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Saskatchewan Crop Conditions Up from a Year Ago

The first Saskatchewan crop condition ratings for the 2024 growing season are mostly up from a year ago, although the scope of improvement is variable. 

The weekly provincial crop report on Thursday pegged this year’s spring wheat crop at 87% good to excellent as of Monday, up a relatively modest 6 points from a year earlier, while the oat and barley ratings were 2 and 5 points higher, respectively, at 87% good to excellent for both. At 78% good to excellent, the condition of the canola crop was just a single point above a year ago. 

On the other hand, the condition of the durum crop was rated 93% good to excellent as of Monday, an increase of 21 points from a year ago, while the lentil crop was 15 points better at 90% and the chickpea crop a major 31 points higher at 95%. 

Gains for other crops fell somewhere in between. At 91% good to excellent, the condition of the flax crop was up 8 points on the year, with mustard up 14 points to 88%, and peas up 9 points to 91%. The canary crop was rated 89% good to excellent as of Monday, versus 84% last year. 

The only crop to see a weaker condition rating compared to a year ago was soybeans, down 9 points at a still strong 83% good to excellent. 

Much of the deterioration in last year’s Saskatchewan crops did not come until later in the growing season, when conditions turned increasingly dry. Indeed, last year at this time, some producers were reporting crop damage from flooding, just as they are this year. 

Current cropland moisture conditions are rated as 8% surplus, 90% adequate and 2% short, compared to 4% surplus, 91% adequate and 4% short a week earlier and 2% surplus, 66%, adequate, 28% short, and 4% very short last year. 

Rain fell throughout the province this past week, the report said, with the northeast region receiving the highest amounts. The Lake Lenore area reported the highest rainfall amount at 81 mm followed by the Arborfield area at 78 mm and the Duck Lake area at 76 mm.   

Provincially, most producers have completed their seeding operations. However, rain has continued to hinder seeding operations in the northeast and east-central parts of the province.  

“Some producers have indicated their acres may not be able to be seeded this year due to the excess moisture in some areas,” the report said.     

Meanwhile, the later seeding and generally cool conditions are also taking a toll on the crops that are in the ground in terms of delayed development. Spring wheat and oilseed crops are the furthest behind the normal stages of development for this time of the year, the report said. 

Crop damage in the province is overall reported as minor except for a few areas reporting high winds and excessive moisture. In addition to damage caused by crop flooding in low lying areas from excessive moisture, producers also note that crops are showing signs of stress due to the excess moisture in some regions of the province.  

Flea beetles, grasshoppers and gophers continue to cause crop damage throughout many regions with some areas reporting minor to moderate crop damage.    

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