Halfway through 2023 Harvest in Saskatchewan

Harvest in Saskatchewan is over the half-way point, according to the Saskatchewan Crop Report, released Thursday morning.

The report notes 51 percent of the 2023 crop has been combined, up from 33 percent last week, and ahead of the 5-year average of 34 percent as well as the 10-year average of 33 percent.

Farmers in the southwest continue to lead other regions in harvest progress at 81 percent complete, followed by the west-central at 60 percent, the southeast is just about half-way there at 49 percent, east-central is 34 percent done, northeast 32 percent and the northwest 21 percent.

All the fall cereal crops are off the fields, while 91 percent of lentils and 92 percent of peas are harvested. Significant progress was made on spring cereals, with 73 percent of durum combined, 68 percent of barley, 50 percent of spring wheat, and 36 percent of oats. The report also notes 70 percent of triticale has been harvested, with 61 percent of the crop being used for feed. Mustard is leading oilseed crops in progress at 68 percent, followed by canola at 23 percent, flax at 14 percent, and soybeans at 31 percent. 45 percent of Canary seed and 51 percent of chickpeas have been harvested.

Crops Extension Specialist MacKenzie Hladun says the diverse growing conditions in the province have led to varying yields. Dry conditions in the southwest have led to below average yields, while moisture in the northeast generated above average yields.

According to the report, “Hard Red Spring Wheat is provincially estimated at 42 bu/ac, durum yields are estimated at 23 bu/ac, and barley is estimated at 53 bu/ac. Canola is estimated to yield 31 bu/ac, while mustard is estimated at 599 lbs/ac. Lentils are estimated to yield 1,058 lbs/ac, chickpeas at 1,071 lbs/ac, and peas at 30 bu/ac.”

Moisture moved across the province with the Kelliher area receiving the most rain with 44 mm and the Corning area had 41 mm. Hladun says cropland topsoil moisture remains relatively unchanged, with 36 percent having adequate moisture, 39 percent short and 25 percent is very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture increased this week, at 29 percent adequate, 40 percent short and 31 percent very short.

Grasshoppers remain the primary concern for crop damage, and regions that had rain are concerned with sooty moulds resulting in a downgrade of standing crops.

A region-by-region breakdown is below.

Southeast

The southeast is on the cusp of crossing the harvest halfway point this week, with 49 per cent of the crop combined so far, just ahead of the five-year average of 48 per cent. Moisture in the area paused combines for a few days; however, producers made great progress when conditions were favourable.

While producers have just a few acres of winter cereals left, spring cereals continue to be the main focus of many harvest operations. All spring cereals are over halfway harvested, with barley leading at 74 per cent complete for the year. Lentils and field peas are also close to being done, with less than 10 per cent of the crop still in the field. Chickpeas are 48 per cent in the bin for the year. Mustard continues to lead the oilseeds with 36 per cent harvested, ahead of canola at 23 per cent and flax at 14 per cent.

Yield estimates are now being reported for the year. Spring rains and growing season moisture benefited the region. Hard Red Spring Wheat yields are estimated at 41 bu./ac., while canola is estimated at 33 bu./ac. Lentils are estimated to yield 1681 lbs./ac., and chickpeas are estimated to yield 1,605 lbs./ac.

The southeast received the most rain overall this past week, with all cropping districts in the region receiving rain. The Corning area received the most in the region, with 41 mm being reported. Cropland moisture is 36 per cent adequate, 36 per cent short and 28 per cent very short. Hay and pasture moisture is 30 per cent adequate, 42 per cent short and 28 per cent very short.

Crop damage in the area is due to grasshoppers, localized flooding and sooty mold on standing crops. Producers are busy swathing, combining and cleaning bins. Livestock producers are hauling water and feed while also preparing for the winter.

Southwest

Another warm and dry week allowed harvest to progress markedly in the southwest. The region is now 81 per cent completed harvest, ahead of the five-year average of 64 per cent. While some crops are still standing, a few operations were able to finish their last fields.

With winter cereals harvest completed and all spring cereals being 80 per cent or more harvested, producers are focusing on their oilseeds. Flax is 20 per cent harvested, while canola is 72 per cent harvested and mustard is 78 per cent in the bin. Lentils and peas are over 90 per cent harvested, and chickpeas are 54 per cent harvested for the year.

Regional yields for the southwest are well below those of the provincial averages due to dry conditions. Hard Red Spring Wheat is anticipated to yield 20 bu./ac., durum 17 bu./ac. and barley 25 bu./ac. Canola yields are estimated at 14 bu./ac., while mustard is 469 lbs./ac. Lentils are anticipated to be 714 lbs./ac. and chickpeas 981 lbs./ac.

Little moisture was received in the southwest this week, with Limerick reporting the most received with 17 mm. Topsoil moisture remains limited; 11 per cent of cropland moisture is adequate, 46 per cent is short and 43 per cent is very short. Hay and pasture moisture is even more limited, with only 10 adequate moisture, 30 per cent short and 60 per cent very short.

Crop damage this past week is due to grasshoppers and dry conditions. Sooty moulds have been threatening grades where moisture was received. Producers are busy wrapping up harvest, securing winter feed resources and hauling water for livestock.

East-Central

Moisture continues to dampen harvest in the east-central region. Despite more moisture this past week, producers were able to make great progress and are now 34 per cent complete harvest, this is ahead of the five-year average of 27 per cent.

