Weather slowing completion of harvest

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Seventy-nine per cent of the 2013 crop is now combined, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report for Sept. 24 to 30.

Significant rainfall recorded last week slowed harvest progress in most areas of the province. Fifteen per cent is swathed or is ready to straight-cut. The five-year average for this time of year (2008-2012) is 74 per cent combined and 18 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Harvest progress is most advanced in the west-central region, where 95 per cent of the crop is combined. Eighty five per cent is combined in the Southwest; 88 per cent in the northwest; 74 per cent in the northeast; 72 per cent is combined in the southeast, and 68 per cent in the east-central region.

Rainfall throughout the province ranged from nil to 81 millimetres. Many areas received more than 35 millimetres of rain, and heavy precipitation was reported in the southwestern, east-central and northeastern regions. Many areas in the southwestern, southeastern and east-central regions have been experiencing rain delays for a couple of weeks.

Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as five per cent surplus, 65 per cent adequate, 19 per cent short and 11 per cent very short. Topsoil moisture on hay and pasture land is rated as two per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and 11 per cent very short.

Pasture conditions are rated as nine per cent excellent, 43 per cent good, 29 per cent fair, 16 per cent poor and three per cent very poor.

Rain and strong winds caused the majority of the crop damage. The rain has resulted in bleaching and sprouting of some cereal crops.  Wind has caused some shattering losses in swathed canola and ripe crops.

Farmers are busy combining, hauling bales and completing fall weed control.

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