Harvest pace across all regions of Saskatchewan remains well ahead of the respective average pace, with an estimated 20% of the province's acreage taken off during the past week. An estimated 65% of the province's crop is now harvested, which is well above the five-year average of 40%. On average over the past five years, it is the third week of September that tends to show the largest weekly gains over the harvest, with an average 18.4% of the acreage harvested as of the week of Sept. 18. This could have been easily achievable given an estimated 22% of the crop in the swath or ready to straight cut, although current showers with more in the forecast for the upcoming week will slow progress.
The early harvest has led to higher grades to date. Grade estimates for durum, peas and lentils were released on Thursday. With an estimated 81% of the durum crop harvested, it is estimated that 97% of the crop will fall into the top No. 1 CWAD and No. 2 CWAD grades. This compares to 18% that fell in the top two grades in 2016, and the 10-year average of 57%. While it is early stages in the Canadian Grain Commission's sample-testing program, their first results this week show that 88 of 93 samples of durum received from Saskatchewan were graded in the top two grades. Across the prairies, 170 of 199 Western Canada samples (85.4%) were graded in the top two grades.
Thursday's report also estimates 96% of the dry pea crop falling in the top two grades. This compares to 87% estimated for Saskatchewan's 2016 crop and the 10-year average of 88.3%. With 95% of the pea harvest complete, grades are close to the highest seen in the past 10 years.
With 98% of the lentil crop estimated to have been harvested, government estimates show that 94% of the crop is grading in the top two grades. This compares to 42% for the 2016 crop, while the 10-year data points to an average of 71%. The lentil crop appears to be the highest-quality crop produced in the past 10 years.
While Saskatchewan Agriculture did not release spring wheat grade estimates this week, the CGC received an early glimpse of their harvest sample results this week. A reported 80 of 82 samples received from Saskatchewan were graded No. 1 CWRS, with a mean protein of 12.97%. In 2016, Saskatchewan Agriculture reports that 52% of the crop fell within the top two grades (No. 1 CWRS and No. 2 CWRS), while the 10-year average is 71%.
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