Although leading up to harvest farmers may have not been so optimistic, the warm and dry weather has meant more progress than usual.
The 5 year average for crops combined by this time of the year is 28 per cent, but Saskatchewan Agriculture's Weekly Crop Report cites that this year it's at 45 per cent. Harvest is most advanced in the southwest with 70 per cent of the crop in the bin, followed by the southeast at 60 per cent combined, west-central at 44 per cent, east-central 36 per cent, northwest 18 per cent and the northeast region at 12 per cent done. Montmartre area farmer Norm Englot is about 65 percent done. He says what many farmers have echoed, that it has been a challenging year with some rain in the spring and otherwise very dry but surprisingly, the crops pulled through because of the sub-soil moisture in reserve. He believes that is gone now, with big cracks in the fields, so some moisture after harvest through the spring will be welcome.
Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as 24 per cent adequate. The Crop Report says 42 per cent is rated as short, and 34 per cent very short. Hay land and pasture is rated at 19 per cent adequate, 38 per cent short and 43 per cent very short. There was little to no rainfall in the past week, with the highest amount at 46 millimetres in the Langenburg area. The majority of the crop damage in the past week has been from lack of moisture and strong winds.