Crop District 5 – Melville, Yorkton, Cupar, Kamsack, Foam Lake, Preeceville and Kelvington areas;
Crop District 6A – Lumsden, Craik, Watrous and Clavet areas
For the Period October 17 to 23, 2017
Producers have essentially wrapped up harvest operations in the region. There are a few fields of crops such as flax and canola left to be combined. Fall work continues and many producers in the area have been able to reclaim acres lost to flooding in previous years.
Crop yields vary throughout the region but overall are about average to slightly above average thanks to timely rain and good soil moisture during the growing season. Although most crops are about average, crops such as lentils, field peas and durum yielded better than normal for many producers. 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. The majority of crops are falling within the top two grades.
Small amounts of rainfall were received in the region, although it wasn’t enough to keep producers out of the field. The Kelvington area has reported the most precipitation (364 mm) in the region since April 1.
Topsoil moisture conditions remain a concern for much of the region and conditions have worsened in recent weeks. Heading into winter, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as 58 per cent adequate, 30 per cent short and 12 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 46 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 16 per cent very short. Like much of the province, significant amounts of moisture will be needed before next spring in order to replenish what has been lost from the hot and dry conditions.
Average hay yields on dry land are reported as (in tons per acre): alfalfa and alfalfa/brome 1.1; other tame hay and wild hay 1.0; and greenfeed 1.7. At this time, most livestock producers have indicated that they will have adequate amounts of hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain heading into winter. However, there are some areas that may be short of hay.
The number of acres seeded to winter cereals is 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 cleaning up fields, hauling bales and grain, putting fertilizer down, picking rocks and moving cattle.