Little precipitation allows Saskatchewan producers to wrap up 2021 harvest

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Saskatchewan Agriculture reported good conditions this week, allowing producers to wrap up the 2021 harvest as the result of little to no precipitation.

Southern region producers are “mostly finished with their harvest” and have since started on other fall field work.

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Producers are facing challenges harvesting crop like canola and flax due to regrowth across the province.

So far, 95 per cent of the crop has been combined, up from 89 per cent the week before. This rate also remains “well ahead” of the five-year of average for this time of year of 70 per cent.

An additional three per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut.

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The southwest region of the province has the most advanced harvest, with 98 per cent of the crop now combined.

The southeast and west central regions have 95 per cent of their crops combined.

The east-central and northeast regions have 94 per cent combined.

The northwest has 93 per cent of their crops combined.

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Cereals, lentils and field peas across Saskatchewan almost done being harvested.

Additionally, 99 per cent of chickpeas, 92 per cent of canola, 89 per cent of soybeans, and 75 per cent of flax have now been combined.

Six per cent of canola is swathed or ready to straight-cut.

There was a downside to the lack of precipitation, which continued to negatively impact top soil moisture.

The Arborfield and Luseland areas received two millimetres while the rest of the province saw trace amounts or no rain at all.

Producers are hopeful their stubble and crop residues are enough to “trap good amounts”

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Moisture conditions will continue to decline as wind and warm day will dry the topsoil.

According to Saskatchewan Agriculture, cropland topsoil moisture is rated at 17 per cent adequate, 50 per cent short and 33 per cent very short.

Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rate as 10 per cent adequate, 46 per cent short and 44 per cent very short.

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Saskatchewan Agriculture said while many areas of the province reported land as short or very short for topsoil moisture, the west central region is estimated 95 per cent of the cropland and 95 per cent of the hay and pasture land as short or very short.

Producers are hoping for a substantial amount of rainfall before the freeze-up to ensure adequate moisture levels for next year.

Wind, waterfowl, and wildlife were to blame for majority of the crop damage this week.

Wind continues to blow swaths around and shell out crops.

Symptoms also continue to be reported in the crops caused by lack of moisture and frost as well.

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“At this point of the season frost will be helpful for producers who are struggling with regrowth in their fields as it will kill off green growth and reduce the need for herbicide applications.”

Saskatchewan Agriculture is reminding producers that Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) provides compensation for damage caused by wildlife through the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program.

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Producers do not need to be an existing Crop Insurance customer to file a claim.

If producers do experience wildlife damage, they are asked to report it immediately by visiting the SCIC website or calling 1-888-935-0000.

Producers are busy combining, hauling grain and bales, moving cattle and starting other fall field work like post-harvest weed control and harrowing.

Due to the extreme lack of soil moisture, winter cereals are unable to be planted in many areas of the province.

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Fall fertilizer applications are also not possible in many regions because of dry conditions.

As harvest is underway in Saskatchewan, the government is reminding producers to exercise caution and stay safe.

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