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Northwestern Saskatchewan

Crop District 9AW – Shellbrook, North Battleford, Big River and Hafford areas;
Crop District 9B – Meadow Lake, Turtleford, Pierceland, Maidstone and Lloydminster areas

For the Period October 17 to 23, 2017

Ninety-eight per cent of the crop is now combined in the region with the rest of the crop expected to be in the bin within the next week or so. There are some fields of canola, oats and barley left to be combined. 

Crop yields vary greatly but overall are average to well above average thanks to timely rain during the growing season. Crops such as spring wheat, flax, canola and field peas are well above average 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 ergot and fusarium head blight. The majority of crops are falling within the top two grades.

Varying amounts of rainfall were received last week, ranging from small amounts to 25 mm in the Neilburg area. The Meadow Lake area has reported the most precipitation (509 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; however, additional moisture will be needed prior to next spring. Topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 68 per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and seven per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 68 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and eight per cent very short.

Average hay yields on dry land are reported as (in tons per acre): alfalfa 1.5; alfalfa/brome 1.4; other tame hay 1.1; wild hay 0.78; and greenfeed 2.1. At this time, the majority of livestock producers have indicated that they will have adequate amounts of hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain heading into winter. However, there are reports in some areas of inadequate hay supplies.

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, putting machinery away, fixing fences, hauling bales and grain, putting fertilizer down and moving cattle.