The Ministry of Agriculture reports that canola yields in the southeast continue to be disappointing due to high incidences of aster yellows and sclerotinia. Cereal and pulse yields vary, depending on seeding date, heat stress and disease.
“The canola is not too bad, but the yields are under average,” said Nikolejsin. He was combining canola last week.
“There are lots of drowned-out spots and water damage in the fields,” said Nikolejsin. He also noted that there was disease pressure from sclerotinia which had an effect on the canola yields.
“Some of the canola had heat issues when it was flowering,” noted Nikolejsin. “The later-seeded crops seem to be better and the weather looks good for the next few weeks.”
The majority of crop damage last week is due to wind, disease, heat stress and hail. Strong winds during the week have blown many swaths across fields and shelled standing pulse and canola crops.
“There’s been quite a bit of wind damage in canola; a lot of producers are quite frustrated with that,” said Weyburn area farmer Dale Paslawski, adding that samples of his red spring wheat are “gorgeous”, grading No. 1. Paslawski noted the yields are at or below average, estimating his hard red spring wheat was yielding at around 24-25 bushels to the acre.
As for canola growers, Paslawski said with the low yield in some fields, some guys are going to be lucky to just break even, pointing out, “It’s a very expensive crop to seed. We’re actually a non-traditional canola growing area.”
Paslawski said on the other hand, conditions are looking for seeding winter wheat, and predicted he’ll be doing that between Sept. 1 and 15, and hoping for some moisture even though they’re in the middle of harvest for spring-seeded crops.
Nikolejsin also noted that his spring wheat was excellent. “We are just swathing the rest of the wheat right now.”
Southeast producers are one-third completed their 2012 harvest operations. Last week, according to the weekly crop report from the Ministry of Agriculture, there was 32 per cent of the 2012 crop harvested. There was 27 per cent of the crop swathed or ready to straight combine.
Completed harvest includes 97 per cent of the winter wheat and fall rye, 19 per cent of the spring wheat and durum, 23 per cent of the barley, 58 per cent of the lentils, 78 per cent of the field peas, 29 per cent of the chickpeas, 30 per cent of the canola and 24 per cent of the mustard have been combined.
Swathed crops include 49 per cent of the canola and 39 per cent of the mustard.
Crop conditions and staging vary throughout the region, depending on seeding date, the impact of disease and the excess moisture in the spring.
Topsoil moisture ratings on cropland are reported as one per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and one per cent very short. On hay land and pasture, topsoil moisture is rated as 55 per cent adequate, 43 per cent short and two per cent very short. Crop District 1A is reporting that 75 per cent of cropland, hay land and pasture are short of moisture.
Pasture conditions across the region are rated as one per cent excellent, 54 per cent good, 39 per cent fair and six per cent poor. Ninety-seven per cent of livestock producers have indicated that they have adequate supplies of water for their animals.
The region received small amounts of precipitation this past week which has helped harvest progress.
Crop districts 2A and 3ASE reported receiving no rain this past week. Since April 1, rainfall in the region has ranged from 190 mm (Radville area) to 532 mm (Tantallon area). Radville has the lowest cumulative rainfall in the province.
Many crop producers are spraying flax and cereal crops for pre-harvest weed control. There have been reports of wildlife feeding on crops. Producers are desiccating, swathing, combining and hauling bales.