Rain affecting harvest progress

By Geoff Smith
August 25, 2016 - 5:00pm

Farmers in western Saskatchewan managed to work around the rain to get into the fields, but still lag behind provincial harvest progress.

The crop report for the week ending Aug. 22 stated nine percent of the crop is in the bin, province-wide. That’s slightly ahead of average for this time of year. But in the west-central district, harvest is only four percent complete, and in the northwest it’s three percent done. Daphne Cruise, crop management specialist for the Ministry of Agriculture, said rain continues to be a worry.

“Typically we don’t like rain during harvest season, and if it continues and we just can’t get in the field then there’s a risk of the crop getting over-ripe and over-mature and we’re just sitting in the field trying to wait out the rain. And also with that comes issues of quality as well,” Cruise explained.

Rain in the west-central area included 10 mm at Macklin, 12 mm at Sonningdale and Langham, and 25 mm closer to the Battlefords. It stayed warmer and dry later in the week, allowing for progress. Three quarters of the region’s fall rye and winter wheat were harvested, along with more than one-quarter of the field peas. Producers in the area have also combined six per cent of the lentil crop and two per cent of the barley. They swathed 30 per cent of the canola and six per cent of the mustard crop.

The report stated too much moisture could hurt quality and yields in the area’s pulse crops, because of diseases like mould, fusarium head blight, and sclerotinia.

In the northwest, producers combined four per cent of spring wheat, 32 per cent of lentils, and 25 per cent of field peas, with swathing done for 26 per cent of the canola. Meadow Lake received 119 mm of rain over the course of the week, but Rabbit Lake had 34 mm, Glaslyn 27 mm, Neilburg 23 mm, and Hafford 18 mm. Localized flooding affected certain areas.

“It all depends on where these thunderstorms are rolling through and how much they’re dropping, and there are some significant wet fields in the northwest because of all this rain, but for the most part I think producers are quite happy with their peas at this point,” Cruise said. “Yields are good, in some cases above average, and the canola’s getting swathed and we’re just starting to get into the crop in many cases.”


Geoff Smith is battlefordsNOW's News Director, business and agriculture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @smithco.  

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