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 13 to 19, 2020
Harvest is complete for most farmers in the region; they have continued to do fall field work such as harrowing, applying fertilizer and spraying for weeds as weather conditions allow. Dry conditions this fall limited some farmers from applying anhydrous ammonia and herbicides.
Crop yields varied throughout the region, with average yields overall for most crops. There were losses reported in different areas caused by hail storms, lack of moisture, heat damage and previously drowned out low spots in fields from high levels of early-season rainfall. Most crops in the region fall within the top two grades due to limited fall moisture during harvest and limited disease issues. While the earlier-harvested crops need to be dried, for many farmers the later harvested crops were coming off dry.
While the season started with adequate, and in some cases surplus, amounts of moisture, a lack of rain, heat and drying winds has resulted in dry field conditions in the region. Fall rain or a high snow melt in the spring is needed to improve moisture conditions. Heading into winter, cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 47 per cent adequate, 49 per cent short and five per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 52 per cent adequate, 37 per cent short and 10 per cent very short.
Average hay yields on dry land are (in tons per acre): alfalfa 2.2; alfalfa/brome 1.9; other tame hay 1.5; wild hay 3.1; and greenfeed 3.2. At this time, most livestock producers indicate adequate hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain heading into winter, with many farmers noting a potential surplus and some a potential shortage this winter depending on growing conditions over the summer.
The number of acres seeded to winter cereals is around average for the region, but some areas report less than normal acres due to dry field conditions.
Farmers are busy harrowing, working fields, hauling grain, applying fertilizer, controlling weeds and cleaning up fields.