Over the long weekend, I toured through some of the area of west central Saskatchewan affected by drought early in the growing season. My tour included areas around Eston, Brock, Kindersley, Glidden and Eatonia. There’s a much bigger area affected and there’s a great deal of variability. In the hardest hit areas, you see lots of fields that were sprayed off in early to mid-July and the short, spindling vegetation is now brown. There are other fields that weren’t sprayed off that probably won’t see a combine. Many other fields are at variable levels of maturity, but they will produce a crop. For instance, there are durum fields with areas turning colour and areas that have just headed out. In general, these fields look a lot more promising than they did a few weeks ago. Lentil crops seem to have fared better than the cereals. Many of the lentils look quite good, although there are some red lentil crops that are painfully short and will be difficult to cut. It’s a year when crops seeded on chem fallow really stand out. You see durum crops on chem fallow that may yield 40 bushels an acre right beside durum fields seeded on stubble that will have little or no yield. Overall, the situation is not as dire as it looked a month ago, and unlike the drought of 2002, most producers in the dry zone will have combining to do this fall. I’m Kevin Hursh.
Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC
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