November 7, 2016 8:46 pm
Updated: November 8, 2016 8:11 am

Warm spell renews harvest hopes for Saskatchewan farmers

WATCH ABOVE: Saskatchewan farmers working hard to get the crop in with nicer weather. Meaghan Craig has more.

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It’s weather that was desperately needed back in October to harvest the crop but farmers in the province say they’ll take it either way.

A warm spell across parts of Saskatchewan over the weekend shattered records dating back nearly seven decades, bringing renewed hope for some farmers who may get their crop off after all so long as the sun continues to shine.

“Right at the start of October we finished last year,” Saskatoon area farmer Mark Thompson said.

“We were kind of on pace to be there this year too, had a few combine issues things kind of set us back then the snow came and we didn’t move a tire for three weeks.”

READ MORE: Record breaking heat hits Saskatchewan, but how long will it last?

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Thompson said he and his crew still have five per cent to go after managing to get thousands of dollars in standing quinoa in the bin.

“It wasn’t pretty want came but you go further north – there’s a lot of people that got a lot more snow and it’s been ugly.”

So little has happened in the fields since the last crop report was issued on Oct. 24 by the province that officials say no new data has been collected.

At that time, 82 per cent of the 2016 crop had been combined. The five-year average (2011-15) for this time of year is 99 per cent combined.

“The furthest behind was the west-central region at only 73 per cent of the crop combined,” Shannon Friesen, acting cropping management specialist for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, said.

“Typically, in that west-central region they’re one of the first to be done but this year they’re certainly on the lower end.”

READ MORE: FCC offering help to farmers facing financial hardship due to wet conditions

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“It’s not the first time people have combined in November by any means but it’s really wet out there,” Thompson said.

“We’re fighting, we’re playing in the mud, we’re putting dirt through the combines and it’s slow going.”

While Thompson still isn’t sure about the quality of the crop, he and his crew are happy they didn’t have to resort to Plan B or Plan C – next spring.

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“This is definitely good news for the farmers they’ve been wanting a really long warm dry spell and that’s what we’re getting now,” Global Saskatoon Meteorologist Peter Quinlan said.

“It started over the weekend and it’s going to continue right until early next week, it’s looking like not until the middle of November that we’re going to see a major shift in our pattern.”

The problem, according to Friesen, is October set some farmers back not just days but in some cases a month-and-a-half.

“There are still some people who are in a lot worse shape and we may be sending our combines to help them after we’re done,” Thompson said.

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© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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