This week's Saskatchewan Crop Report saw a shift in the overall rating of the crop, with the majority of the crop rated as good as of the July 2 report, while the July 9 report indicates crops ranging from fair to excellent overall.
The government's topsoil moisture rating shows a slight deterioration this week to 38% of the cropland rated poor to very poor, up from 34% last week and the driest conditions reported in six weeks. The driest areas are seen scattered across the central, southern and western areas of the province, with the area rated very short steady from 4-6% over the past four weeks.
Considering the change in the crop condition reported over the past two weeks, the largest change by far is seen in deterioration of the winter cereals, with the crop condition index (CCI) falling by 71 points since June 25 to a CCI of 125, based on the government's percent rated excellent, good, fair, poor and very poor. This is 25% below this time last year and 26% below the five-year average for this week.
Other crops that have shown signs of deterioration over the past two weeks, from a number of selected crops followed by the government, is flax and durum. As seen on the attached chart, the durum CCI has been calculated lower following the release of each successive report, with the current index at 134, which is 28% higher than the same week last year but 17% below the five-year average for this week.
As indicated on the attached chart showing the 2018 trend in calculated CCI for a number of crops, improvements were seen for a number of crops since June 25, including spring wheat, oats, barley, canola, soybeans, peas and lentils. The biggest response seen over the past two weeks across these crops is seen in lentils, as indicated by the light blue line on the attached chart, with the CCI improving by 25 points to 173. This is 11% higher than the CCI calculated this time last year while 4% higher than the five-year average.
Of the largest crops, the spring wheat CCI improved by 5 points over the past two weeks to an index of 188, which is 15% higher than this time last year and 5.5% higher than the five-year average. The canola CCI improved by a more modest 1 point over the past two weeks to 163, 16% higher than this time last year and 2.3% higher than the five-year average.
Based on three-year averages, the province's pulse crops are at their average stage of growth given crops that are rated at or ahead of normal for this week. Fall crops are behind average, while spring cereals and oilseeds are well ahead of their average pace based on crops at or ahead of their normal growth pace.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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