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Crops across SK continue to feel the heat, under stress

Information from the latest crop report, for the period of July 13-19, 2021
wheat drought shutterstock

Crops across Saskatchewan continue to advance quickly due to the hot, dry conditions. 

Although clouds and smoke from wildfires recently provided crops with a slight reprieve from the heat, the lack of moisture is still a concern. According to the latest crop report, crops are “extremely stressed” and rainfall will no longer help increase crop yield but will maintain yields through the heat.

Provincially, 51 per cent of fall cereals, 52 per cent of spring cereals, 50 per cent of oilseeds, and 49 per cent of pulse crops are at their normal stages of development for this time of year.  

Many cereal crops that have headed out are not developing kernels and some producers have elected to cut these crops as greenfeed. Due to the shortage of livestock feed, producers are encouraged to consider alternate uses for crops that will not develop.

Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as eight per cent adequate, 39 per cent short, and 53 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as six per cent adequate, 31 per cent short, and 63 per cent very short.

Across the province, 22 per cent of the hay crop is cut, with 61 per cent baled or put into silage. Hay quality is rated as eight per cent excellent, 51 per cent good, 32 per cent fair, and nine per cent poor.

Hay yields are well below normal. A second cut may not be possible for some producers this year. There is concern about the amount of feed available to carry cattle over into the winter.  

Estimated average dryland hay yields at this time are 0.70 tons per acre for alfalfa and alfalfa/brome grass, 0.60 tons per acre for other tame hay and wild hay, and one tonne per acre for greenfeed.  Estimated average irrigated hay yields are 1.79 tons per acre for alfalfa, 1.67 tons per acre for alfalfa/bromegrass, and 1.23 tons per acre for greenfeed.

A complete, printable version of the crop report is available online.