Crop District 1 -Carnduff, Estevan, Redvers, Moosomin and Kipling areas;
Crop District 2 – Weyburn, Milestone, Moose Jaw, Regina and Qu’Appelle areas;
Crop District 3ASE – Radville and Lake Alma areas
For the Period October 17 to 23, 2017
Harvest is wrapped up in the region, although there are a few fields of crops such as flax and sunflower left to be combined.
Crop yields vary within the region depending on how much moisture was received throughout the growing season. While producers in the eastern areas received more timely rains, others in western and southern areas were more greatly impacted by the hot and dry conditions. Crops such as soybean, flax, chickpea and mustard were impacted the greatest and yields are well below average. Crop quality is the best it has been in a number of years for producers in the region. The majority of crops are falling within the top two grades thanks to lack of fall moisture and limited disease issues from ergot and fusarium head blight.
Little to no rain was reported last week, allowing producers to complete fall work and get ready for winter. The Alida area has reported the most precipitation (258 mm) in the region since April 1.
Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions remain a concern for much of the region. With little moisture received in recent weeks coupled with frequent strong winds, topsoil moisture has greatly worsened in the region. Many producers have indicated that the subsoil moisture is also very dry and will need significant amounts of moisture before next spring to replenish what has been lost; seeding conditions will be impacted next spring if field conditions remain dry. Heading into winter, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as 18 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 44 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 14 per cent adequate, 34 per cent short and 52 per cent very short.
Average hay yields on dry land are reported as (in tons per acre): alfalfa and alfalfa/brome 0.9; other tame hay 0.7, wild hay 1.3; and greenfeed 1.4. At this time, most livestock producers have indicated that they will have adequate supplies of hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain heading into winter. However, some producers in more southern and western areas of the region have indicated that they have inadequate feed supplies and shortages are likely.
With the drier than normal field conditions this fall, the number of acres seeded to winter cereals is well 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, putting machinery away, hauling bales and grain, drying grain, putting down fertilizer, working fields and picking rocks.