Crop District 3ASW – Coronach, Assiniboia and Ogema areas; Crop District 3AN – Gravelbourg, Mossbank, Mortlach and Central Butte areas;
For the Period October 30 to November 5, 2018
Crop District 3B – Kyle, Swift Current , Shaunavon and Ponteix areas;
Crop District 4 – Consul, Maple Creek and Leader areas
Improved weather conditions in late October allowed for harvest to finally wrap in the region. A few fields of crops such as flax, soybean and sunflower remain to be combined.
The extended period of hot and dry conditions negatively affected crop production in many areas. Overall crop yields vary greatly across the region, with many areas reporting significantly lower yields than normal. Crops such as durum, canola, soybean and lentil were the hardest hit and are well below long-term averages. Due to the overall drier conditions, many crops matured quickly and producers were able to take off the bulk of the crop, with good quality, before rain and snow in mid-September. There were few reports of diseases such as fusarium head blight this growing season.
Topsoil and subsoil moisture remains a concern for the majority of the region. Although conditions have improved thanks to recent rain and snow, fields will need significant moisture before seeding time to replenish what was lost this past growing season. Cropland topsoil moisture heading into winter is rated as 59 per cent adequate, 37 per cent short and four per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as 39 per cent adequate, 51 percent short and 10 per cent very short.
Average hay yields on dry land are reported (in tons per acre) as: alfalfa and wild hay 0.7; alfalfa/brome and other tame hay 0.6; and greenfeed 1.6. 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, many producers across the region have indicated that feed shortages are expected by spring, especially if the winter feeding season is extended.
The number of acres seeded to winter cereals is below average in most areas. Although rain and snow was received in September, many producers did not seed winter cereals as fields were still too dry and there were concerns that crops would not germinate and establish 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.