Despite an extremely dry summer across southern and central Saskatchewan, the province is reporting an average overall yield to many people’s surprise.
The final crop report for the province this year records yields matching the five year average; with 43 bushels-per-acre for hard red spring wheat, 34 bushels-per-acre for canola, 18 bushels-per-acre for soybeans, 63 bushels-per-acre for barley, 746 pounds-per-acre for mustard and 1,369 pounds-per-acre for lentils.
“When you only have an inch, or inch and a half to two inches (of rain) in some cases – across the entire growing season – if we were close to an average crop it was surprising,” said Todd Lewis, president of Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS).
“I think overall most people had crops that were unexpected.”
The Grey-area farmer noted some producers in the northern part of the province and along the southeastern border with Manitoba had fantastic yields.
Lewis said you could basically draw a line south of Highway 1 from the Alberta border and east as far as Weyburn to show the areas hit hardest by dry conditions.
He added wildfires are still a big risk in the southwest with “tinder-dry conditions” that resulted in major damage last week near Burstall, Leader and Tompkins.
Some livestock producers in the southwest may also face feed shortages going into the winter due to the dry conditions and losses from the recent wildfires.
Dry soil conditions are a big concern for grain producers in the southwest heading into the winter with only 40 per cent of the province reporting “adequate” topsoil moisture and 37 per cent rated as short on moisture.
“In those areas any moisture is going to be welcome, be it snow or rains this fall and into the spring,” Lewis said.
“We’re going to need it.”
It’s a completely different story for producers in the northeast part of the province, where some areas still need to dry out.
“Farmers are always optimistic and hoping that you know going into the season – that Mother Nature treats everybody equally,” Lewis commented with a laugh.
“It never works out that way.”