Many areas of the province still need significant rain to help crops develop and replenish topsoil moisture.
Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly crop report indicates that the majority of cropland is short or very short of topsoil moisture. The latest ratings are two per cent surplus, 41 per cent adequate, 46 per cent short and 11 per cent very short.
Crop yields will be affected by heat, especially in areas that have received less than 100 millimetres of rain since the beginning of April.
"The southwest is the worst area of the province," says Shannon Friesen, a cropping management specialist with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture. "Topsoil moisture at the moment is only 21 per cent adequate, 55 per cent short and 24 per cent short on cropland."
Many southern and central areas have received less than 100 millimetres (4 inches) of moisture since April 1st. Some crops in these areas are short, thin and heading out and/or flowering earlier than normal due to heat stress. Significant rain is needed to help crops fill and hay and pasture to grow. Unfortunately, the short term and extended weather forecasts are calling for sunshine with temperatures ranging from the mid-twenties to low thirties.
There are some good looking crops in northern and east-central regions that have received more rain during the growing season.
The provincial topsoil moisture ratings for hayland and pastures are three per cent surplus, 32 per cent adequate, 49 per cent short and 16 per cent very short.
Haying is proceeding with 24 per cent cut and 39 per cent bailed or made into silage. The quality ratings are 17 per cent excellent, 59 per cent good, 22 per cent fair and two per cent poor.
Many hay swaths are significantly smaller than normal and pasture growth has been limited. Crop reporters indicate hay yields could be half of normal in the driest areas.