Haying is nearly completed in the southeast, and harvest is underway on winter crops, to soon begin on spring-seeded crops, say area producers.
The crop report from Sask. Agriculture indicates that 96 per cent of the hay crop in the southeast has been cut, and 87 per cent has been baled or put into silage, with 95 per cent of the hay crop rated as good to excellent in quality, and five per cent rated as fair.
Crop district 2A, which includes many of the Weyburn-area RMs, is reporting 100 per cent of the hay crop as being baled or put into silage.
Rainfall was welcomed by some areas this past week to help alleviate heat stress on many crops; some areas in the southeast have not received a significant rainfall since June.
In the past week of the crop report, the Weyburn area received 18 mm, Vibank had 15 mm and the Radville area got 20 mm. The Radville area has the lowest cumulative rainfall in the province with 179 mm so far in 2012, according to the crop report.
Going by RMs, Weyburn had 19 mm, Brokenshell had 24 mm, Wellington had 11 mm, part of the RM of Francis got as much as 30 mm, and in The Gap, amounts varied from 12 to 25 mm.
For Creelman area producer Marcel Van Staveren, the moisture has made for tough going and heavy crops as he tries to get his winter wheat crops harvested along with his canola, before needing to start soon on his spring-seeded durum crops.
As of Thursday, he said he was about halfway through his 1,300 acres of winter wheat, which is very tall and very tough straw, due to showers, heavy dew and high humidity.
"A lot of days combining can't get underway until about 2, and by 8 you have to quit. The humidity all makes for shorter days and you have to combine with a heavy stand of straw," said Van Staveren. "It's a slow process."
Meantime, he's just begun swathing his canola, and within the next week the durum will be ready for straight-cutting.
For Weyburn area farmer Wayne Vilcu, he said his crops are looking very well at this point, with harvesting of fall rye underway, estimating yields of between 35 and 45-50 bushels per acre. He predicted by this week some of his spring-seeded crops would be ready to start harvesting.
The hot sunshine has "speeded things up quite a bit" in terms of crop development. Vilcu said he has wheat, rye, barley and flax in the fields, with the flax to be last to be done this harvest time.
Throughout the southeast, 44 per cent of the winter wheat has been combined, along with 37 per cent of fall rye, one per cent of barley, four per cent of lentils and eight per cent of peas, with about eight per cent of canola swathed.
Provincially, one per cent of the provincial crop has now been combined, and three per cent has been swathed or is ready to straight-combine. At the provincial level, 28 per cent of the winter wheat, 23 per cent of the fall rye, six per cent of the peas, three per ent of the lentils and one per cent of the mustard has been combined. Two per cent of the canola and five per cent of the mustard has been swathed.
Crop reporters have indicated it is very difficult to assess yields at this time on uncombined crops, due to varying crop stages, disease and the lack of moisture in some areas.
Average yields for the region are predicted for the following crops: winter wheat, 55 bushels per acre; spring wheat, 37 bu/acre, durum 37 bu/acre, oats 70 bu per acre, barley 60 bu/acre, fall rye 48 bu/acre, flax 20 bu/acre, canola 30 bu/acre, mustard 972 pounds per acre, sunflowers 1,650 lb. per acre, lentils, 1,374 lb. per acre, peas 33 bu/acre, canaryseed 1,148 lb/acre, and chickpeas, 2,700 lbs. per acre.
Topsoil moisture rating on crop land is reported as nine per cent surplus, 76 per cent adequate and 15 per cent short, while hay land and pastures are rated as eight per cent surplus, 68 per cent adequate, 23 per cent short and one per cent very short.
In the Weyburn crop district (2A), one-third of crop land, hay land and pasture have surplus moisture.
Van Staveren said in terms of handling disease, he sprayed fungicide on most crops, and it has worked well with most crop.
He hasn't had to spray canola yet, and noted early in the year they had to spray for flea beetles.
"We're definitely going to be going hard pretty soon," he said, once the winter wheat is out of the way.
Van Staveren said he has plans for planting of fall cereals by the end of September.
According to the crop report, crop damage this week has been largely due to insects, disease, wind and localized flooding. Aster yellows, bertha armyworm and sclerotinia will reduce crop yields in some fields.
Producers are busy finishing haying, hauling bales, desiccating pulses and combining.