Harvest operations underway as drought conditions continue: Sask Ag

Harvest is 29 per cent complete in Saskatchewan. File / Global News

The latest crop report from Saskatchewan Agriculture shows that harvest has begun in parts of the province with three per cent of crop now combined.

According to the report, this is well ahead of the province’s five-year average between 2016 and 2020 of less than one per cent harvested for this time of year.

Another three per cent of the crop is ready for straight combining, which Sask Ag notes will be a number that quickly rises since crops are rapidly drying due to dry, hot conditions.

Provincial topsoil moisture saw a reduction this past week due to minimal rain and hot temperatures. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent adequate, 31 per cent short and 66 per cent very short.

Read more: AgriStability interim benefit increase announced for Sask. producers

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Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and 73 per cent very short.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon-area farmer on challenges now and in the future' Saskatoon-area farmer on challenges now and in the future
Saskatoon-area farmer on challenges now and in the future – Aug 3, 2021

Sask Ag added in Thursday’s report that some areas of Saskatchewan received either minimal rainfall this past week or none at all.

Receiving the most rainfall this week was the Macklin area at 18 millimetres followed by the Marquis area with 16 millimetres, the Cabri area with 14 millimetres and the Allan area with 11 millimetres.

Read more: Drought providing challenging times for cattle ranchers in Saskatchewan

While rain will provide little impact for the crop this year moving forward, Sask Ag said it will help soil moisture going into the fall months and hopefully carry over to 2022.

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Pasture conditions are reported as 19 per cent fair, 35 per cent poor and 46 per cent very poor. Heat, drought stress and wind were the factors causing the majority of crop damage this week.

Other impacts from this past week include some minor damage caused by hail storms in parts of the province and grasshoppers creating issues in many areas. However, most producers are unable to deal with the grasshoppers since harvest has started.

The report mentioned that producers are being extra vigilant for signs of combine fires or field fires generated during harvest activities due to extremely dry conditions in fields.

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