Harvest is finally done in Saskatchewan for the year and it wasn’t an easy task.
September saw cold, frost and snow but the last burst of sunshine this past couple of weeks saw farmers back out on the field to get the job done.
According to the final crop report for 2018 released on Thursday, 99 per cent of the crop is now combined.
Snow and rain in early November is delaying the last of the harvest for flax and oats; however, producers hope to be back combining once the weather improves. Aeration bins and grain dryers have been in continuous operation on many farms for well over a month.
Although harvest conditions were less than ideal for most of the fall, producers were able to pull off average to above-average crop quality overall. Crops that came off prior to the rain and snow in September have been grading in the top two grades, while some crops that have recently come off have been downgraded due to weather-related factors such as sprouting, bleaching, staining and frost.
Crop yields vary greatly across the province, mainly due to the amount of moisture received throughout the season. Overall provincial yields are about on par with the 10-year average, although many areas are reporting higher-than-expected yields thanks to timely rain. Yields in many southern and central areas were significantly affected by the hot and dry conditions this summer.
While topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions remain a concern in much of the province, they have drastically improved with the recent snow and rain. Significant moisture will still be needed heading into winter to replenish what has been lost throughout the growing season. Many producers have indicated that the subsoil is very dry and that growing conditions may be affected next year if conditions do not improve.
At this time, most livestock producers have indicated that they will have adequate supplies of hay, straw, green feed and feed grain heading into winter; however, producers in drier areas of the province are reporting that they will have inadequate winter feed supplies and that shortages are likely if the winter season is extended.
With the drier-than-normal field conditions at fall seeding time, the number of acres seeded to winter cereals is below average in most areas; however, rain in September allowed the winter cereal crops to germinate and establish in many areas.
When time and weather permit, producers hope to continue with fall work such as working and cleaning up fields, picking rocks, hauling grain and bales, moving cattle and putting down fertilizer.
A complete version of the Crop Report can be found online.