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 30 to November 5, 2018
Harvest has all but wrapped up in the region, thanks to improved weather conditions in late October. A few fields of crops such as oats remain to be combined when time and weather permit.
Yields vary greatly in the region, with some crops yielding much higher than expected due to timely rains in June. The majority of crops taken off prior to the rain and snow in September are good quality and are falling within the top two grades. There were few reports of disease this growing season, although there have been some reports of ergot in cereal crops. Aeration bins and dryers have been in continuous use on many farms for well over a month.
Although the recent rain and snow have helped to replenish topsoil moisture in much of the region, the subsoil remains dry and additional precipitation will be needed to help with growing conditions next spring. Heading into winter, cropland topsoil moisture conditions are rated as three per cent surplus, 60 per cent adequate, 23 per cent short and 14 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as three per cent surplus, 38 per cent adequate, 40 percent short and 19 per cent very short.
Average hay yields on dry land are reported (in tons per acre) as: alfalfa and alfalfa/brome 1.0; other tame hay and wild hay 0.7; 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 will be some areas that may be short hay and greenfeed, especially if the winter feeding season is extended.
The number of acres seeded to fall cereals is well below normal, mainly due to drier field conditions and concerns of crops not germinating and establishing properly prior to winter.
When time and weather permit, farmers are drying grain, working fields, putting machinery away, checking and fixing fences, hauling bales and grain, and selling cattle.