Harvest continues to progress quickly across Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan Agriculture said 56 per cent of the crop is now in the bin, up 20 percentage points from a week ago.
The five-year average for this time of year is 35 per cent.
Another 24 per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut, Sask Ag stated in Thursday’s crop report.
Estimated average crop yields are currently 27 bushels per acre for hard red spring wheat, 19 bushels per acre for durum, 38 bushels per acre for barley, 20 bushels per acre for canola, 21 bushels per acre for field peas and 817 pounds per acre for lentils.
Rain was reported in some regions, with the Rhein area receiving 102 millimetres. Sask Ag said this resulted in flooding and standing water in some fields.
Precipitation in the past few weeks has affected standing crops, resulting in crops such as cereals and lentils experiencing severe weathering and being downgraded at the elevator.
Sask Ag said it has received reports that some fields are in such poor condition that some producers have indicated they will not be harvested.
Contract concerns mount as harvest produces low yields for some
Other damage reported in the past week was due to strong winds, drought and hail.
Despite rainfall in some regions, Sask Ag said cropland topsoil moisture conditions deteriorated slightly due to strong winds.
It is currently rated one per cent surplus, 38 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 23 per cent very short.
Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture improved this week, Sask Ag said, and is currently rated one per cent surplus, 25 per cent adequate, 39 per cent short and 35 per cent very short.
A number of relief measures have been announced for producers affected by the drought.
The 2021 Canada-Saskatchewan Drought Response Initiative will provide a per-head payment to livestock producers to help maintain female breeding stock.
The initial payment will provide producers $100 per breeding female equivalent in inventory as of Aug. 1, 2021.
Secondary payments of up to $100 per breeding female in inventory as of Dec. 31, 2021, will be made to producers who have incurred additional costs to retain the animals.
The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. is doubling the low yield appraisal threshold values for its customers who salvage their cereal or pulse crops as feed, without negatively impacting future individual coverage.
SCIC said customers should contact their local office first to discuss options before they graze, bale or silage any damaged crops.
High cost of hay could drive up beef prices, put livestock producers out of business
The Saskatchewan government said it is providing relief to livestock producers by temporarily increasing the maximum funding from the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure program to $150,000 from $50,000.
The program is for dugouts, wells and pipelines for agriculture use, with the first $50,000 based on a 50-50 cost share and the remaining $100,000 on a 70-30 government-producer cost share.
More information on the program is available by contacting the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.
The federal and provincial governments have also increased the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent for Saskatchewan producers.
The interim benefit provides the opportunity for producers enrolled in AgriStability to access a portion of their benefit early, to help support losses and cover costs.
Farmers stress line
Sask Ag said the Farmers Stress Line is available 24-hours a day for any needed support at 1-800-677-4442.
The service is run by Mobile Crisis Services Regina and all calls are confidential.
Rise in demand for Farm Stress Line
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