Crop District 8 – Hudson Bay, Tisdale, Melfort, Carrot River, Humboldt, Kinistino, Cudworth and Aberdeen areas;
Crop District 9AE – Prince Albert, Choiceland and Paddockwood areas
For the Period October 17 to 23, 2017
Harvest is virtually complete in the region thanks to a good stretch of warm and relatively dry weather. There are a few fields of crops such as canola, oats and flax 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 well above average for the majority of crops. Timely rain and good soil moisture allowed for crops such as canola, oats, field peas and flax to yield much better than 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. The majority of crops are falling within the top two grades.
Varying amounts of rainfall were received last week, ranging from trace amounts to 23 mm in the Melfort area. The Nipawin area has reported the most precipitation (595 mm) in the region since April 1.
Topsoil moisture conditions are in relatively good shape heading into winter. The recent rainfall has helped to replenish dry areas, although additional moisture will be needed prior to next spring. Topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as two per cent surplus, 74 per cent adequate, 21 per cent short and three per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 64 per cent adequate, 31 per cent short and two per cent very short. Crop District 9AE is reporting that 10 per cent of both the cropland and hay land and pasture have surplus topsoil moisture at this time.
Average hay yields on dry land are reported as (in tons per acre): alfalfa 1.9; alfalfa/brome 2.0; other tame hay 1.7; wild hay 1.4; and greenfeed 2.7. At this time, the vast majority of livestock producers have indicated that they will have adequate amounts of hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain heading into winter.
The number of acres seeded to winter cereals is above average in most areas. Much of the region had adequate topsoil moisture at seeding time and producers were able to take advantage of the quicker-than-normal harvest progress this year.
Farmers are busy finishing up harvest, cleaning up fields, fixing fences, hauling bales and grain, putting fertilizer down, picking rocks and moving cattle.