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, Minton and Lake Alma areas
For the Period October 30 to November 5, 2018
Harvest has wrapped up in the region, although there are a few fields of crops such as flax, oat and sunflower left to be combined if time and weather permit.
Crop yields vary greatly within the region, depending on how much moisture was received throughout the growing season. While some crops in the region were able to capitalize on timely June rains and yield well-above normal, other crops were greatly affected by the extended hot and dry conditions. Due to the overall drier conditions, many crops matured quickly and producers were able to take the bulk of the crop off, with good quality, before rain and snow in mid-September. There were few reports of disease this growing season, although ergot levels were higher than normal in some durum and rye crops.
Recent snow and rain have helped to replenish topsoil moisture in much of the region. While the lack of subsoil moisture remains a concern, some producers have indicated that fall moisture conditions are the best they’ve been in a number of years. Heading into winter, topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as six per cent surplus, 61 per cent adequate, 22 per cent short and 11 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 69 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and seven per cent very short. Many areas in the region will need significant precipitation to help replenish both the topsoil and subsoil moisture for next spring.
Average hay yields on dry land are reported (in tons per acre) as: alfalfa 1.2; alfalfa/brome 1.4; other tame hay 1.0; wild hay 0.95; and greenfeed 1.7. 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 drier areas of the region are reporting that shortages may be likely if the winter feeding season is extended.
With the drier field conditions this past fall, the number of acres seeded to winter cereals is below average in most areas. However, fields that were seeded early benefited from the moisture in September.
When time and weather permit, farmers are drying grain, working fields, putting machinery away, hauling bales and grain, picking rocks, putting down fertilizer and preparing for the fall calving season.