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2020 harvest begins in southern Alberta

Click to play video: '2020 harvest begins in southern Alberta' 2020 harvest begins in southern Alberta
The long hot summer days mean harvest is here. As Quinn Campbell reports, farmers in southern Alberta are seeing some of the best crops they’ve had in years. – Aug 12, 2020

It’s the kind of growing season farmers like Gary Stanford hoped for. Stanford, who lives in Magrath, has been farming all his life. It’s been a long wait to see how his 2020 crops would turn out.

“This is like some of the best crops we’ve had around southern Alberta for a long time,” said Stanford.

Read more: Alberta farmers seeding and hoping to get last year’s crop off

It all comes down to timing. Doon Pauly, an agronomy research scientist with Alberta Agriculture said the area had rains at just the right time, giving the crops the boost they needed.

“Across most the region we’re probably, I would say, at least two inches more than normal [rainfall]. In the Lethbridge area, we are probably at least that, and when you compare that to last year, we were probably two inches below normal, it’s been a really big swing.”
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Mother nature hasn’t been so kind in the past. Standford said many farmers in the South have been battling drought conditions for several years, but this good growing season will get many back on track.

“When it kept raining all of June and July it took a lot of pressure off of us. The hay crops are very good, the grain crops are doing really well, the cow pastures are doing very well, it takes a lot of pressure off you so we are excited to make a little money this year,” he added.

Read more: Southern Alberta crops in dire need of rain

Harvest is right on  schedule for a normal season with some crops ready for swathing and others already getting combined. The good conditions in southern Alberta should mean high crop quality.

“I suspect we will see better than normal yield,” added Pauly.

The season is just beginning so Standford is reminding other southern Albertan’s to be patient when seeing farm machinery on the highway travelling from field to field.

“Don’t try and pass us at the wrong time, watch for the slow moving signs,” he said, adding, “We cant go real fast with our equipment, we will only be on there for a short period of time and get out of the way or we will pull off in intersections to let you by — but please be patient and lets keep everybody safe for harvest.”

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Click to play video: 'Farm safety concerns elevated as harvest season underway in southern Alberta' Farm safety concerns elevated as harvest season underway in southern Alberta
Farm safety concerns elevated as harvest season underway in southern Alberta – Aug 12, 2020

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