Crop report for the period of Aug. 16-22

Ministry of Agriculture photo. Hot, dry weather allowed for tremendous harvest progress, especially in the southwest and west-central regions of Saskatchewan.

Hot, dry weather allowed for tremendous harvest progress, especially in the southwest and west-central regions. Some areas in the east-central region received heavy rainfall once again, which has slowed down the maturation of crops or halted producers who are ready to begin harvest of early seeded crops. Harvest progress sits at 16 per cent, up from five per cent last week and right on par with the five-year average. An additional 12 per cent of the crop is now swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Harvest progress is most advanced in the southwest region where farmers have 45 per cent of their crop now in the bin, followed by producers in the west-central who have 19 per cent of their crop harvested. Farmers in the southeast have six per cent of crop off their fields, the east-central has completed four per cent and both the northern regions have one per cent of their crop harvested. For many producers in the wetter areas of the province, harvest will not begin for another week or more as their crops have not matured yet.
Roughly 63 per cent of the winter wheat, 36 per cent of the fall rye, 52 per cent of the lentils, 43 per cent of the field peas, 30 per cent of the durum, six per cent of the spring wheat and three per cent of the canola has been combined.
Several localized rain showers passed through the province over the past week, mainly over the eastern and northern regions with some parts of the southern regions receiving precipitation ranging from nil to 18 mm in the Moosomin area. The Yorkton area received 36 mm, the Eyebrow area 28 mm, the Foam Lake area 26 mm, the Hudson Bay area 22 mm and the Hafford area eight mm. Grain producers across the province would like to see a halt in the rain so they can either maintain momentum with harvest operations or to allow their crops to finally ripen so that harvest may begin. Many producers have voiced concern over how badly they will need rain once harvest is completed to recharge the soil moisture of their respective regions.
Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 56 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and 17 per cent very short. Hay and pastureland topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 52 per cent adequate, 29 per cent short and 16 per cent very short.
Provincially, pasture conditions are rated as six per cent excellent, 37 per cent good, 28 per cent fair, 16 per cent poor and 13 per cent very poor. Pastures have greatly improved this year due to more frequent rains; the largest improvement has been seen in the eastern half of the province along with the northwest region. In the southwest and west-central regions, pastures have not fared as well due to suffering through extremely dry growing conditions once again.
The majority of crop damage this week was due to wind, heavy rainfall and hail. Grasshoppers continue to cause large amounts of crop loss, with producers already worried about what their population next year will be and how they will manage to control them. There were also a handful of reports of sawfly damage in some wheat fields this past week, but producers are saying that damage is low for the time being. Farmers are busy getting equipment and bins ready for harvest and waiting for their crop to dry enough to allow combining. With harvest underway in Saskatchewan, we want to remind producers to exercise caution and remain safe. Give equipment plenty of time and space when traveling down or crossing highways or other roads. Producers are reminded to have firefighting equipment nearby especially in regions that are extremely dry.

Northeastern Saskatchewan
Crops are getting closer to maturity with many crops just a week or so away from being harvestable, some later seeded crops will need more time and producers are worried they will be hit with frost before they are fully ripe leading to quality and yield issues. One per cent of the crop in the northeast region has been harvested which is well behind of the five-year average (2017-2022) for this time of year of seven per cent. The region needs more hot, dry weather to allow crops to mature and dry down. Most producers have their equipment ready and will be working around the clock to advance harvest once crops are ready. Harvest that has taken place has mainly been in field pea and barley crops.
The Hudson Bay area received 22 mm of rain over the past week while the rest of the region saw insignificant amounts of rain. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 84 per cent adequate and 16 per cent short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 78 per cent adequate and 22 per cent short. Pasture conditions in the region are rated as 10 per cent excellent, 68 per cent good, 21 per cent fair and one per cent poor.
Crop damage was minor this week with most being attributed to wind that led to lodging in some taller or thicker crops. Some cereal crops are suffering from disease, and this will lead to rejected or downgraded grain at the elevators.
Northwestern Saskatchewan
Another hot week has allowed many crops in the region to begin to dry down and get ready for harvest, producers have been busy spraying desiccants and swathing but very little combining has been done so far. Harvest progress has reached one per cent of the crop now combined in the region, just behind the five-year average (2017-2021) of four per cent for this time of year.
There was very little rainfall this past week. Producers are happy to see it remain dry for the time being but would like to see the rains return once harvest is complete. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 70 per cent adequate and 29 per cent short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 53 per cent adequate, 45 per cent short and two per cent very short. Pasture conditions in the region are rated as one per cent excellent, 50 per cent good, 37 per cent fair and twelve per cent poor.
The majority of crop damage this week was due to heat stress after a week of hot weather. Disease is another large contributor to crop damage in the region with fusarium being found in cereal crops and sclerotinia in canola. There have also been a few reports of minor pressure from lygus and diamondback moths.