No record crop for Sask. in 2014: agrologist

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Justin Crann
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Two to three million acres impacted by flooding

Saskatchewan isn't likely to set any records with its crop this year, according to Brent Flaten with the Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Moose Jaw.

"Last year was an absolute record-setter, and we can't have that (this year). It would just be nice not to have the severe flooding and the associated issues, not only with the crop, but also with homes," he told the Times-Herald on Friday. "We've had rainfall after rainfall … it's been significant, that's for sure."

The estimate, for those keeping score, is two to three million acres of flooded farmland — but the total isn't final.

"Thursday night, Moosomin got hit with another bad storm, and we don't know how much of an impact that has had. Up until July 7, we were in that two to three million acre range," said Flaten. "That might change as we refine the numbers."

Moose Jaw and area has done a little bit better than elsewhere, he noted.

"We don't have that amount of flooding here. We have some localized areas that have washed out and some issues with lentils and peas because they are more sensitive to saturated soil, but we aren't anywhere close to the severity of the situation in the southeastern part of the province," Flaten explained.

Still, the saturated soil can create additional issues.

"Root rots are more of an issue, particularly with the pulses," he said. "The roots are already weak, and the root rots just go ahead and attack the plant."

He added that wheat midges will be an issue again in 2014 due to the moisture.

But even with the pests and the wash-outs, the staff at the centre remains optimistic.

"Things will certainly turn around. We have a lower yield potential now than what we had last year, but especially in the Moose Jaw area, we're getting warmth and sunshine and not a lot of rain," said Flaten.

"We're expecting a lot of the crop that hasn't been killed out by localized flooding or root rot to get growing and growing fast."

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Organizations: Times-Herald

Geographic location: Sask., Moose Jaw

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