July 11, 2019 2:15 pm
Updated: July 12, 2019 2:28 pm

Crops advance with recent moisture, but damaged by coinciding storms

A grain bin south of Saskatoon was swept by wind due to a storm in July of 2014.

Naomi Woods / Supplied

The warm weather and moisture aren’t going unnoticed for farmers as crops advance due to the conditions. However, crops remain behind normal developmental stages, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture.

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With the moisture also came storms across Saskatchewan and Alberta, causing “light to heavy” crop damage, according to the Canadian Crop Hail Association (CCHA).

Storms occurred between June 24-30 and July 1-2.

READ MORE: Recent moisture has Saskatchewan farmers feeling slightly more optimistic

As a result of the storms, there were 1,018 claims in Alberta and Saskatchewan which CCHA members are investigating.

Saskatchewan farmers made 98 claims after storms damaged cereals, oilseeds, and pulses, according to Murray Bantle of Co-operative Hail Insurance Company. He said the damage ranged from light to heavy with the heaviest damage being in Coronach and Assiniboia.

“Adjusters are reporting that early June storm damage is mostly light,” he said.

Farmers in Montmartre, Glenavon, Carnduff, Fox Valley, Hazlet, Rosetown, Elrose, and Shellbrook made 900 claims after storms produced pea to golf ball-sized hail in some areas, according to Darryl TIefenbach of Additional Municipal Hail.

“There was some significant hail damage in the Fox Valley through Hazlet area and Rosetown through Elrose area,” Tlefenbach said.

Wind, rain, and hail also caused damage to crops in Outlook, Sask., and communities near it.

File / Global News

For the period of July 2-8, “67 per cent of the fall cereals and 32 per cent of the spring cereals are in the heading stage, while 38 per cent of the canola and mustard and 54 per cent of the pulse crops are flowering,” according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s crop report.

Crop conditions are varying at this time with a majority in poor-to-good condition. Livestock producers have seven per cent of the hay crop cut and three per cent baled or put into silage.

Hay quality is rated at one per cent excellent, 47 per cent good, 33 per cent fair, and 19 per cent poor.

Due to the lack of moisture in the spring, swatch across the Prairies are “significantly smaller than normal.” Although the recent moisture has painted crops a darker green, they’re expected to have a reduced carrying capacity.

READ MORE: Crops in poor to good condition: Saskatchewan Agriculture

Pasture conditions are rated as three per cent excellent, 38 per cent good, 42 per cent fair, 15 per cent poor, and two per cent very poor.

Last week’s rainfall ranged from trace amounts to 92 millimetres in the Kelliher, Sask., area. Grenfell reported up to 80 millimetres of rain, Leader has 35 millimetres , Foam Lake had 26, and the Macklin area had 25. Humboldt reported 8 millimetres , and Glaslyn reported 48 millimetres of rain.

File / Global News

Across Saskatchewan, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as two per cent surplus, 79 per cent adequate, 18 per cent short and one per cent very short. Topsoil moisture on the hay land and pasture is rated as one per cent surplus, 75 per cent adequate, 22 per cent short and two per cent very short.

Producers have been applying fungicides where needed to pulse, cereal, and oilseed crops.

On top of storms, localized flooding, strong winds, hail, lack of moisture, and insects such as grasshoppers inflicted damage to crops. Root rots have also been noticed in pulse crops.

To combat the damage, farmers have been haying, scouting for insects and disease, repairing equipment, and hauling grain.

For the latest conditions and warnings, download the SkyTracker weather app.


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