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Feed Watch: August 19, 2019

As the end of the growing season nears, some producers in Alberta are struggling to finish haying given wet conditions. Meanwhile, producers in other parts of the Prairies would have gladly traded some sunshine for rain this year.

Feed Watch will be on hiatus next week, but we’ll be back after the long weekend in September.

Alberta
The average yield for first-cut dryland provincially is estimated at 1.4 tons per acre, which is a smidge above the five-year average of 1.3 tons per acres, notes the latest crop report. However, only 62 per cent of the first cut had wrapped as of August 13, well-behind five-year average of 94 per cent.

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Provincially, quality is rated as 43 per cent good to excellent, compared to 68 per cent good to excellent as a five-year average.

First cut on irrigated land is wrapped, with yields at 2.2 tons per acre (down from the five-year average of 2.4 tons). Quality is rated as 72 per cent good to excellent. Second cut is underway in the south and central regions.

In the south, first cut has wrapped on both dryland and irrigated land, with respectively 52 and 72 per cent rated as good to excellent quality. Average yield on dryland is estimated at 1.0 ton per acre and 2.1 tons per acre on irrigated land. Second cut haying operations are underway. Hot winds and dry conditions have affected pastures. Pasture growing conditions are now reported as 27 per cent poor, 38 per cent fair, 31 per cent good and four per cent excellent.

In central Alberta, first cut is 75 per cent finished for dryland and 85 per cent for irrigated land. Second cut is underway. Average yield is estimated at 1.3 and 2.5 tons per acre respectively for dryland and irrigated. Quality is rated as 58 per cent good to excellent for dryland hay and 75 per cent for irrigated. Hay and pasture growing conditions have improved in recent weeks. Pasture growing conditions are reported as 23 per cent poor, 26 per cent fair and 51 per cent good, with similar ratings for tame hay.

In the northeast, hay yields are reported above the five-year average, at 1.7 ton per acre. Wet conditions have hampered haying operations, with the first cut only 47 per cent complete. The quality is rated as 33 per cent good to excellent. The chance for second cut hay is minimal. Surface soil moisture is rated at four per cent fair, 49 per cent good, 30 per cent excellent and 17 per cent excessive.Pasture conditions are reported as two per cent poor, 13 per cent fair, 57 per cent good and 28 per cent excellent.

In the northwest, weather has delayed haying, with only 29 per cent of the first cut complete, compared to the five-year average of 93 per cent complete by now. The yield for the baled portion of the first cut hay is reported at 1.7 tons per acre, with the quality reported at only 14 per cent good or excellent. Hay that has been cut but not baled is rotting in the field. First cut delays mean there will be no second cut. Soil moisture ratings are now reported at 11 per cent good, 50 per cent excellent and 39 per cent rated excessive. Pasture growing conditions have deteriorated since July, but are still in good to excellent condition. About 14 per cent of pastures are rated as fair, while 36 per cent are good and 50 per cent are excellent.

The west and central parts of the Peace saw a light frost, which could affect yield and quality of cereals and canola, which is still flowering. First cut haying operations are 49 per cent complete with the average yield estimated at 1.3 tons per acre. Quality is rated as 49 per cent good to excellent. Pasture conditions are rated as seven per cent poor, 38 per cent fair, 46 per cent good and nine per cent excellent.

Saskatchewan 
Provincially, hay yields are below average, notes the latest crop report. Estimated average dryland hay yields for the province are:
• 0.9 tons per acre for alfalfa
• one ton per acre for alfalfa/bromegrass
• 0.8 tons per acre for other tame hay
• 0.7 tons per acre for wild hay
• and 1.8 tons per acre for greenfeed.

Estimated average irrigated hay yields are:
• 2.4 tons per acre for alfalfa
• 2.2 tons per acre for alfalfa/bromegrass
• 1.9 tons per acre for other tame hay; 1.2 tons per acre for wild hay
• and 3.2 tons per acre for greenfeed.

In the southeast, dryland yields are: 0.9 tons/acre for alfalfa, 0.9 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa, 0.8 tons/acre for other tame, 0.6 tons/acre for wild hay and 2.1 tons/acre for greenfeed. Irrigated land is seeing 2.0 tons/acre for alfalfa, 2.0 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa and 2.5 tons per acre for other tame.

In the southwest, dryland yields are 0.8 tons/acre for alfalfa, 1.2 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa, 0.9 tons/acre for other tame, 0.8 tons/acre for wild hay and 1.9 tons/acre for greenfeed. Irrigated yields are 2.8 tons/acre for alfalfa and 2.5 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa.

In east-central Saskatchewan, dryland yields are 0.9 tons/acre for alfalfa, 0.9 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa, 0.7 tons/acre for other tame hay, 0.6 tons/acre for wild hay and 1.6 tons/acre for greenfeed. Irrigated yields are reported as 3.1 tons/acre for alfalfa, 2.8 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa, 1.2 tons/acre for wild hay and 3.8 tons/acre for greenfeed.

In west-central Saskatchewan, dryland yields are 0.8 tons/acre for alfalfa, 0.6 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa, 0.6 tons/acre for other tame, 0.6 tons/acre for wild and 1.5 tons/acre for greenfeed. Irrigated yields are 1.4 tons/acre for alfalfa, 1.4 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa, 1.0 tons/acre for other tame, 1.3 tons/acre for wild hay and 2.4 tons/acre for greenfeed.

In the northeast, dryland hay yields are reported as 1.2 tons/acre for alfalfa, 1.0 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa, 1.0 tons/acre for other tame, 0.8 tons/acre for wild hay and 2.6 tons/acre for greenfeed.

And in the northwest, dryland yields are estimated at 1.2 tons/acre for alfalfa, 1.1 tons/acre for brome/alfalfa, 0.9 tons/acre for other tame, 0.6 tons/acre for wild hay and 1.7 tons/acre for greenfeed.

Manitoba
Manitoba’s hay and forage yields are significantly below normal, the latest Manitoba crop report notes.

In the southwest, pastures are short and some producers will be feeding on pasture. Some producers are hauling water to pastures. The second cut is underway in some areas, with yields looking below average, with good quality. So far cereal silage yields look good. Corn silage will benefit from recent rains.

In the northwest, some crops originally intended for grain are being harvested as greenfeed. Extremely dry conditions have stressed pastures and hay, which haven’t regrown recently. Grasshoppers have chewed on pastures that did regrow, and have moved into annual crops. Silage crops look fair to good but need rain. Producers are cutting roadsides to help fill the short fall. The second cut is underway in some places around Roblin and Swan River. Greenfeed is also underway in these areas, with yields looking average.

In central Manitoba, the second cut is underway in areas with sufficient growth. Some report a better second cut than the first. Straw, greenfeed and other forages are being baled for feed. Some pea straw is being dropped and baled for livestock. Grasshoppers are damaging hay and pasture, and producers are spraying.

In the east, dry conditions continued, with 70 per cent of hay and pasture rated as short or very short for soil moisture. Seventy per cent of hay fields and pastures are rated as poor or very poor condition.

In the Interlake, most of the region saw trace rainfall. Most haying is finished, and yields vary between 20 to 60 per cent of average. Most pastures are grazed down and rated poor. Some producers have started feeding in the northwest, and many expect to be feeding by late August or early September. All of the hay and pasture is rated as short or very short on soil moisture.

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