The 2011 harvest has begun according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly crop report.
Three per cent of the 2011 crop has been combined. The five-year (2006-2010) provincial average for this time of year is five per cent combined.
Twenty-one per cent of the winter wheat, 30 per cent of the fall rye, 11 per cent of the lentils and 10 per cent of the field peas have been combined. Twelve per cent of the canola, six per cent of the mustard, and one per cent of the spring wheat, oats and barley has been swathed.
In the southeast, some producers have been able to get back onto the combines. Three per cent of the 2011 crop has been harvested. Ten per cent is swathed or ready to straight combine. Eleven per cent of the lentils, 15 per cent of the peas, 51 per cent of the winter wheat, 40 per cent of the fall rye and two per cent of the canola have been combined. Twenty-one per cent of the canola and eight 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.
Many crop reporters are indicating it is difficult to assess yields at this time on those crops that have not been combined, due to varying crop stages, flooded areas and disease. The following average yields for the region are predicted as follows: winter wheat 45 bu/ac, spring wheat 33 bu/ac, durum 29 bu/ac, oats 52 bu/ac, barley 45 bu/ac, fall rye 42 bu/ac, flax 14 bu/ac, canola 26 bu/ac, mustard 800 lb/ac, lentils 1000 lb/ac, peas 29 bu/ac and canaryseed 1100 lb/ac.
Crop reporters have indicated that hay yields are variable across the region. Estimated average hay yields are as follows: dry land alfalfa and alfalfa/brome stands 2.1 tons per acre, dry land greenfeed 1.9 tons per acre and other tame hay 1.8 tons per acre.
Topsoil moisture rating on cropland is reported as 11 per cent surplus, 77 per cent adequate and 12 per cent short. On hay land and pasture, topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 78 per cent adequate and 19 per cent short. Crop district 3ASE is reporting 45 and 31 per cent short of topsoil moisture on crop land and hay and pasture, respectively.
The majority of crop damage is due to wind, hail and insects. High winds blew some canola and hay swaths around. Hail damage was reported in the Moosomin and Marquis areas. Diamondback moth and Bertha armyworm have also caused crop damage in canola in some areas. Crops in some of the areas have been damaged by the hot temperatures experienced in July and into August. Crops planted under excess moisture conditions developed shallow root systems that were not able to buffer against high temperatures.
Producers are busy finishing haying, hauling bales, getting ready for harvest, combining, swathing and controlling weeds on unseeded acres.
Elsewhere in the province, livestock producers in many areas are finished haying, however rainfall delayed progress in some areas this past week. The average provincial hay yield for both dryland alfalfa and alfalfa/brome stands is 1.9 tons per acre, which is the five-year average (2006 to 2010). Average yield on irrigated alfalfa and alfalfa/brome stands is 2.9 tons per acre. Average greenfeed yield is 2.2 tons per acre on dryland and 3.4 tons per acre on irrigated stands.
Thunderstorms throughout the province brought heavy rain, high wind, and damaging hail in some areas. The majority of crop damage is due to hail, wind and insects.
Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as eight per cent surplus, 82 per cent adequate and 10 per cent short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as four per cent surplus, 80 per cent adequate and 16 per cent short.
Farmers are busy swathing, combining and hauling hay.