By Nathan Liewicki
On Thursday, the Saskatchewan Government unveiled its latest crop report. The report, which looked at the period from Aug. 6 to 12, stated that crop development is 10 to 14 days behind normal in most areas.
“At this point we still have time. We generally can have a nice long August and we have had a nice open fall,” said Moose Jaw regional crop specialist Daphne Cruise, who works in the province’s agriculture department. It is a bit of a concern for some people, but if we continue to get this warm and dry weather for the next couple of weeks and into the fall, we should be able to pick the majority of the harvest in good condition.”
She specifically noted that around the Moose Jaw area things are looking pretty good.
“There are a few areas, like in the Regina Plains, that are still dealing with some excess moisture issues and they kind of have been all growing season. Some of those areas have had some challenges, but we’re hoping here in the next week or so we are seeing some cereal starting to turn and about to be desiccated.
Despite these challenges, the majority of crops are filling in, and in some areas podding and finishing flowering. Combines are expected to hit Saskatchewan crop fields in the next week or two.
There are, however, some insects still causing some damage to crops. The Bertha armyworm is one such insect that is causing havoc in some canola crops.
“There’s a few hot spots around the Moose Jaw, Regina area. Right now we are encouraging producers to go take a look, especially as the wheat drops,” Cruise said.
Storm damage has also had an impact on crops, but Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart doesn’t think they will have a significant impact on the windfall the harvest brings in.
“There are a number of acres in the province here and there that didn’t get seeded last spring and that have been through hail storms and so on, as there always is in every production year. But the crops that I’ve seen in the province and by all reports through crop insurance and others are very good.”
The recent warm weather and sunshine that has enveloped most of the province is a welcome sight for farmers. Although a few degrees cooler would be much more appreciated from the agriculture gods.
“The 30 degrees is a little on the warm side, but it will help dry down the crops and bring them to maturity,” said Cruise. “But at least 25 degrees would be nice and some sunny weather and that will speed things along very quickly.”
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks