Dry, warm August a boon for area producers
The warm, dry weather of August and early September was a blessing for Saskatchewan's producers and has led to a strong harvest season.
"(It) has definitely been what we needed to help with this harvest yield," said Daphne Cruise with Saskatchewan Agriculture. "When we look back toward the end of July, the crop was well behind just because of the growing conditions we'd received to that point … but with the warm weather, things are definitely moving along."
Farmers in the province have combined 55 per cent of the crops, according to a release. That represents an improvement of 11 per cent over the five-year average of 44 per cent.
97 per cent of peas, 83 per cent of lentils and 70 per cent of durum harvested to this point is expected to fall within the top two quality grades, the release states.
Cruise said the yield looks very good, especially in light of previous years.
"It's important to think back to 2010, when things ranged in some cases from seven per cent combined in some of the Northern region and, in the south, maybe 20 to 25 per cent combined," she said.
"We went to the other extreme last year, when the majority of the crop was almost in the bins at this point."
Recent weather shouldn't be too much of a deterrent, Cruise said.
"This rain event will slow things down for a few days for producers. It looks like the rain was toward the southern region of the province and in parts of the east-central region," she said.
"Producers will have a little bit of a break here while they wait for things to dry up, but it looks like the weather will improve here … hopefully the combines can continue to roll into next week, and within the next couple of weeks we should have the majority of the harvest in the bins."
Frost should not be a concern, either, added Cruise.
"Especially for the southern regions and around Moose Jaw, most of the crop has well matured, so any kind of frost damage there will be very minimal and will be on the crop seeded later," she said. "We may see a little bit of frost damage if there is an event, but I'm expecting it will be very minimal at this point."