Harvest in Saskatchewan impacted by cool and wet weather

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WATCH ABOVE: Delayed harvest for farmers in Saskatchewan – Sep 6, 2019

Cool and wet weather continues to have an impact on the harvest in Saskatchewan.

Todd Borstmayer farms near Bruno, Sask., he said he won’t be starting up any combines for a couple of days as it’s just to wet from this summer’s rainfall.

“It came probably three weeks too late,” he said. “If we’d of gotten an earlier rain it would have been a really nice crop, it’s an average crop but poor quality now.”

The dry conditions this spring are also playing a role in the delay, Borstmayer said they never saw any rain until June.

“Canola is probably for sure three weeks behind,” he explained. “This time last year we were probably 50 per cent done, now we’re maybe 10 per cent.”

Saskatchewan Agriculture said on Thursday in the weekly crop report that 11 per cent of the crop is in the bin, up from six per cent from a week ago.

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The five-year average for this time of year is 28 per cent.

A good stretch of warm and dry weather is needed to get producers back in the field, Saskatchewan Agriculture said.

Furthest along with the harvest are southwest regions with 20 per cent of the crop combined and the southeast at 16 per cent.

Central regions report six to seven per cent combined and northern regions between three and four per cent.

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Localized flooding, strong winds, light frost and hail caused the majority of crop damage over the last seven days, Saskatchewan Agriculture said.

There have also been some reports of crops bleaching and sprouting in areas due to the excessive moisture.

Rainfall was reported in most of the province, ranging from trace amounts to 45 mm in the Lampman area.

Cropland topsoil moisture is rated at eight per cent surplus, 81 per cent adequate, 10 per cent short and one per cent very short.

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Hayland and pasture topsoil moisture are rated at two per cent surplus, 78 per cent adequate, 15 per cent short and five per cent very short.

Meteorologist Peter Quinlan said Saskatchewan has seen a shift in weather patterns in recent years.

“Around normal- to above-normal moisture throughout the season of fall,” he said. “Unfortunately, we are seeing this flip-flop where springs are becoming dryer and falls are becoming wetter so that’s not ideal for harvest and it’s really putting a messy growing season this year.”

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Borstmayer said anything they’re able to combine needs to go through the grain dryer before it can be stored in bins adding on more costs to producers. He explained on average it’s adding on an extra drying cost of $0.60 per bushel for barley this year but leaving the barley in swaths to dry also comes at a price as it begins to sprout out on the ground and downgrade the quality.

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“Malt Barley right now is trading for about $4.80 a bushel, compared to $3.60 for feed which this swathed barley will probably have to be,” he said.

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