Warm and mostly dry weather during September across much of the Prairies has lead to an early harvest for most all crops. Canola, wheat, and rye harvests have nearly finished in many areas or will finish up during the next week or so. Some crops have been affected by strong winds at times with reports of some swathed crops being blown around. The recent cold has had little or no effect since it is well past the normal first freeze dates.
The good weather has lead to harvest progress that is nearly the greatest of the past 5 years across the region. Only 2011 is a near match to this year. Sunflower harvest is getting underway at this time and should be able to progress at a fast pace during the next week with more dry weather expected.
While the good weather has been great for harvest the lack of precipitation is becoming more of a concern with time. Soil moisture levels continue to drop with region wide levels rated nearly 50% adequate a week ago falling about 10% since then. Only a little light rain and snow fall across parts of Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan during the past few days with little more than a few light showers elsewhere. The snow currently falling through parts of southern Manitoba is helpful but amounts are not expected to be that heavy for most of the main crop areas.
While the weather pattern has brought much colder weather recently we see signs that moderating temperatures will return by next week but with little threat of precipitation. Some light snow or rain could fall across Manitoba early next week but dry weather is expected further west. Declining soil moisture is something to monitor during the coming weeks before the ground freezes and snow cover arrives. Some early seeded winter wheat has emerged and more precipitation would aid in stand establishment before winter dormancy sets in.