MELFORT, Sask. — Producers made the most of the hot dry weather by combining as much as possible before rainstorms rolled through the province on the weekend.

Harvest progress is now sitting at five per cent, just behind the five-year average of eight per cent.

There was rain in every region this past week with multiple storms bringing rain, hail, and wind. The most precipitation was in the Humboldt area where one crop reporter recorded 83 mm. The Broadview area received 65 mm, the Vanguard area 30 mm, the Saltcoats area 49 mm and the Conquest and Dinsmore areas received between one mm to six mm.

The southwest is leading harvest with 17 per cent of their crop now in the bin, followed by the west-central with eight per cent.

Rosetown area farmer, Jim Wickett, said he’s just nicely getting started.

“I’m about 20 per cent done. I’ve done some red lentils and a little bit of barley, so I’ve gotten a little taste of what’s out there,” Wickett said. “The dry weather is what you’re looking for but maybe not quite as hot.”

Wickett is concerned about how the heat will impact the grain once it’s in storage. He said even when it’s in the bin he is still nervous.

“I could use high 20’s, not mid 30’s. When it’s mid 30’s you’ve really got to watch that stuff. If there’s any kind of moisture at all, you’re going to have issues,” he said. “I put some barley in the bin when it was 35. I’m supposed to have a truck coming up tomorrow to take some to the feedlot so hopefully we’ll suck the top off a few bins and cool them down.”

Producers in the southwest and west central are reporting yields are well below average. Wicket said that’s what he is seeing so far.

“Personally, I have low teens for my red lentils and about 40 (bushels/acre) for the barley; some above, some below. So that’s significantly below what the area averages is. I’m hearing some red lentil yields in the single digits. That’s not good two years in a row,” he said.

Rain is now too late for annual crops in the driest areas of the province, although it could benefit cattle by increasing the amount of available drinking water and allowing pastures some relief.

Many producers in the Saskatoon-Outlook region have received less than 150 mm of rain this growing season and their crops, pastures and hay land have been impacted similarly to last year. There are water shortages across the southwest and west central, resulting in many producers hauling water.

The east central region has one per cent of their crop harvested and the northern regions have not yet started harvest operations on a large scale. Some producers in the southeast have begun harvesting earlier seeded crops that matured and they now have two percent of their crop in the bin.

Wickett said farmers he has talked to outside of his region are still weeks away from starting harvest.

“It’s going to be the last week of August or into September before they turn a wheel. They’re concerned with frost,” Wickett said. “You might have a fantastic crop in the field, but if it’s still out in the field when the weather changes, that’s not good.”

Crop damage causes included insects such as aphids, diamondback moths and grasshoppers, strong winds, heavy rains, and hail. There were several reports across the province concerning hail damage.

Fuente: Northeast Now