The Southwest Booster

Much needed rainfall causes a brief harvest break in the Southwest


With rain being a non-factor for much of the 2021 growing season, harvest work in the Southwest was briefly slowed by rainfall according to details posted by the Ministry of Agricultur­e’s Crop Report for the period of August 24 to 30.

While the majority of the region did not receive significan­t amounts of moisture, rainfall totals in the report did range from 77 millimetre­s in the Limerick area, 56 in the Moose Jaw region, to as low as five millimetre­s in the Shaunavon area.

The weekly crop report noted that only an additional four per cent of the crop was harvested during the August 24 to 30 timeframe, increasing from 43 per cent to 47 per cent in a week.

However the harvest pace remains above the five year average of 38 per cent complete, and many producers in the region have actually complete harvest. In the Southwest a full 99 per cent of the winter wheat has been combined, 82 per cent of the lentils have been combined, 75 per cent of the Fall Rye has been combined, and 67 per cent of mustard fields have been combined.

Topsoil moisture conditions are slowly improving in the region thanks to several days of cool rainy weather. Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 28 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 34 per cent very short. Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as 11 per cent adequate, 40 per cent short and 49 per cent very short.

Most crop damage during the period of August 24 to 30 in the Southwest was due to drought stress, strong winds, heavy rains and hail. Grasshoppe­rs are still a large problem across the region and producers are trying to harvest as quickly as possible before more damage is caused. Grasshoppe­rs are also making grain cleaning a challenge.

Province wide an estimated 36 per cent of the crop is in the bin, well ahead of the five year average of 22 per cent. An additional 30 per cent of the crop has been swathed or is ready to straight-cut.

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