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Saskatchewan farmers begin harvesting as August begins: crop report

Saskatchewan farmers have officially started harvest, and crops extensions specialist Matthew Struthers expects many more to follow in the coming days. File / Global News

This year’s harvest has officially kicked off in Saskatchewan.

Farmers in the western regions of the province have begun harvesting where crops are further along, according to this week’s crop report. And for those in the east, they aren’t far behind as most crops should be ready in about a week’s time.

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“It’s going to be pretty common down here to see combines rolling across the field across the southwest and then going into the west central,” Matthew Struthers said, a crops extensions specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Struthers said whether or not the crops are ready for harvest really comes down to rain.

“There’s certainly some areas down here in the south especially and parts of the west central that crops just didn’t get that rain when they needed it and they’re certainly showing that now,” he said.

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The beginning of harvest comes at a perfect time, as more heat appears to be on the horizon.

“I would like to see mid to high 20s just to keep that crop advancing and then also just some light rains here and there that’ll help crops fill their pods with seed,” Struthers explained. “Just to keep things from burning off too quick.”

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While farmers have begun harvest, some have not been so lucky. Many crops have received hail damage over the last week, with some crops being hit so bad they have been completely written off.

“That’s really unfortunate to see,” he said. “You go through all this time growing a crop and then it gets cut down on you. We don’t want to see that going into August and then we certainly don’t want to see any early season frosts.”

In terms of topsoil moisture, even with the rainfall received this past week, topsoil moisture across the province continues to decline slightly. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as four per cent surplus, 64 per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and seven per cent very short.

Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 65 per cent adequate, 20 per cent short and 13 per cent very short.

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A full copy of the report can be found on the Government of Saskatchewan’s website.

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