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
For the Period October 17 to 23, 2017
Harvest operations are complete in the region, although there are a few fields of flax and sunflower left to be combined.
The lack of moisture and hot temperatures negatively impacted crop production in the region. Crop yields vary greatly from area to area, depending on seeding date and how much moisture was received throughout the growing season. Crops such as canola, mustard, soybeans, field peas and canary seed were the most impacted and yields are well below normal for the region. Crop quality is the best it has been in a number of years, mainly due to lack of fall moisture and limited issues with diseases such as fusarium head blight and root rot. The majority of crops are falling within the top two grades.
Little to no rain was reported last week, allowing producers to complete fall work and get ready for winter. The Moose Jaw area has reported the most precipitation (236 mm) in the region since April 1.
Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions remain a concern for much of the region. With little moisture received in the last number of weeks coupled with frequent strong winds, topsoil moisture has greatly worsened in the region. The fire risk remains high in much of the region and grass and stubble fires continue to be reported. Subsoil moisture conditions are also very dry and fields will need significant amounts of moisture before next spring. Seeding conditions will be impacted if moisture is not received in the coming weeks. Heading into winter, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as 17 per cent adequate, 49 per cent short and 34 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as nine per cent adequate, 37 per cent short and 54 per cent very short.
Average hay yields on dry land are reported as (in tons per acre): alfalfa, alfalfa/brome and wild hay 0.8; other tame hay 0.7; and greenfeed 1.3. On irrigated land, reported hay yields are 1.3 tons per acre (alfalfa/brome).
At this time, most livestock producers in the region have indicated that they will have adequate supplies of hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain heading into winter. However, many producers in more southern and western areas of the region have indicated that feed shortages are imminent. Concerns are increasing for producers in the regions as recent fires have destroyed feed supplies as well as grazing land.
The number of acres seeded to winter cereals is well below average in most areas. Although rain was finally received in late September, many producers did not seed winter cereals as fields were still too dry and there were concerns of crops germinating and establishing properly prior to winter.
Farmers are busy working fields, putting machinery away, hauling bales and grain, putting down fertilizer and fixing fences.