Warm temperatures boding well for area crops
© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Farmers were hard at work on Thursday working toward the harvest just west of Moose Jaw.
The recent heat is exactly what area producers needed.
“Harvest in the Moose Jaw area is going quite well. These last few weeks that August has given us for this nice warm temperature is definitely what we need to get this harvest on the go,” said Daphne Cruise, Moose Jaw regional crop specialist with the provincial agriculture department.
She said five per cent of the crop has been combined and 14 per cent swathed or ready to straight cut in Saskatchewan. In the Moose Jaw area — the southeast region — has four per cent combined and 16 per cent swathed or ready to straight cut.
“I imagine for the Moose Jaw area we’re a bit further ahead than that. There are some areas east of the city here towards Pense and Regina that were struggling with excess moisture at the time of seeding and a lot throughout July,” said Cruise. “So some of those crops are bit further behind, but they are coming into maturity with the warm weather.”
She said crops that are behind include later-seeded wheat and flax.
“We are still 10 days to two weeks behind what we’d normally like to see this time of year,” said Cruise. “But for the most part things are coming into maturity quite quickly with the weather.”
The Saskatchewan harvest is behind the five-year average for this time of year, but the yields are being reported as above average with good quality. The five-year average from 2008 to 2012 is 15 per cent combined and 22 per cent swathed or ready to straight cut.
Cruise said the crops that are a bit behind need more heat followed by some fall rain.
“Some areas are indicating they’re quite dry around the region, but I think the focus right now is to get the harvest in the bin,” said Cruise. “Then hopefully we’ll get some fall moisture here to replenish some of the top soil moisture. We haven’t received a lot of rain in the last three or four weeks.”
The crops being combined right now are peas and lentils while canola is being swathed. She said some spring wheat crops will “probably be ready to straight cut here in the next week or so.”
“So probably into next week we will start to see wheat and canola being combined as well,” said Cruise.
Provincially, 34 per cent of peas, 20 per cent of lentils, 27 per cent of winter wheat and 10 per cent of mustard have been combined and 26 per cent of canola has been swathed.
Grasshoppers and bertha armyworm have done some crop damage. Also, southern areas of the region closer to the American border have had some hail damage.
“There are some other localized areas, of course, that have had some hail damage, but recently things have been pretty good as far as that goes,” said Cruise. “We are kind of seeing lodged crops in the last couple of days with some of the moisture that’s rolled through, particularly (Wednesday) night in the Moose Jaw region just with that heavy rain.
"But for the most part crops are looking very good … I think producers are generally happy with what they’re seeing out there."
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