The recent heat wave hitting southern Saskatchewan is just what the farmers wanted and swathing is in full gear with harvest hot on its tail.
Dale Paslawski farms near Cedoux, but travels throughout Saskatchewan for work and is impressed with the canola crop that he sees in the area.
“Swathing canola is going full bore right now,” said Paslawski. He predicted a record canola crop for some farmers in the southeast and said some farmers could get as much as 60 bushels of canola an acre.
Paslawski is hoping the prices don’t drop too far. “There’s an unbelievable crop. It’s massive.”
Haying is almost done and wheat and barley are about ready for harvest. Some lentils were harvested, but the later-seeded pulses need a bit more time and peas are about ready. “The weather is absolutely, exactly what we ordered,” said Paslawski. “The heat is a God send.”
Shane Watson, who farms near Yellow Grass, was also impressed with his canola crop. “I won’t call it a bumper crop yet.”
Watson is starting to swath his canola and said it will be another two weeks before harvest swings into full gear on his farm.
Watson’s lentils did not do well this year, but the rest of his crops are doing fine.
Grasshoppers posed a bit of a threat, but not enough for him to spray, and Bertha armyworms never made an appearance in his fields.
Blade Young, who ranches between Tyvan and Handsworth, said he is done haying, but that lots of other ranchers are still haying. What is coming off the fields now is mostly grass hay and is producing roughly one tonne per acre.
“The quality is getting to the point where is would need to be supplemented,” said Young.
His cows are doing well, even after having a few incidences of foot rot increase from earlier this summer. Other ailments such as pink eye and pneumonia were relatively rare among his heard.
The Ministry of Agriculture reports harvest has just started in the region. The warm weather over the past several days has helped speed crop development.
Two per cent of peas and winter wheat were combined. Five per cent of peas and three per cent of winter wheat were swathed or is ready to straight cut. Eight per cent of canola was swathed. Pulses are being desiccated as well.
Most crop reporters are indicating crops are 10 days to two weeks behind normal in development for this time of year. The majority of the region recorded very little rain, with the exception of a small area around Ceylon which reported 88 mm within about an hour on August 14.
Topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as 10 per cent surplus, 83 per cent adequate and seven per cent short. Hay land and pasture moisture is rated as five per cent surplus, 86 per cent adequate, eight per cent short and one per cent very short.
The ministry reports the majority of crop damage is due to insects and disease. Grasshoppers are causing the majority of insect damage. There are a few reports of higher, but localized bertha armyworm populations.