While the Saskatchewan crop condition estimates as of June 28 spell trouble for the province's crop, it was released in the middle of an extreme heat event and will fall short of the real-time analysis from those walking fields daily.
The report showed widespread precipitation over the week but in amounts far less than required, while western and south-central areas of the province show daily highs above 31.1 C. AAFC temperature maps show the mean temperature difference from normal over the June 1 through June 28 period to range from 0 to 2 C above normal to as high as 3 to 4 C above normal over the month. At the same time, their Departure from Average Precipitation map for the past 30 days ending June 28 shows most of the province receiving below average precipitation over the month, with the southwest corner of the province receiving 50 mm (2 inches) or more below the average accumulation.
AAFC's temperature data shows the hottest areas of the province ranging from 31 to 34 C in the week ended June 28, while as of June 28, the hottest areas along the Saskatchewan-Alberta border had experienced two consecutive days with highs above 30 C.
The percentage of the province's cropland with poor-to-very-poor topsoil moisture increased for a second week to 69% as of June 28, the highest reported in six weeks and compares to 20% on this date in 2020 and 11% in 2019. This is similar to 68% reported in 2015.
The government's good-to-excellent rating fell over the past week for all 14 crops monitored, ranging from a one-point drop for winter wheat, to a 67-point drop for chickpeas from the mid-June estimates. The average across the 14 crops is a 25.3-point drop, with spring wheat falling by 19 points (58%), durum by 29 points (45%), canola by 26 points (38%), peas by 25 points (55%) and lentils by 24 points (49%), with the June 28 good-to-excellent rating in brackets.
At the same time, the percentage of the crop rated poor to very poor increased by a range from 5 points for soybeans (6%) to 24 points for both mustard (24%) and chickpeas (25%). Across the 14 crops, the poor-to-very-poor rating increased by an average of 13.7 points over the past week.
Across the 14 crops, the crop condition index (CCI) is calculated to range from 61 points for chickpeas to 150 points for soybeans and 152 points for canary seed. Over the past two weeks since the last condition ratings were released, the CCI has fallen by an average of 60 points across the 14 crops, with the hardest hit crops showing a drop of 75 points for durum, 76 points for flax, 85 points for mustard and 126 points for chickpeas.
As of June 28, the highest CCI's are calculated for spring wheat at 142 points, oats at 147 points, soybeans at 150 points and canary seed at 152 points. The crops showing the lowest CCI values is canola at 93 points, winter wheat at 92 points, mustard at 81 points, rye at 83 points and chickpeas at 61 points.
The CCIs calculated for crops including spring wheat, oats, barley, flax, canola, soybeans, and peas remain slightly above levels calculated for the same week in 2019, while the CCIs calculated for durum and lentils are the lowest seen since 2015. The final estimated durum yield in 2015 fell by 15% from the previous year while was 13.9% below the current 20-year trend. The average lentil yield in 2015 fell by 4.5% from the previous year, while was 1.3% below the current 20-year trend.
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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at email@example.com
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