Crop Districts 6B – Hanley, Outlook, Loreburn, Saskatoon and Arelee areas;
For the Period October 30 to November 5, 2018
Crop District 7A – Rosetown, Kindersley, Eston, Major;
Crop District 7B - Kerrobert, Macklin, Wilkie and Biggar areas
Harvest is coming to a close in the west-central region. Recent snow and rain have delayed any further combining of crops such as canola and flax left in the field.
The extended period of hot and dry conditions negatively affected crop production in many areas. Overall crop yields vary greatly, with some producers reporting yields much higher than expected. Crops such as soybeans yielded much less than average, mainly due to lack of moisture. Due to the overall drier conditions, many crops matured quickly and producers were able to take off a good amount of the crop, in good quality, before rain and snow in mid-September. There were a few reports of ergot in rye and durum fields.
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 73 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and one per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture conditions are rated as 55 per cent adequate, 44 percent short and two per cent very short.
Average hay yields on dry land are reported (in tons per acre) as: alfalfa 1.1; alfalfa/brome 1.0; other tame hay 0.8; wild hay 0.5; and greenfeed 2.0. 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 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 were received in September, many producers did not seed winter cereals as fields were still too dry and there were concerns of crops not germinating and establishing properly prior to winter. When time and weather permit, farmers are working fields, checking and fixing fences, hauling grain, moving cattle, putting machinery away and drying grain.