YORKTON - Most of the east-central region – crop districts 5 and 6A -- got hammered with rain this week which resulted in flooding and many low laying areas filling with water; crops in the low areas are expected to not survive unless water dries up quickly.
Crops in the region have struggled with developing under the excessively wet conditions and are predicted to be a week or two behind in some areas.
The region needs calm days that are nice and sunny with minimal rain for the crops to advance more quickly.
Sixty-six per cent of the fall cereals, 35 per cent of the spring cereals, 25 per cent of the oilseed crops and 55 per cent of the pulse crops are at their normal stages of development for this time of year.
Crop conditions range from fair to good in the region with a small portion of the crop being rated in excellent condition. Sixty per cent of the canola, 58 per of the spring wheat and 59 per cent of the lentils are in good condition at this time.
There were some good rain showers in the region this past week with areas around Goodeve receiving up to 70 mm of rain. The Lipton area received 63 mm, the Bethune area 32 mm, the Rama area 25 mm and the Earl Grey and Allan areas 13mm.
High rainfall areas experienced some major flooding and producers are assessing how much of their crop they will lose due to standing water.
Regionally, cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 17 per cent surplus, 70 per cent adequate and 13 per cent short.
Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 13 per cent surplus, 66 per cent adequate and 21 per cent short. Hay land and pastures are noted to be in good condition and have shown great improvement when compared to last year.
Haying has started in the east-central region, but progress has been very slow due to recent rain. At this time, only one per cent is cut and less than one per cent has been baled or put into silage.
Hay quality is rated as 32 per cent excellent, 59 per cent good, five per cent fair and four per cent poor.
Much of the region is very wet, which has improved grass growth but has made haying operations very difficult.
The majority of crop damage this week was from flooding, hail, flea beetles and grasshoppers. Some crops in the region were completely wiped out by the hail and farmers are dealing with insurance companies to assess their options. In areas where hail damage was more minor, crops are expected to recover if conditions improve.
Farmers are busy spraying to control weeds and insect pests in their crops while some are prepping for their first fungicide applications of the year.
Livestock producers are prepping for haying season and hope to get out soon.
Though there was general precipitation across the province this past week, additional rainfall is still needed in many areas.
Some regions experienced flooding and drowned-out crops due to receiving extremely high volumes of rain in a short period of time; producers in these areas hope this water will soak in quickly and the effect on crops will be minimal. In the west, where conditions remain very dry, the rainfall was welcome for crop land and pastures, although the rain did delay the start to haying season for some producers.
Crop development has been slow due to early season drought conditions in the west and excess moisture in the east. Producers are hoping for improved conditions throughout July to ensure their crops develop properly.
The majority of crops in the province are in fair to good condition. Provincially, 76 per cent of fall cereals, 58 per cent of spring cereals, 46 per cent of oilseed crops and 69 per cent of pulse crops are at their normal stages of development for this time of year.
Rainfall continues to be highly concentrated in the east but there was some good precipitation received this week in the west; more is needed, however, to ensure adequate crop growth throughout the hot summer months of July and August. The Spiritwood area received 86 mm, the Broadview area 76 mm, the Lipton area 70 mm, the Kerrobert area 31 mm and the Cabri area 23 mm. Many areas in the southwest only received one to five mm and the crops in those areas are beginning to show signs of severe drought stress.
Topsoil moisture ratings dropped slightly this week despite many areas getting rain. Crop land topsoil moisture is rated as nine per cent surplus, 67 per cent adequate, 20 per cent short and four per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as eight per cent surplus, 66 per cent adequate, 19 per cent short and seven per cent very short.
Haying operations are just starting in the province. Growth in the west was delayed early in the season due to drought; the hay crop in many areas has also not reached an acceptable height that will allow for cutting. Rain delayed hay cutting in the east, although the crops in the region appear to be in much better shape since they had adequate moisture early in the season to allow for recovery and growth. Hay quality is currently rated as 20 per cent excellent, 52 per cent good, 26 per cent fair and two per cent poor.
The majority of crop damage this past week was from heat, drying winds, drought, insects, gophers, flooding and hail.
Gophers have become a serious problem in many rural municipalities across the province, with some producers stating that they have lost large portions of their fields.
While the rain was a welcome sight to many this past week, it also brought flooding and hail which have left crops either drowned out or damaged.
Producers are busy trying to control disease in their fields by spraying their first round of fungicide on crops such as lentils and spring wheat. They are also continuing with herbicide and insecticide applications on competing weeds and insects in their crops.
Livestock producers have started to get their haying equipment ready and should be in full swing soon.