The West Central region experienced hot windy days this past week that resulted in more rapid crop growth and many fields are now well ahead in their development, producers are worried this has lowered yield potential of some fields. Pastures are also suffering from the lack of moisture in the region with many producers thinking about the damage pastures have taken and how long cattle can remain on them. Crops such as canola are dropping their flower pedals prematurely due to the heat and dry conditions, while cereals are rapidly heading out. Producers hope it rains soon so yield potential won’t drop further.
There was some highly concentrated precipitation in the Langham area where 84 mm was received but overall, the region received very little rainfall, with the average rainfall being between nil and 10 mm.
Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as three per cent surplus, 56 per cent adequate, 33 per cent short and eight per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 46 per cent adequate, 43 per cent short and nine per cent very short.
Seventy-five per cent of the fall cereals, 72 per cent of the spring cereals, 68 per cent of oilseeds and 79 per cent of pulses are in their normal stages of development for this time of year. While most of crops are in their normal stages, another week of hot weather will advance their growth rapidly.
Livestock producers currently have 25 per cent of the hay crop cut and 43 per cent baled or put into silage. Haying has been going at a steady pace since there has been very little rainfall to cause delay and the weather is drying down windrows quickly, initial estimates indicate that hay will be in short supply this year. Hay quality is currently rated as eight per cent excellent, 54 per cent good and 38 per cent fair.
Most crop damage this past week was due to strong winds, lack of moisture and hail. Grasshoppers continue to be of concern and some producers are applying insecticides. Producers are only spraying fields that are worth saving and are leaving their poor performing fields to be cut and baled as greenfeed.