CANORA - Most producers have wrapped up their harvest operations while others are cleaning up the rest of the fields or waiting on their flax to mature. Ninety-seven per cent of the crop has been harvested in the region, up from 89 per cent last week and well ahead of the five-year average of 74 per cent. Producers like to receive some rain soon as fields, dugouts, sloughs and pastures are drying up in the abnormally warm weather this fall.
There was very little rain received in the west-central region this past week; the Rosthern area reported 12 mm, the Marengo area four mm and the Luseland area two mm. These are the only areas in the region that reported precipitation this past week.
Minimal rain and windy conditions have reduced topsoil moisture conditions in the region and the situation is becoming very desperate for some producers. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as seven per cent adequate, 47 per cent short and 46 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as ten per cent adequate, 36 per cent short and 54 per cent very short.
On-farm water supplies are reaching extremely low levels. Producers have been hauling water all season long and are now moving cattle home or preparing them for market due to dwindling feed and water inventories. Many dugouts in the region are unsafe for livestock to drink from and producers are constantly testing their water sources. Due to another poor hay crop this year, some producers are opting to reduce their herd size rather than buy the feed they need at inflated prices.
There was not much crop damage this week due to most of the crop being harvested already. Producers are busy finishing up combining, harrowing, and hauling grain or bales and many more postharvest activities.