A dry start to July has farmers watching the skies in hopes of some much needed moisture.
The Saskatchewan Agriculture Crop Report for the period of June 27 to July 3 notes that rainfall is needed in order to boost crop development and hay and pasture growth.
Across the Southwest, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as 24 per cent adequate, 55 per cent short and 21 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 12 per cent adequate, 47 per cent short, and 41 per cent very short. Pasture conditions are rated as one per cent excellent, 16 per cent good, 65 per cent fair, 14 per cent poor, and four per cent very poor.
Crop District 4A (Maple Creek-Consul area) is reporting that 96 per cent of cropland and 100 per cent of hay land and pasture are either short or very short topsoil moisture.
In Crop District 3BS (Val Marie area), they are reporting that 83 per cent of cropland and 95 per cent of hay land and pasture are either short or very short topsoil moisture.
Haying is underway across the Southwest, and livestock producers now have 30 per cent of the hay crop cut and 20 per cent baled or put into silage. Hay quality is rated as four per cent excellent, 48 per cent good, 44 per cent fair and four per cent poor.
Five per cent of the fall cereals are in the dough stage, while 17 per cent of the spring cereals are in the heading stage. Three per cent of the flax, 52 per cent of the canola and mustard and 44 per cent of the pulse crops are flowering.
In-crop herbicide application is wrapping up in most areas and fungicide application is beginning. Crop damage in the Southwest this week was attributed to dry conditions and wind.
Province wide, the Crop Report highlights that overall crop development is normal for this time of year, however there are some crops lagging behind as a result of moisture issues.
Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as five per cent surplus, 49 per cent adequate, 37 per cent short and nine per cent very short. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as five per cent surplus, 40 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 17 per cent very short.