Rain brought harvest to a halt in much of the province last week, including the northwest region.
Producers have 17 per cent of the northwest crop in the bin, according to the crop report for the week ending Sept. 12. Another 62 per cent is ready to swath or straight cut. Daphne Cruise, crop management specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture, said rain kept farmers there, and in many other areas of the province, behind schedule. Humidity was also an issue, she said.
“Lots of dew in the morning, that’s lasting until late in the morning, and then setting in again early in the evening. So a lot of combines, not able to go until noon or after, and then shut down by dusk,” she explained. However she added conditions in the days since have been much better for harvesting.
Progress was farther along in the southern part of the region, including the Battlefords and Hafford, while the area between Meadow Lake and Lloydminster was even farther behind the five-year average. Rainfall in the region ranged from 18 mm at Debden, to 14 mm at Pierceland, and 8 mm at Turtleford.
Further south, the weather was better, and harvest passed the one-third mark.
“The west-central on the other hand, though, they were one of the regions that were able to keep going for a few days....and get a few more acres off the field,” Cruise said. Despite the progress in the region, it remained behind the five-year average.
The province as a whole was at 38 per cent completion, behind the five-year average of 44 per cent. Harvest is essentially finished for winter wheat and fall rye, while flax and chickpeas have the least amount finished.
Farmers were surveyed on quality for certain crops, and durum wheat from the west-central region is being downgraded due to fusarium.
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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