Hot, dry weather causing poor crop conditions throughout Sask.

Prolonged hot and dry conditions have resulted in short, thin and rapidly advancing crops in many regions in Saskatchewan.

The Ministry of Agriculture said without significant rainfall, the yield and quality of crops throughout the province will be severely impacted, according to the weekly crop report.

While scattered thunderstorms provided some precipitation in some areas, topsoil moisture levels continue to decrease – with 86 per cent of topsoil moisture rated at short or very poor.

As of July 12, 36 per cent of fall cereals, 29 per cent of spring cereals, 25 per cent of oilseed crops and 30 per cent of pulse crops are ahead of their average development.

The province announced additional supports for producers dealing with drought conditions during a press conference Wednesday.

The majority of crop damage last week was caused by extremely dry soil conditions, heat, winds, grasshoppers and severe hailstorms.

The Ministry of Highways also added that grass is available for producers at no cost, for haying in highway ditches and rights of way. Producers are allowed to harvest any unclaimed hay without seeking permission from the adjacent landowner, as of July 8.

“In the southern and central regions, hay in the ditches along secondary and rural highways is available on a first-come basis. Bales must be removed before August 15,” the province said in a release.

“In the northern grain belt, contractors will start mowing ditches and rights of way on July 15.”

The Ministry of Agriculture reminds producers the Farm Stress Line is available 24/7 for confidential support, toll free at 1-800-667-4442. Calls are answered by Mobile Crisis Services in Regina.