Saskatchewan soil moisture Improves with rain

With an improvement in moisture conditions, Saskatchewan crop conditions have shown a general improvement over the past three weeks.

According to the latest provincial crop report, most of the province received rainfall this week, with the Rama area receiving the highest amount at 98 mm. Many areas received hail and strong winds. The Tisdale area reported damaged crops and property due to storms last Thursday and isolated areas in the southwest region received heavy hail over the weekend, which reportedly damaged crops.

Crop development is progressing in the province because of warm weather and recent rainfall. Fifty-nine percent of the fall cereals and 24 percent of the spring cereals are in the heading stage. Thirty-seven percent of the canola and mustard and 48 percent of the pulse crops are in the flowering stage.

Haying has started throughout the province. Livestock producers now have eight percent of the hay crop cut and three percent baled or put into silage. Hay quality is currently rated as eight percent excellent, 66 percent good, 20 percent fair and six percent poor.

Pasture conditions are rated as 12 percent excellent, 49 percent good, 30 percent fair, seven percent poor and two percent very poor. More of the pastures in the southern and east-central regions have been rated as fair-good, compared to the other regions, which rated as fair-excellent. Farmers in the regions that received rainfall over the past few weeks have reported improvements in pasture development.

Moisture conditions continued to improve across the province, thanks to recent rainfalls over the past few weeks, especially in the southeast and east-central regions. Heavy rains this past week resulted in more land (specifically in the northeast and northwest regions) rated as surplus for topsoil moisture and showing symptoms of flood damage in fields.

Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as four percent surplus, 82 percent adequate, 11 percent short and three percent very short. Hay and pastureland topsoil moisture is rated as two percent surplus, 71 percent adequate, 19 percent short and eight percent very short, said the provincial crop report.

The majority of crop damage this week was caused by flooding, hail and wind. There are also reports of damage caused by dry conditions in the southern and east-central regions. Due to recent moisture and warm weather, farmers are scouting for disease damage and starting to apply fungicides for a wide range of plant diseases.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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