REGINA - Rainy, cool weather throughout the province delayed combining progress this week.
Harvest progressed to 29 per cent complete, up from 20 per cent last week and well over the five-year average of 12 per cent.
An additional 21 per cent of the crop is now swathed or ready to straight-cut, ahead of the five-year average of 16 per cent.
Producers would have rather had rain during critical stages of the growing season, but were happy to receive significant amounts of it this week.
· Crop District 5 – Melville, Yorkton, Cupar, Kamsack, Foam Lake, Preeceville and Kelvington areas
· Crop District 6A – Lumsden, Craik, Watrous and Clavet areas
Twenty-two per cent of the crop is now combined, up from 13 per cent last week and ahead of the five-year average (2016-2020) of six per cent. An additional 27 per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut, with the five-year average (2016-2020) being 16 per cent.
Ninety-one per cent of the winter wheat, 90 per cent of the fall rye, 89 per cent of the lentils, 69 per cent of the field peas, 45 per cent of the barley, 18 per cent of the durum, 26 per cent of the spring wheat and four per cent of the canola is now in the bin combined. An additional 32 per cent of the canola has been swathed or is ready to straight-cut.
The east-central region received good rainfall this week with many areas receiving over an inch of rain over just a couple of days. The Saltcoats areas received 76 mm, the Esterhazy area 70 mm, the Jedburgh and Goodeve areas 55 mm and the Elfros area 37 mm. Rain has halted harvest and concerns about grain downgrading are high.
Topsoil moisture conditions across the region saw a significant increase due to several storms that rolled through.
Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 48 per cent adequate, 33 per cent short and 19 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 38 per cent adequate, 32 per cent short and 30 per cent very short.
The majority of crop damage this week was due to dry conditions, heat and wind.
Localized hail accompanied the storms that went through the region resulting in a range of damage. Crop quality is expected to be affected now that moisture has been received.
Pasture conditions in the region are rated as two per cent good, 21 per cent fair, 47 per cent poor and 30 per cent very poor.
Producers are busy hauling bales and moving cattle closer to home while they wait for their fields and crops to dry up and resume harvesting.
Provincially, Ninety-three per cent of winter wheat, 78 per cent of fall rye, 76 per cent of lentils, 81 per cent of field peas, 42 per cent of barley, 31 per cent of durum, 23 per cent of oats, 25 per cent of spring wheat and six per cent of canola has been combined. An additional 30 per cent of canola has been swathed or is ready to straight-cut.
Harvest progress is most advanced in the southern regions. Producers in the southwest region have 43 per cent combined, the southeast region 30 per cent, the west-central 27 per cent, the east-central 22 per cent, the northeast 25 per cent and the northwest 15 per cent.
Several large weather systems moved through the province last week, resulting in significant amounts of precipitation along with hail in some areas. The Grenfell area received the most rainfall with 97 mm, the Moose Jaw area 77 mm, the Vanguard area 60 mm, the Jedburgh area 55 mm, the Harris area 50 mm and the Nether Hill area 46 mm. The rain will result in downgrading of crops still in the field; however, it will benefit pastures and hopefully allow them to regrow for next year.
The cool weather and large amounts of rainfall across much of the province has helped with the hot and dry conditions, however, much more rain is needed to break out of the current drought. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 32 per cent adequate, 37 per cent short and 30 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 23 per cent adequate, 34 per cent short and 42 per cent very short. Provincially, pasture conditions are rated as one per cent good, 15 per cent fair, 46 per cent poor and 38 per cent very poor.
The majority of crop damage this week was due to wind, heavy rainfall and hail. Even with the rainfall, crop and pasture land is under extreme stress from the drought. Around the Hodgeville area, a tornado touched down and resulted in considerable damage to one farm yard, damaging equipment, buildings and grain bins.
Producers are busy getting equipment and bins ready for harvest and waiting for crops to dry enough to combine.
With harvest underway in Saskatchewan, we want to remind producers to exercise caution while working out in the field. Be aware, take breaks and remain safe.
In response to the drought, the province announced an AgriRecovery response to provide a per head payment to help maintain female breeding livestock. Details and information on how to apply are being finalized and will be shared as soon as possible. Note that producers don't have to be enrolled in any existing programs to qualify for funding. As details are finalized, producers can check www.scic.ca for updates, or contact their local Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) office or call toll-free at 1-888-935-0000.
Producers are also reminded that in response to the feed shortage this year, SCIC doubled the Low Yield Appraisal threshold values for customers who salvage their cereal or pulse crops as feed, without negatively impacting future individual coverage. Customers are asked to contact their local SCIC office before they graze, bale or silage any damaged crops to discuss their options.
Additionally, the Government of Saskatchewan made changes to temporarily increase the maximum funding a livestock producer can receive from the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) for dugouts, wells and pipelines for agricultural use. Producers can contact the Ministry of Agriculture's Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 for information.
The federal and provincial governments have also increased the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for Saskatchewan producers. The interim benefit provides the opportunity for producers enrolled in AgriStability to access a portion of their benefit early, to help support losses and cover costs. To apply for an interim benefit, producers can contact their local SCIC office, call the AgriStability Call Centre toll-free at 1-886-270-8450, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Farm Stress Line is available for support 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, toll-free at 1-800-667-4442. Calls are answered by Mobile Crisis Services Regina, a non-profit, community-based agency and there is no call display.
A complete, printable version of the Crop Report is available online at https://www.saskatchewan.ca/crop-report.
Follow the 2021 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.