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Southern Alberta farmers seeing average yields, high costs this harvest

Click to play video: 'Southern Alberta farmers seeing average yields, high costs this harvest'
Southern Alberta farmers seeing average yields, high costs this harvest
Many southern Alberta farmers are now finishing this year’s harvest. As Erik Bay reports, producers say yields are looking better than expected after a tough start to the growing season, but increasing costs are cutting into their bottom lines. – Sep 14, 2022

Combines continue to be a usual sight in fields across southern Alberta.

“It’s been an average year I would say,” said Sean Stanford, who farms in the area near Magrath, Alta.

“The crops all had a bad start at the beginning of the year. It was cold and dry, very little moisture to start with and then we didn’t get any substantial rains until the first part of July, so the crops kind of suffered from that.”

Stanford is harvesting the last of his crops.

Click to play video: 'Southern Alberta farmers optimistic heading into harvest'
Southern Alberta farmers optimistic heading into harvest

As his final passes of durum wheat make their way into the bin, he says this year’s harvest season has gone as well as can be expected.

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“We had a couple shutdowns due to some rain. That’s run of the mill for fall time around here,” Stanford said.

“We managed to avoid a lot of the hail around here so that’s a bonus.”

Read more: ‘We need inches of rain to recover’: Alberta ranchers and farmers desperate for a downpour

According to the province’s latest crop report, producers in the southern region have seven per cent more crop in the bin compared to the five-year averages.

Crop quality ranges from above the five-year average for wheat and canola to below those marks for oats and peas.

While Stanford is pleasantly surprised with his yields after a slow start to the growing season, 2022 has had its challenges.

“All the inputs this year are up for sure,” Stanford said. “Fuel is up a little bit, fertilizer is way up. Everything across the board is pretty high.”

“Most people are saying this is the most expensive crop they’ve ever planted.”

Now producers will be watching the markets as they look to sell their cereals and try to offset those high costs.

“Hopefully we can make a few dollars and carry on to next year. That’s always to goal,” Stanford said.

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