchewan is now baled or stored. While hay quality is 55 per cent good-to-excellent, yields have been well below normal across the province. According to the most recent crop report, most producers have indicated they will not have a second cut of hay.

Manitoba’s hay and forage yields were significantly below average. Some regions reported hay yields to be as low as 33 per cent of average. In most regions, producers have completed the first cut. While yields were lower than normal, quality was  generally good. Producers that got first cut off the fields  early are anticipating a second cut with average yields.

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In Alberta, crop conditions have started to degrade due to excessive rainfall in some regions. Hay operations have been hampered by rainfall, and the chance of a second cut is “greatly diminished” due to a later first cut. Wet field conditions are preventing hay harvest and crop development. However, in the Peace region of Alberta, some hay land remains too dry. Hay conditions vary, reflecting these diverse conditions.

Topsoil moisture on Saskatchewan hay land and pasture is rated as one per cent surplus, 66 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and four per cent very short.

In the Interlake region of Manitoba, topsoil moisture on hay land is 50 per cent short and 50 per cent very short.

Alberta soil moisture is rated as 9 per cent poor, 65 per cent fair to good, 18 per cent excellent and eight per cent excessive.

While the majority of crops are in fair-to-good condition across the provinces, some fields are developing behind schedule, which may be cause for concern depending on frosts around harvest time.

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