Saskatchewan Agriculture's Weekly Crop Report shows crops are advancing quickly and remain extremely stressed from the lack of moisture.

Crops Extension Specialist Matt Struthers says crops did get a bit of a reprieve last week from the hot, dry conditions.

"There's a couple days last week where the temperature didn't reach forecast in temperatures because of the smoke. So that gave crops a bit of a break but now even today, it's starting to clear up a bit, and it's pretty hot out here. So the crops are going to be right back into the fire and struggling through it. Unfortunately, there's no rain in the forecast either, so they're their short break was short-lived. I suppose."

He says any rain that we get now will not help increase crop yield, but it will help maintain yields through the heat.

According to the report, provincially 51 per cent of fall cereals, 52 per cent of spring cereals, 50 per cent of oilseeds, and 49 per cent of pulse crops are at their normal stages of development for this time of year.

Struthers says many cereal crops that have headed out are not developing kernels, and some producers have elected to cut them as greenfeed.

"It might not even be, you know, kernels in the head or seeds in the pod. Maybe there's only three instead, for canola there should be far more than that. So it's all about what's happening on that foreign specific, you know, kind of level. But yeah, we're very far ahead of where we should be. Lots of fields are being prepped. I drove past a couple today that are being prepped for harvest even. So, harvest is just around the corner."

Overall, cropland topsoil moisture is eight per cent adequate, 39 per cent short and 53 per cent very short, while hay and pasture topsoil moisture is six per cent adequate, 31 per cent short and 63 per cent very short.

Haying operations continue with 22 per cent of hay crop cut and 61 per cent baled or put into silage, hay quality is currently rated as eight per cent excellent, 51 per cent good, 32 per cent fair and nine per cent poor.

He says most producers are unsure if a second cut will be possible, adding that low hay yields and quality are causing concerns over the amount of feed that will be available for cattle this winter.

"The overall yield is quite concerning. The provincial average is about 1.1 or 1.2 tonnes per acre, and right now we're sitting at .7 tons per acre for alfalfa and alfalfa/brome grass. 6 tons per acre for other tame hay and wild hay, and one tonne per acre for greenfeed, and that's dryland fields. Irrigated fields are a bit higher, of course."

Estimated average irrigated hay yields in this week's report are 1.79 tons per acre for alfalfa, 1.67 tons per acre for alfalfa/bromegrass and 1.23 tons per acre for greenfeed.

He notes with the shortage of livestock feed expected this year, they are encouraging producers to consider alternate uses for crops that will not develop.


Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation is doubling the Low Yield Appraisal threshold values for customers who salvage their cereal or pulse crops as feed, without negatively impacting future individual coverage.

Customers are asked to contact their local SCIC office before they graze, bale or silage any damaged crops to discuss their options.

Additionally, the Government of Saskatchewan is making changes to temporarily increase the maximum funding a livestock producer can receive from the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program (FRWIP) for dugouts, wells and pipelines for agricultural use.

This change will be in effect for the April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, time period. The maximum rebate for livestock producers during this time period will increase from $50,000 to $150,000. The first $50,000 will be based on a 50-50 cost-share and the remaining $100,000 will be on a 70-30 government-producer cost-share.

Producers can contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377 for more information.

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