© Austin M. Davis
Farmers worked their fields west of Moose Jaw along Highway 1 on Wednesday morning, taking advantage of some dry weather.
Producers are on the edge of completing another year of harvesting crops.
Favourable harvest weather across most of the province has allowed producers to pull off above average yields and above average crop quality. According to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report for the week of Oct. 15-21, 99 per cent of crops have been harvested.
“I would say we are basically done,” said Brent Flaten, an integrated pest management specialist for the ministry of agriculture. “There might be the odd field here and there.”
Areas in southeastern and east-central parts of the province still have about five per cent of crops that still need to be harvested. This is a result of recent rain and snow that has fallen in those regions, hampering the efforts of producers.
Crops in those regions will be harvested, but Flaten noted that producers might have to take additional measures to nurture them. Most remaining crops are flax, chickpeas, canaryseed or oats.
“Right now it's going to be tough to have that crop dry unless we get some unusually warm weather,” he said. “The little bit crop that's left, we are either going to have to wait for some warmer weather this fall or they're going to have to take it off tough and dry it somehow – with commercial grain driers, either at elevators or on farms.”
However, of the crops that have already been harvested, the majority of them are reported as falling within the top two quality grades.
Average yields for spring wheat and canola are, for example, 35 and 36 per cent higher, respectively, than the average over the past 10 years.
Flaten admitted that the harvest on a provincial scale is slightly behind average, but he said not to read too much into that.
“It always depends on what you call average, but we were certainly later than last year,” he stated. “Last year we had a hot July, August and September versus this year, where just the second half of August it started to warm up.”
Flaten is hopeful that all of the province’s crops will be harvested before the calendar flips to November.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks