Crop District 3ASW – Coronach, Assiniboia and Ogema areas;
Crop District 3AN – Gravelbourg, Mossbank, Mortlach and Central Butte areas;
Crop District 3B – Kyle, Swift Current, Shaunavon and Ponteix areas;
Crop District 4 – Consul, Maple Creek and Leader areas
For the Period October 10 to 16, 2023
It was another tough year for producers in the southwest. With very few rain events in the region, drought in the southwest limited crop and pasture production this year. Some producers in the region are remarking on the number of years it’s been since they’ve had a big rain. Producers in the southwest were able to both seed and harvest their crops ahead of the rest of the province this year. Despite the growing conditions, producers were still pleased with the yields they were able to maintain this year. With the combines put away, many producers are hoping for lots of rain and snow to help replenish the depleted soil moisture levels.
Crop yields in the region are less than half that of the provincial averages with the depleted soil moisture levels taking their tolls on seeded crops. The majority of crops are within the top-quality two quality ratings.
Minimal moisture was received this year, with the overall precipitation ranging from 104 mm to 282 mm. Topsoil moisture for the region has been depleted this year. Producers are hoping rain and snow can help fill the soil moisture levels before the next growing season. Thirteen per cent of cropland has adequate topsoil moisture, 50 per cent is short, and 37 per cent is very short. Eleven per cent of hay and pasture have adequate topsoil moisture, 52 per cent is short, and 37 per cent is very short.
The dry conditions this year have caused producers to closely look at their feed supplies and have forced some producers to source feed from other regions. The majority of producers feel their winter feed supplies are adequate, but some are still facing shortages. Producers are now anticipating an increase in their fall cereal acres in the hopes of ensuring feed availability next year. This year, hay was of good to poor quality, with alfalfa yielding 0.56 tons per acre, brome/alfalfa yielding 0.64 tons per acre and greenfeed yielding 1.03 tons per acre. Irrigated hay yielded better, with alfalfa yielding 3.2 tons per acre, and brome/alfalfa yielding 2.1 tons per acre. Silage yielded 3.6 tons per acre.
With the crops off and the combines away, producers are working their fields to control weed populations, harrowing and rock picking. Producers are also hauling feed and water to livestock, marketing their animals and preparing for winter.