A dry and windy week has allowed producers to make significant harvest progress. Sixty per cent of the 2016 crop has been combined and 28 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report. The five year (2011-2015) average for this time of year is 62 per cent combined.
Regionally, harvest is furthest advanced in the southeast, where producers have 73 per cent of the crop in the bin. Sixty-six per cent of the crop is combined in the southwest, 53 per cent in the east-central region, 57 per cent in the west-central region, 54 per cent in the northeast and 48 per cent in the northwest.
Ninety-seven per cent of field peas, 85 per cent of lentils, 57 per cent of durum, 56 per cent of spring wheat, 47 per cent of canola and 15 per cent of flax have been combined. The majority of producers had good harvest weather for most of the week. Rain showers toward the end of the week stalled some field operations for a day or two, particularly in the central and northern regions.
Precipitation ranged from nil to 89 mm in the Tramping Lake area. The Elfros area reported 18 mm, Rosthern and Unity 15 mm and Nipawin, Debden and Barthel 19 mm. Most other areas that reported rain received less than 12 mm for the week.
Provincially, cropland topsoil moisture is rated as nine per cent surplus, 86 per cent adequate and five per cent short. Areas around Porcupine Plain, Tisdale and Arborfield are getting some relief from excess moisture conditions; however, 36 per cent of cropland acres are reported to have surplus moisture at this time.
In areas around Rosetown, Kindersley and Biggar, 21 per cent of cropland acres have surplus moisture. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as four per cent surplus, 84 per cent adequate, 11 per cent short and one per cent very short.
Consistent moisture has resulted in good pasture growth throughout the growing season. Pasture conditions across the province are rated as seven per cent excellent, 70 per cent good, 21 per cent fair and two per cent poor.
Strong winds blew some canola swaths around. Hail was reported in the Tantallon and Wynyard areas. Bleaching, sprouting, fusarium and earth tag are causing grade loss.
Producers are busy harvesting, hauling bales and controlling weeds.