Farmers in northern areas were able to combine tough and damp crops last week—thanks to extensive grain drying.
The northeast saw the most harvest progress during the first week of October. Saskatchewan Agriculture estimates harvest progress jumped 19 points to reach 64 percent.
The northwest sits at 44 percent, an increase of 11 percentage points. Harvest in the northwest ground to a halt following another significant snowfall (ranging from small amounts to several inches) during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Shannon Friesen is an extension specialist who helps compile the weekly crop report with information provided by a network of volunteer crop reporters.
“Crop coming off now is tough or damp and for the most part is being placed into dryers, as time and space permits and if they are able to get any propane.”
Propane delivery delays have been reported in the Melfort and Yorkton regions.
Downgrading is occurring in cereal crops still on the field.
“We’ve heard many reports of bleaching, as well as sprouting. We do have lower bushel weights and now that a lot of the crop has lodged, we may see some earth tag issues,” says Friesen.
Some crop was combined in central areas, but not as much as northern areas that have greater drying capacity.
A number of producers were able to get a few hours of combining in, while others have not turned a wheel in a week or more. Seventy percent of the crop is combined in the west-central region, up from 62 percent. That is well behind the five-year average of 85 percent.
Less combining was done in the east-central region. It stands at 63 percent, only two percent higher than the previous week. A minimum of two weeks of warm, dry, windy weather will be needed to get the crop off.
The harvest is also stalled in southern areas, but there is only 10 percent of the crop remaining to combine. Saskatchewan Agriculture says 78 percent of the provincial crop has been harvested, behind the five-year average of 84 percent.
Topsoil moisture condition ratings are improving due to the rain and snow. Provincial cropland topsoil moisture is rated as four percent surplus, 66 percent adequate, 24 percent short and six percent very short. Hayland and topsoil moisture is rated as two percent surplus, 60 percent adequate, 29 percent short and 9 percent very short.
Most livestock producers indicate they have adequate feed supplies heading into winter. However, some shortages are likely in some southern and central areas later this winter.
You can check out the entire region-by-region crop report at: http://publications.gov.sk.ca/documents/20/108994-Crop%20Report%20October%202-8,%202018%20-%20Printer%20Friendly.pdf