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Majority of crops in the southwest rated very poor to fair

Saskatchewan Agriculture's Crop Report for the period July 19-25.
canola and sprayer
The Crop Report for Southwestern Saskatchewan crop region covers Crop District 3ASW – Coronach, Assiniboia and Ogema areas; Crop District 3AN – Gravelbourg, Mossbank, Mortlach and Central Butte areas; Crop District 3B – Kyle, Swift Current , Shaunavon and Ponteix areas; Crop District 4 – Consul, Maple Creek and Leader areas.

SOUTHWESTERN SASKATCHEWAN CROP REGION — It was another relatively dry week in the southwest, but those who did get some precipitation have reported it was enough to relieve their crops from drought stress and maintain their current yield potential. The rainfall was also very good for livestock in the region who have suffered through the heat and dry conditions all season long. Crops in the region are starting to become ready for harvest and some producers have begun applying desiccants to pulse crops to prepare them for combining.

Livestock producers are almost done their haying operations with 58 per cent of the hay crop now baled or put into silage with an additional 21 per cent cut and waiting to be baled. Hay quality is rated as 12 per cent excellent, 44 per cent good and 44 per cent fair. Hay yields across the region are far lower than the regional and provincial averages.

The Moose Jaw area received the most precipitation this week with 33 mm. The Eyebrow and Vanguard areas received 22 mm and the Kyle area 10 mm. For many of the crops in the region the rain is either too little or too late to make any difference to yield, while in areas where more consistent moisture has been received crops appear to be preforming better than last year. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 43 per cent adequate, 46 per cent short and 11 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 34 per cent adequate, 43 per cent short and 23 per cent very short.

The majority of crops in the southwest region are in very poor-to-fair condition with very little being rated as excellent. The region did not receive rain at crucial times during the growing season and that has left the crops thin and stunted. Some producers in the region have begun to harvest pulse crops such as lentils.

Most of the crop damage this past week was due to drought stress, strong winds, heat and some minor localized hail. Farmers are busy finishing up haying, conducting yield assessments, harvesting or getting equipment and bins ready for harvest.