Harvest is progressing well in the region due to warm and dry weather. “We had a long run, but we are about 90 per cent complete now,” said Russell Leguee, who farms in the Fillmore/Talmage area.
“We started our harvest operations on July 30, and now we are finally getting near the end,” said Leguee. He had completed his winter wheat, durum, yellow peas and barley, and most of his canola crops. “The crop quality is quite good,” he added.
Last week, he was waiting to finish the rest of his canola and starting the harvest of soybeans. Leguee noted that the canola yields were a little disappointing.
Canola yields continue to be disappointing in most of the region, as reported by farmers to the Ministry of Agriculture. Cereal yields range from lower than average to above average, depending on seeding date and moisture conditions.
Producers now have 76 per cent of the 2012 crop combined, up from 56 per cent last week according to the weekly crop report. There is an additional 12 per cent that is swathed or ready to straight combine.
For harvest operations across the province, the southwest leads harvest operations, with 85 per cent combined. The southeast is at 76 per cent, the east-central region at 50 per cent, the west-central region at 40 per cent, the northeast 31 per cent and the northwest 27 per cent.
The provincial average is 56 per cent harvested, which is above the provincial five-year average of 40 per cent.
Southeast farmers have completed 100 per cent of the winter wheat and fall rye, 73 per cent of the spring wheat, 70 per cent of the durum, 72 per cent of the barley, 35 per cent of the canaryseed, 97 per cent of the lentils and peas, 93 per cent of the chickpeas and 23 per cent of the flax.
Flax crops still need time to mature and many producers are applying pre-harvest chemical applications.
For canola, there is 82 per cent combined, and 92 per cent of the mustard completed. An additional 16 per cent of canola is swathed or ready to straight combine.
The majority of the region did not receive any rainfall this past week, although the Frobisher area received 3 mm. Since April 1, rainfall in the region has ranged from 237 mm (Carnduff area) to 532 mm (Tantallon area).
As producers finish their harvest operations, many in the area are hoping for some rain now. “We are doing some fall field work, but we need it to rain before we can start seeding winter wheat,” said Leguee.
Topsoil is becoming increasingly dry in many areas of the region. Topsoil moisture ratings on cropland are reported as one per cent surplus, 45 per cent adequate, 46 per cent short and eight per cent very short. On hay land and pasture, topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 40 per cent adequate, 50 per cent short and nine per cent very short.
Crop District 1A is reporting that 25 per cent of cropland and 30 per cent hay land and pasture are very short of moisture. A significant rainfall will be needed after harvest to recharge the soil.
Crop damage this week is due to wind and drought stress. Strong winds throughout the week have damaged many crops and blown swaths across fields.