Significant harvest progress was made this week, allowing Saskatchewan farmers to move ahead of the five-year harvest average. Thirty per cent of the 2013 provincial crop is combined and 36 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report for Sept. 3 to 9. The five-year average (2008-2012) for this time of year is 28 per cent combined and 31 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Harvest is most advanced in the Southwestern region, where 46 per cent of the crop is combined. Twenty-eight per cent is combined in the southeast; 23 per cent in the east-central region; 38 per cent in the west-central region; 15 per cent in the northeast and 16 per cent in the northwest.
Warm weather over the past few weeks has helped speed crop development.
Of the crop that has been harvested, above-average yields are being reported in most areas. Spring wheat average yields are reported as 43 bushels per acre, barley 66 bushels per acre, canola 35 bushels per acre, lentils 1,600 pounds per acre and peas 42 bushels per acre. Average yields vary from region to region, depending on seeding conditions and growing season moisture.
Thunderstorms later in the week dropped more than 60 millimetres of rain on some parts of the south. Province-wide, the week’s rainfall ranged from nil to 86 millimetres.
Grasshoppers, wind and heavy rains caused the majority of the reported crop damage.
Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as three per cent surplus, 59 per cent adequate, 30 per cent short and eight per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 54 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and 10 per cent very short.
Farmers are busy desiccating, swathing and combining.
Follow the 2013 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKGovAg.