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Southwest harvest close to completed

Warm and dry weather earlier in the week allowed many producers to return to the field after several days of rain delays.
sunset combine

Warm and dry weather earlier in the week allowed many producers to return to the field after several days of rain delays. Provincially, 89 per cent of the crop is now in the bin, up from 78 per cent last week, Saskatchewan Agriculture reported for the week ending October 2. Harvest progress remains ahead of the five year average of 82 per cent for this time of year and the ten year average of 83 per cent. There is also eight per cent of the crop swathed or ready to straight-cut.
One year ago, 80 per cent of the crop had been combined by this time. Heavy rain and snow halted harvest progress for many areas of the province and fields remained saturated. Spring wheat quality last year was below long-term averages.
Harvest is most advanced in the southwestern region, where 98 per cent of the crop is now combined. The southeastern and west-central regions have 92 per cent combined and the east-central region 89 per cent. The northeastern region has 78 per cent combined, while the northwestern region has only 69 per cent combined. Many producers worked long hours over the last week to combine the remaining crops prior to the rain. Some crops have been taken off tough and placed into aeration bins.
According to crop, 99 per cent of chickpeas, lentils and peas, 98 per cent of mustard, 97 per cent of durum, 93 per cent of canaryseed, 92 per cent of spring wheat and barley, 84 per cent of canola, 81 per cent of oats, 64 per cent of flax and 46 per cent of soybeans have now been combined. Canola is 14 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut. The winter wheat and fall rye harvests are completed.
Producers in many areas of the province welcomed the heavy rain and snow to help replenish the topsoil. However, warm and dry weather is now needed to dry crops sufficiently for producers to finish harvest. Rainfall this past week ranged from small amounts to 92 mm in the Kenaston area. Many central and northeastern areas reported well over 50 mm of rainfall, while areas in the south reported snow.
Topsoil moisture conditions have greatly improved with the recent moisture, but more will be needed to replenish the subsoil moisture for next spring. Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as five per cent surplus, 39 per cent adequate, 43 per cent short and 13 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 34 per cent adequate, 39 per cent short and 25 per cent very short.
Yield estimates remain about average overall, although they vary greatly across the province depending on time of seeding and moisture received throughout the season. Some eastern and northern areas are reporting higher-than-average yields due to timely rainfall. Yields in much of the southern and central regions were greatly affected by the extended period of hot and dry conditions this summer. Many crops did not fill properly as they ran out of moisture much earlier than normal. Some cereal crops have reduced protein content and lighter bushel weights. Spring wheat grades are above the 10-year average and are being reported as 74 per cent 1 CW, 23 per cent 2 CW and three per cent 3 CW.
The majority of crop damage this past week was due to localized flooding, frost, strong winds, lack of moisture and wildlife such as geese and deer. Producers are busy combining, completing fall field work, moving cattle and hauling bales. SaskPower received five reports last week of farm machinery coming in contact with electrical equipment, bringing the total for September to 28. Producers are urged to be especially careful when using equipment around power lines.
In southwestern Saskatchewan those producers with crops remaining in the field were able to get back in and continue harvesting during the past reporting week. In the southwest part of the province, harvesting is 98 per cent complete, up from 92 per cent the previous reporting week and well ahead of the five-year average of 88 per cent for this time of year.
The Coronach, Assiniboia and Ogema crop areas reported that harvest is 97 per cent completed. The Gravelbourg, Mossbank, Mortlach and Central Butte crop area is reporting harvest is 96 per cent completed. The Kyle, Swift Current, Shaunavon and Ponteix areas have 97-98 per cent of the crop in the bin. The Consul, Maple Creek and Leader areas are reporting 98-99 of the harvest completed.
In the southwest, winter wheat, fall rye, mustard, field peas, and lentils are 100 per cent combined, chickpeas, durum and barley are 99 per cent, spring wheat is 98 per cent, canola is 96 per cent, oats is 92 per cent combined or put to silage, canaryseed is 92 per cent combined, flax is 70 per cent combined, and soybeans are only 46 per cent combined. Producers are waiting for crops such as flax and soybeans to dry.
Estimated crop yields in the southwest for winter wheat are 27 bu/ac, fall rye 24 bu/ac, hard red spring wheat 28 bu/ac, other wheat 40 bu/ac, durum 28 bu/ac, oats 50 bu/ac, barley 44 bu/ac, flax 13 bu/ac, canola 22 bu/ac, soybeans 15 bu/ac, pea 23 bu/ac, lentils 1142 lbs/ac, canaryseed 975 lbs/ac, chickpeas 887 lbs/ac, and mustard 676 lbs/ac.
Heavy rain and snow were welcomed in the region to help replenish topsoil moisture. Additional moisture will be needed to replenish the subsoil for next year. Rain and snow this past reporting week ranged from trace amounts to 78 mm in the Tyner area. Many western areas of the region reported well over two inches of moisture. The Tyner area has reported the most precipitation (226 mm) in the region since April 1.
Cropland topsoil moisture conditions continue to improve with the recent moisture and, for the first time in over four months, surplus topsoil moisture has been reported. Topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as one per cent surplus, 15 per cent adequate, 60 per cent short and 24 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 14 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and 51 per cent very short.
Yield estimates vary greatly across the southwest region but are below average overall. There are some areas reporting higher-than-expected yields on crops such as lentils. The extended period of hot and dry conditions greatly affected production in the region. Spring wheat grades at this point in time are being reported as 75 per cent 1 CW, 22 per cent 2 CW and three per cent 3 CW.
Crop damage in the southwest this reporting week is attributed to frost, strong winds and lack of moisture. Post-harvest herbicide applications continue on those fields that have active weed growth. Livestock producers are concerned about feed shortages and some have already begun shipping cattle. Producers are busy completing harvest, working fields and moving cattle.