Advertisement

Yields lower than original estimates as harvest progresses in Saskatchewan

Drought conditions during the critical growing stages have greatly affected crop yields, with Sask Ag saying yields are far lower in some regions than originally forecast. EPA/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT

Harvest continues to progress quickly across Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Agriculture said 56 per cent of the crop is now in the bin, up 20 percentage points from a week ago.

The five-year average for this time of year is 35 per cent.

Read more: Drought shrivels Canada’s wheat crop to 14-year low, canola to 9-year low

Another 24 per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut, Sask Ag stated in Thursday’s crop report.

Drought conditions during the critical growth stages have greatly affected crop yields. Sask Ag said yields are far lower in some regions than originally forecast.

Estimated average crop yields are currently 27 bushels per acre for hard red spring wheat, 19 bushels per acre for durum, 38 bushels per acre for barley, 20 bushels per acre for canola, 21 bushels per acre for field peas and 817 pounds per acre for lentils.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: Saskatchewan farmers look to the future after months of drought

Rain was reported in some regions, with the Rhein area receiving 102 millimetres. Sask Ag said this resulted in flooding and standing water in some fields.

Precipitation in the past few weeks has affected standing crops, resulting in crops such as cereals and lentils experiencing severe weathering and being downgraded at the elevator.

Sask Ag said it has received reports that some fields are in such poor condition that some producers have indicated they will not be harvested.

Click to play video: 'Contract concerns mount as harvest produces low yields for some' Contract concerns mount as harvest produces low yields for some
Contract concerns mount as harvest produces low yields for some – Sep 2, 2021

Other damage reported in the past week was due to strong winds, drought and hail.

Despite rainfall in some regions, Sask Ag said cropland topsoil moisture conditions deteriorated slightly due to strong winds.

Story continues below advertisement

It is currently rated one per cent surplus, 38 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 23 per cent very short.

Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture improved this week, Sask Ag said, and is currently rated one per cent surplus, 25 per cent adequate, 39 per cent short and 35 per cent very short.

Relief measures

A number of relief measures have been announced for producers affected by the drought.

The 2021 Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative will provide a per-head payment to livestock producers to help maintain female breeding stock.

The initial payment will provide producers $100 per breeding female equivalent in inventory as of Aug. 1, 2021.

Secondary payments of up to $100 per breeding female in inventory as of Dec. 31, 2021, will be made to producers who have incurred additional costs to retain the animals.

Read more: Saskatchewan details aid for livestock producers affected by drought

The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. is doubling the low yield appraisal threshold values for its customers who salvage their cereal or pulse crops as feed, without negatively impacting future individual coverage.

Story continues below advertisement

SCIC said customers should contact their local office first to discuss options before they graze, bale or silage any damaged crops.

Click to play video: 'High cost of hay could drive up beef prices, put livestock producers out of business' High cost of hay could drive up beef prices, put livestock producers out of business
High cost of hay could drive up beef prices, put livestock producers out of business – Aug 19, 2021

The Saskatchewan government said it is providing relief to livestock producers by temporarily increasing the maximum funding from the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure program to $150,000 from $50,000.

The program is for dugouts, wells and pipelines for agriculture use, with the first $50,000 based on a 50-50 cost share and the remaining $100,000 on a 70-30 government-producer cost share.

More information on the program is available by contacting the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.

The federal and provincial governments have also increased the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for Saskatchewan producers.

Story continues below advertisement

The interim benefit provides the opportunity for producers enrolled in AgriStability to access a portion of their benefit early, to help support losses and cover costs.

Farmers stress line

Sask Ag said the Farmers Stress Line is available 24-hours a day for any needed support at 1-800-677-4442.

The service is run by Mobile Crisis Services Regina and all calls are confidential.

Click to play video: 'Rise in demand for Farm Stress Line' Rise in demand for Farm Stress Line
Rise in demand for Farm Stress Line – Jul 28, 2021

Sponsored content