The provincial crop report revealed that many producers across the province have already started harvesting their heat scorched crops.
Three percent of the provincial crop has been combined, far ahead of the five-year average of one percent.
Matt Struthers with Sask Ag says there’s a couple of reasons for the higher numbers.
“There’s quite a few factors that go into that, the drought has really quickened things up, and farmers just can’t wait any longer, their crops are just drying down that quickly,” said Struthers. “The other thing is, in that three percent, that also includes a portion of annual crops that were taken off to be harvested for green feed to support some livestock producers.”
Very minimal rain fell this week around the province with only 18 mm falling in Macklin, the most in the province.
Struthers says there’s no amount of rain that could salvage the crop this year, saying any rainfall is just a drop in an empty bucket.
“The damage has been done, and we’re just going to have to live with it for the moment, but any rain we receive from now and going into the fall and the winter, is going to help the ground recover and recharge and help any crops for the following year,” said Struthers. “So, I hope everyone gets their crop off, and then there’s a big dump of rain across the prairies for a good week and we can forget about this year and start the spring fresh.”
Crop damage is extensive due to heat and drought stress, but Struthers says grasshoppers continue to be a huge issue.
He adds that many producers are left just trying to cope with them.
“It’s been kind of a crazy year, a lot of people who have never sprayed for grasshoppers have had to go out there and spray for them,” said Struthers. “They like that hot, dry heat, they want a little bit of moisture in the spring to start their life-cycle and then when it gets hot and dry, they just take off, and they really did take off. Just about everyone in the province has had some sort of problem with them.”
Struthers says due to the heat, producers are being extra vigilant when it comes to the fire risk presented by combining.
He adds there’s a mixed bag of emotions amongst producers, with many having experienced bad years before and some experiencing this for the first time.
The full crop report can be found here.