State of Sask. crops: many southern and central areas have received less than 100 mm of moisture since end of March
By Top Crop Manager
The majority of crops across the province are developing normally, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report. Fifty-six per cent of fall cereals, 64 per cent of spring cereals, 62 per cent of oilseeds and 75 per cent of pulse crops are at their normal stages of development for this time of year. Crop conditions vary greatly across the province and have deteriorated over the past few weeks due to hot temperatures and a lack of rain.
Livestock producers now have 24 per cent of the hay crop cut and 39 per cent baled or put into silage. Hay quality is rated as 17 per cent excellent, 59 per cent good, 22 per cent fair and two per cent poor. Many hay swaths are significantly smaller than normal and pasture growth has been limited.
Although some areas received moisture this past week, many areas still need significant rainfall to help crops develop and replenish the topsoil. Rainfall ranged from negligible amounts in most areas to 80 mm in the Kelvington area. Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as two per cent surplus, 41 per cent adequate, 46 per cent short and 11 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 32 per cent adequate, 49 per cent short and 16 per cent very short.
High temperatures and a lack of rain continue to damage crops in the province. Many southern and central areas have received less than 100 mm of moisture since April 1; some crops in these areas are short, thin and heading out and/or flowering earlier than normal due to heat stress. Significant rain is needed to help crops fill and hay and pasture to grow.
Other sources of crop damage this week include hail, localized flooding, wind and insects such as alfalfa weevils, painted lady caterpillars and wheat midge. Leaf spot diseases and root rot are also causing some damage.
Producers are haying, scouting for disease and insects, applying fungicides and hauling grain.