Haying continues in much of the province despite limited plant growth due to the shortfall in precipitation. Livestock producers now have 24 per cent of the hay crop cut and 15 per cent baled or put into silage, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report.
Hay quality is currently rated as four per cent excellent, 43 per cent good, 34 per cent fair and 19 per cent poor. Many hay swaths are significantly smaller than normal and producers are concerned that hay will be in short supply this year as pasture conditions continue to deteriorate from 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 www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/FeedForageListing.
Rainfall this past week ranged from trace amounts to nearly two inches in west-central areas. However, precipitation was spotty and most areas received either no rain or just light showers averaging a third of an inch. As a result, topsoil remains dry. Provincially, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 33 per cent adequate, 45 per cent short and 22 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 23 per cent adequate, 41 per cent short and 36 per cent very short.
Crops are developing well in most of the province, although many crops in drier areas are short, thin and heading out and/or flowering earlier than normal. Sixty-seven per cent of the fall cereals and 39 per cent spring cereals are in the heading stage, with an additional 31 per cent of the fall cereals in the dough stage. Forty-five per cent of flax, 55 per cent of canola and mustard, and 82 per cent of pulse crops are in the flower to boll/pod stage.
Crop conditions vary throughout the province with the majority of crops in poor to good condition. Grasshoppers and lack of moisture remain significant causes of reported crop damage.
Farmers are busy controlling pests and cutting hay.