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Weather Challenges Impact Haying Operations

Frequent summer storms have been delaying haying operations in some areas across the Prairies.
 
Rain and high humidity are preventing dry-down of the hay crop. 
 
Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly crop report shows livestock producers now have 22 % of the hay crop cut and 20 % baled or put into silage.  
 
Hay quality is currently rated as 10 % excellent, 65 % good, 18 % fair and 7%  poor.
 
Meantime in Alberta its a similar story.
 
Last weeks report shows pasture and tame hay fields are still in good shape in most parts of the province, particularly in the Southern Region, where blank areas from past dry years are slowly filling in. 
 
However, in some wet areas, pastures are flooding and dying off. In these areas, hay fields are also soaked in water, making it impossible for producers to start haying. 
 
Pasture conditions (tame hay conditions shown in brackets) are now rated as 1 (3) per cent poor, 7 (6) per cent fair, 66 (57) per cent good and 26 (34) per cent excellent. 
 
Saskatchewan hay yields are reported as below normal for many producers with most unsure if a second cut is possible this year. 
 
Estimated average dryland hay yields are 1.3 tons per acre for alfalfa, 1.2 for alfalfa/bromegrass, 1 for other tame hay, .8 tons for wild hay and 1.8 for greenfeed.  
 
Estimated average irrigated hay yields are 2.4 tons per acre for alfalfa, 2.5 for alfalfa/bromegrass and 2 for greenfeed. 
 
Meantime, first cut dryland hay is 23 per cent complete in Alberta and below the 5-year average of 47 per cent. 
 
The estimated yield for dry land hay is 1.7 tons per acre, with quality rated as 59 per cent good to excellent.
 
Irrigated hay, first cut is 71 per cent complete with yields of  2.2 tons per acre.
 
Quality is rated as 80 per cent good to excellent.
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