Haying operations are underway in much of the province, despite a shortfall in plant growth and moisture, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report.
Livestock producers now have 10 per cent of the hay crop cut and five per cent baled or put into silage. Hay quality is currently rated as four per cent excellent, 41 per cent good, 24 per cent fair and 31 per cent poor. Many hay swaths are significantly smaller than normal and bales will be in short supply this year. Pasture conditions continue to decline due to the lack of rainfall.
The Ministry of Agriculture has a Forage, Feed and Custom Service listing for producers to advertise and source feed products. It is available at http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/FeedForageListing.
Rainfall this past week ranged from trace amounts to several inches in some southeastern areas. Topsoil moisture conditions are quickly deteriorating with the hot and dry temperatures. Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 32 per cent adequate, 48 per cent short and 20 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 23 per cent adequate, 40 per cent short and 37 per cent very short.
Crop development is advancing nicely in most of the province, although many crops in drier areas are short, thin and heading out and/or flowering earlier than normal. Sixty-three per cent of fall cereals, 58 per cent of spring cereals, 52 per cent of oilseeds and 59 per cent of pulse crops are at their normal stages of development for this time of year. Crop conditions vary throughout the province, but the majority of crops are in poor-to-good condition. Grasshoppers and lack of moisture have caused the most crop damage this week. Farmers are busy controlling pests and cutting hay.