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Stressed crops are being evaluated

Crop insurance claims increase due to moisture

Quite a large number of crop insurance claims are being handled by the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation, as farmers continue to deal with the effects of excess moisture received this year.

"We have received 13,000 registered unseeded acreage claims to date," said Shawn Jaques, the acting general manager of Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation on Friday.

Because the crop insurance adjusters have just started to process the claims, "we won't know the total acres that will be affected, or the total amount that will be paid out to affected producers," added Jaques.

For the southeast region, it is "fair to say that most producers had very little seeded," noted Jaques. "We are also hearing from farmers that there are drowned-out crops, but we don't know the extent yet."

Flooding is the cause of most crop damage as crops are still under excess moisture stress. "I had a visit from crop insurance and they wrote off all the canola that I seeded; it was too wet and it was not established at all," said Jack Goski.

A semi-retired farmer, Goski was only able to seed 60 acres of the quarter that he farms. His other quarters are rented out to other farmers.

"I will have to spray it out, and hopefully it will dry out for next year. There are a lot of farmers in the neighbourhood that are in the same situation," said Goski. "There is the odd field that had better drainage."

For producer Kyle Schurko, his canola crop on higher ground is "looking about average, but it did certainly get stressed by moisture." He seeded only a couple of quarters of land, and figures that 30 per cent of it got flooded out. The lower land acres still have issues with excess moisture.

Right now the priority for Schurko is spraying all his unseeded acres for weeds. "Some acres are still too wet for the spraying, but we are getting the majority. We have heavy weeds this year. Once we spray, we will have to see what happens."

Crop conditions for 55 per cent of the fall cereals and 80 per cent of the spring cereals, oilseeds and pulses are behind normal in development. Leaf diseases are reported, as are aphids in the peas and lentils.

Precipitation recorded in the southeast region was in varying amounts during the week, with the Weyburn and Radville areas reporting seven mm. Some areas recorded heavy rain and damaging winds with thunderstorms.

Topsoil moisture conditions on crop land is rated as 36 per cent surplus and 64 per cent adequate. Hay and pasture land is rated as 25 per cent surplus and 74 per cent adequate.

Warm and sunny weather received in the Weyburn area during the week of July 5 to 11 helped improve the conditions of some water-stressed crops. More producers are able to access their fields to control weeds, scout crops and complete haying progress.

Haying operations were reported as 16 per cent cut, and five per cent that was baled or put into silage. High humidity is slowing the drying process.

Quality of hay is reported to be at 80 per cent in good to excellent condition. Crop reporters are still predicting that there will be many acres of hay land that will not be accessible, due to moisture that remains in fields.