Crop development advanced by warm weather

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Warm weather has helped to speed crop development during the past few days. However, warm conditions will be needed into the harvest season to advance crops.  Crop development is 10 days to two weeks behind normal in many areas.

In the Southwest and west-central regions, some winter cereals are ready to straight cut and producers have just started swathing canola, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report for Aug. 6 to 12. Desiccation of peas and lentils has started, and other crops are starting to turn in some areas.

Challenges with swath dry down and baling continue for livestock producers. Haying progress varies according to rain showers. The estimated average hay yields on dry land are reported as 1.6 tons per acre (alfalfa and alfalfa/brome hay), 1.3 tons per acre (other tame hay), 1.3 tons per acre (wild hay) and 2.0 tons per acre (greenfeed). On irrigated land, the estimated average hay yields are 2.8 tons per acre (alfalfa and alfalfa/brome hay), 1.0 ton per acre (other tame hay), and 4.2 tons per acre (greenfeed). Hay yields on dry land as well as on irrigated land are on par with the five year average.

The majority of crops are filling, with crops in some areas podding and finishing flowering. Most areas of the province recorded rain last week ranging from trace to 58 millimeters. Insects and disease caused some crop damage.

Across the province, topsoil moisture on crop land is rated as five per cent surplus, 81 per cent adequate, 13 per cent short and one per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 79 per cent adequate, 17 per cent short and one per cent very short.

Farmers are busy finishing up haying and getting ready for harvest.

Follow the 2013 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKGovAg.

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