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Saskatchewan harvest ahead of curve

Farmers in Saskatchewan have 44 per cent of the 2007 crop harvested, according to the provincial agriculture department’s weekly crop report for the week of September 2.

That’s up from 27 per cent last week, and ahead of the five-year (2002-06) average of 31 per cent combined.

All areas of the province experienced good harvest progress this past week. Harvest is furthest advanced in the southwest, where 81 per cent of the crop is combined — and least advanced in the northwest, where rainfall has held harvest completion to only eight per cent.

Fall rye is 94 per cent harvested, while the winter wheat crop is 92 per cent harvested, Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food reported. Ninety-one per cent of the 2007 lentil crop, 83 per cent of peas and 79 per cent of triticale have been combined to date. Less than 75 per cent of the other crops have been combined so far, crop reporters told department staff.

With 60 per cent of durum combined, crop reporters estimated 36 per cent will grade No. 1 Canadian Western Amber Durum (CWAD) and 43 per cent grade No. 2 CWAD. The 10-year crop report average is 41 per cent No. 1 CWAD and 27 per cent No. 2 CWAD. Light bushel weights seem to be one of the primary downgrading factors.

Winds caused the majority of crop damage this past week, including scattering swaths and shelling of ripe grain. Reporters also expressed concern about bleaching, staining, sprouting, damage from wheat midge and high fire hazard.

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