Even with weather delays, harvest continues to progress

Rain showers have continued here and there across the Canora/Norquay/Kamsack/Preeceville region in recent weeks, but many producers have managed to make some progress in this lengthy harvest, said Liam O’Halloran of Prairie Soil Services last week.

Foggy mornings have also slowed things down, forcing producers to wait later in the day for conditions to adequately dry out. The harvest season has been dragging on for two months or longer for many producers.

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While conditions have been less than ideal, producers are grateful they are not dealing with the heavy snowfall which hit farmers further south in Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba and into parts of the northern U.S., said O’Halloran.

Locally, barley and pea harvests have wrapped up for the most part with reasonably good crop quality. The majority of these crops were harvested before the weather turned wet and cold, and therefore didn’t suffer severe downgrading.

Most of the wheat crop is also in the bin, with close to average yields. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the wheat harvest was completed after the wet weather set in, with significant sprouting in the swaths and heavy losses in quality. Those fortunate enough to harvest their wheat earlier while conditions were still relatively dry had much better crop quality on the whole.

O’Halloran estimates the canola harvest is 80 to 90 per cent complete. To this point, the overall quality is reasonably good and the yield is close to average. Those who have straight cut some of their canola acres fared reasonably well, since the crop didn’t suffer the quality losses associated with laying in swath through long periods of wet weather.

Most producers across the region need less than a week of minimal overnight frost with dry, reasonably warm temperatures during the days during to complete their harvest.

Those who have completed their harvest have started applying anhydrous ammonia fertilizer in preparation for 2020 spring seeding. With the good soil moisture conditions across the region, producer are getting a good seal on the ground to minimize losses.