Saskatchewan harvest progresses under adverse conditions: report

In spite of all the weather challenges Sask. producers have faced this fall, hope remains that crops will make it to the bin before harvest season is over.  Photo: File/Greg Berg

MarketsFarm – Saskatchewan farmers continued to plug away at the harvest over the past week, with 90 per cent of the crop in the bin as of Oct. 28, according to the latest provincial report. That was up seven points from the previous week, but still behind the five-year average of 96 per cent complete.

Many areas received mixed precipitation that stalled most harvest operations in the province. However, producers remain hopeful that they will complete harvest this fall, said the report.

There were many reports of significant downgrading at the elevator due to sprouting. Crops were coming off the field in tough or damp condition and are being placed into aeration bins and grain dryers. In addition to the harvest, farmers were busy drying grain and hauling bales.

While farmers in the west-central and northeastern parts of Saskatchewan were 96 per cent done, the east-central part of the province continued to see the most delays and was only at 82 per cent complete.

On a crop-by-crop basis, 97 per cent of mustard, 96 per cent of canary seed, 94 per cent of barley, 93 per cent of chickpeas, 92 per cent of spring wheat, 90 per cent of durum, 88 per cent of canola, 76 per cent of soybeans and 62 per cent of flax were in the bin. An additional six per cent of the crop was swathed or ready to be straight-cut.

Estimated average crop yields for the province are 38 bushels per acre for canola, 22 bushels per acre for flax, 1,024 pounds per acre for mustard, 28 bushels per acre for soybeans, 38 bushels per acre for durum, 45 bushels per acre for spring wheat, 66 bushels per acre for barley, 834 pounds per acre for canary seed and 1,420 pounds per acre for chickpeas.

Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland were rated as 13 per cent surplus, 80 per cent adequate, five per cent short and two per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture was rated as six per cent surplus, 83 per cent adequate, nine per cent short and two per cent very short. Some fields remained saturated with excess water, particularly in southern and east-central regions.

The majority of crop damage this past week was due to strong winds and frost. Geese and wildlife also continued to cause damage by feeding on swathed crops.

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