Farmers are busy with harvest operations, including swathing, straight-cutting and thrashing their crops this week.
Dale Paslawski noted that a lot of guys in the Weyburn area are still swathing canola. “They are a little behind with this, but this is because they’re also trying to harvest their winter wheat.”
Last week, Paslawski took a sample of his spring wheat to see if it was ready and noted that the sample was beautiful. He should start combining it this week.
Harvest operations in the southeast is progressing, and five per cent of the 2012 crop is harvested while 13 per cent is swathed or ready to straight combine.
Crops that have been combined include 58 per cent of the winter wheat, 43 per cent of the fall rye, five per cent of the barley, four per cent of the lentils and 22 per cent of the peas. Crops that have been swathed include 26 per cent of the canola and 39 per cent of the mustard has been swathed.
Crop conditions and staging vary throughout the region, depending on the spring’s excess moisture and seeding date. Crop reporters have indicated that hay yields are variable across the region. Estimated average hay yields are as follows: dry land alfalfa 1.4 tons per acre, alfalfa/brome 1.6 tons per acre, other tame hay 1.5 tons per acre, wild hay 1.1 tons per acre and greenfeed 2.0 tons per acre.
For other yields, Paslawski said that canola yields might be a little lower than he expected. “It was because of the timing and the heat of the season, we just missed the rain for good yields.”
Topsoil moisture ratings on cropland are reported as eight per cent surplus, 78 per cent adequate and 14 per cent short. On hay land and pasture, topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 85 per cent adequate and 13 per cent short. Crop District 2A, which is the Weyburn area, is reporting that 33 per cent of cropland has surplus moisture.
Rain and high humidity throughout the region has delayed harvest operations.
Precipitation ranged from trace amounts to 22 mm for the week.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s weekly crop report, the Tantallon area has the second highest cumulative rainfall in the province since April 1 at 529 mm. In contrast, the Weyburn area has the lowest cumulative rainfall in the province at 208 mm.
The majority of crop damage this week is due to disease, insects, wind, hail and localized flooding. Farmers also have to deal with late or second-growth weeds, according to Paslawski.
There are indications that sclerotinia, aster yellows and bertha armyworms will reduce canola yield in some parts of the region. There have also been reports of grasshoppers in flax crops.
Peas and lentils may grade less than expected in some areas due to excess moisture. Crops are quickly ripening and some will need additional moisture to help them mature.
Producers are hauling bales, swathing crops, desiccating pulses and combining. Paslawski said that the weather forecast looks favourable for farmers.