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Saskatchewan Harvest Has Begun

Harvest is underway in Saskatchewan, according to the provincial crop report released Thursday.

The initial fields coming off are in west central and southwest regions where crops are further ahead in development. Parts of these regions received rainfall, and this has delayed further harvest activities such as combining and desiccating.

At a provincial level, harvest progress for individual crops was at or below 1% as of Aug. 1, meaning it is too early to get indications about yields or quality compared to pre-harvest expectations.

In the eastern regions harvest is at least seven-10 days away, since crops are behind in development and in some areas are just now beginning to fill with seed, although some earlier seeded crops are close to being ready for desiccation.

Rainfall varied significantly across the province last week with some areas getting nothing and others experiencing large, localized storms that resulted in flooding and crop damage. The Unity area received 53 mm, the Briercrest area 49 mm, the Avonlea area 40 mm, the Mayfair area 37 mm, the Lake Lenore area 24 mm, the Bulyea area 17 mm and the Swift Current area 9 mm, noted the report.

Even with the rainfall received this past week, topsoil moisture across the province continues to decline slightly. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 4% surplus, 64% adequate, 25% short and 7% very short. Many pastures in the west still had cattle pulled off due to a lack in vegetation or dried-up water sources.

The majority of crop damage this week was due to minor flooding, drought, disease, wind, grasshoppers and hail. Several storms crossed the province over the last week leaving behind some substantial crop damage. Some crops were laid down and lodged by strong winds and heavy rain while others were destroyed by hail. Hailstorms damaged crops from Marengo to east of Lake Diefenbaker; buildings, machinery and vehicles were also damaged.

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