REGINA -- Many farmers in Saskatchewan say they expect hay yields to be below normal this year.

The lower yields are largely due to less early summer rainfall in some parts of the province, according to the latest crop report.

The report said that even though yields are expected to be lower, many farmers have continued haying throughout the province.

It said livestock producers now have 26 per cent of the hay crop cut and 49 per cent baled or put into silage.

Hay quality is rated as seven per cent excellent, 68 per cent good, 20 per cent fair and five per cent poor. 

The report said rainfall this past week varied throughout the province, with many areas not receiving any rain.

However, areas around Indian Head and Neilburg received up to 50 mm.

Moisture conditions have reduced slightly because of less rainfall and warmer temperatures.  

Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 71 per cent adequate, 22 per cent short and five per cent very short. 

Hay and pasture land topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and 11 per cent very short.

Crops developed rapidly this past week.

The report said winter cereals are starting to ripen and crops that were seeded earlier have started to mature.

Some farmers have indicated they plan on harvesting these crops in the coming weeks.

The report said most crops are overall in fair-to-good condition. Most spring cereals, canola, field peas and soybeans are in fair-to-excellent condition.

Crop damage this past week was caused by strong winds, lack of moisture, localized flooding, hail and wildlife.