Dry conditions affecting some Saskatchewan crops

While rain helped alleviate topsoil moisture conditions in many areas over the past week, Saskatchewan Agriculture said other parts of the province still need precipitation.

The weekly crop report, released Thursday, said moisture is especially needed in parts of the east-central and southern regions.

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Some farmers in those areas have reported the lack of rainfall has reduced hay and pasture growth, causing a delay in the timing of the first cut or reducing the amount of hay.

Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture across the province are currently rated at two per cent surplus, 55 per cent adequate, 26 per cent short and 17 per cent very short.

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Cropland topsoil moisture is rated two per cent surplus, 69 per cent adequate, 22 per cent short and seven per cent very short.

Sask Ag said producers in areas that have received moisture in the past few weeks are reporting improvements to crop and pasture development.

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Crop development is around the normal development stage for this time of year for most crops, the report said, but noted oilseed crops are considered behind normal.

Dry topsoil moisture conditions in parts of the province are also resulting in delayed emergence and development of later and smaller seeded crops, Sask Ag said.

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Flea beetle damage was reported in most regions of the province, which has affected canola development for some producers.

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Storms earlier in the month also caused damage to some crops, the Canadian Crop Hail Association reported.

Murray Bantle, of Cooperative Hail Insurance Company, reported light to heavy damage to wheat, canola and peas in Saskatchewan.

Darryl Tiefenbach, of Additional Municipal Hail, said one storm damaged peas in the Cadillac community.

“The damage was generally minimal since it is an early storm and the crop is in its early stage of growth,” he said.

Sask Ag said it has also received isolated reports of farmers reseeding due to hail damage, wind, dry conditions and insect pests.

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