Producers have finished their winter cereal, pea and lentil harvest operations and are now focusing on their spring cereals. Sixty-one per cent of barley, 41 per cent of durum, 38 per cent of spring wheat and 18 per cent of oats have been harvested this year. The region is just beginning their oilseed harvest with 16 per cent of soybeans, 11 per cent of canola, five per cent of flax and one per cent of mustard harvested.

For yield estimates in the region, Hard Red Spring Wheat is anticipated to yield 40 bu./ac., oats 79 bu./ac. and barley 59 bu./ac. Canola is estimated to yield 34 bu/ac and mustard is estimated at 917 lbs./ac. Lentils are estimated to yield 1,396 lbs./ac. and chickpeas 700 lbs./ac.

The Kelliher region received the most moisture this week, with 44 mm of rain being reported. The topsoil moisture is slowly improving in the area, with 55 per cent of cropland being adequate, 35 per cent being rated as short and 10 per cent very short. Hay and pasture remain more limited in moisture, with 37 per cent having adequate moisture, 49 per cent short and 13 per cent very short.

Crop damage this past week is due to grasshoppers, localized flooding and sooty moulds developing on standing crops. Producers are busy combining and harvesting, while livestock producers are also preparing to bring cattle home for the winter.

West-Central

The west central region continues to push through this year’s harvest and it is now 60 per cent completed. This is ahead of the five-year average of 41 per cent.

With winter cereals, peas and lentils harvested for the year, producers are focusing on completing their spring cereals before moving their focus to oilseeds. Durum harvest is at 71 per cent, barley is 69 per cent, spring wheat is 63 per cent and oats are 61 per cent in the bin for the year. Mustard is 61 per cent harvested for the year, ahead of canola at 31 per cent and flax 15 per cent complete.

With over half the crop off for the year, yields can be estimated. Hard Red Spring Wheat is estimated to yield 49 bu./ac., durum to yield 28 bu./ac. and canola 25 bu./ac. Barley is estimated to yield 45 bu./ac. and triticale 10 bu./ac. Mustard is estimated to yield 919 lbs./ac. and lentils 1,341 lbs./ac.

The Rosetown area received 30 mm of rain this past week, the most for the region. Topsoil moisture remains limited. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 15 per cent adequate, 49 per cent is short and 36 per cent is very short. Hay and pasture land is rated as seven per cent adequate, 41 per cent short and 52 per cent very short.

Crop damage this past week was due to some hail damage, drought conditions and grasshoppers. Producers are busy swathing and combining. Livestock producers are also moving cattle, securing winter feed supplies and hauling water.

Northeast

Producers in the northeast have made great progress this week, with 32 per cent of the crop harvested for the year. This is ahead of the five-year average of 21 per cent.

With winter cereals harvested for the year, producers have entered their spring cereal fields. Sixty-eight per cent of barley, 40 per cent of spring wheat and 34 per cent of oats have been harvested. Oilseeds remain the least harvested this week, with 10 per cent of canola harvested for the year.

Hard Red Spring Wheat is anticipated to yield 47 bu./ac., oats 97 bu./ac. and barley 66 bu./ac. Canola is anticipated to yield 36 bu./ac., while mustard is estimated to yield 2,000 lbs./ac. Lentils are estimated to yield 1,000 lbs./ac. and field peas are estimated to be at 40 bu./ac.

The region received some moisture this week, with the Humboldt area receiving 36 mm of rain. Topsoil moisture in the region is no longer a limiting factor. One per cent of cropland has adequate topsoil moisture, 79 per cent is adequate, 18 per cent is short and two per cent is very short. Seventy-one per cent of hay and pasture land have adequate topsoil moisture, 47 per cent is short and 13 per cent is very short.

Crop damage this past week is mostly attributed to grasshoppers, light frosts and geese returning to the field on their flights south. Producers in the area are busy swathing and combining, while livestock producers are also moving cattle out of pastures and preparing for winter.

Northwest

Producers in the northwest made great harvest progress this week, and the region is now 21 per cent completed harvest for the year. This is ahead of the five-year average of 17 per cent.

Winter cereals are in the bin for the year, while peas and lentils only have a few acres left. Producers in the area are primarily focusing on getting their spring cereals off for the year. The region has 39 per cent of barley, 26 per cent of spring wheat and nine per cent of oats harvested for the year. Five per cent of canola and eight per cent of flax are in the bin for the year.

Producers’ yield estimates are demonstrating what timely showers can do for a crop. Hard Red Spring Wheat is estimated to yield 48 bu./ac., oats 91 bu./ac. and barley 66 bu./ac. Canola is estimated to yield 40 bu./ac. Lentils in the region are estimated to yield 1,140 lbs./ac. and field peas are estimated to yield 38 bu./ac.

Pockets of moisture moved through the region this week. The Speers area received the most with 31 mm of rain reported. Topsoil moisture remains generally adequate in the region. Forty-seven per cent of cropland has adequate topsoil moisture, 46 per cent is short and seven per cent is very short. Forty per cent of hay and pastures have adequate topsoil moisture, 47 per cent is short and 13 per cent is very short.

Crop damage this past week is mostly due to a few light frosts, drought conditions and waterfowl stopping in fields during their flights south. Producers in the area are busy swathing, combining and preparing for winter. Livestock producers are also monitoring pasture conditions and are preparing to bring cattle home for the winter.

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