Producers in the region are busy helping out whomever they can to get the harvest wrapped up, hauling bales and completing some fall field work. Most have completed their own harvest or are on verge of finishing.
David Pattyson, who farms near Tribune, finished harvesting his fields the first week in October and when everything was done, he was happy with his crop.
“This is the 31st crop I’ve produced and, by quite a bit, it was the largest crop I’ve ever produced,” said Pattyson. He credits a combination of weather and agriculture advancements for the bumper crop.
Pattyson said the quality of his crop before the rain was all in the first two grades, but the mid-harvest showers were problematic.
“There was some damage in some of the later crops,” said Pattyson, who is working on post-harvest weed control now.
Brad Eggum was “getting there” as of Thursday when he only had 400 acres of soybeans left to harvest. He said on Thursday that if the weather cleared after the rain late last week, he should be finishing up harvest this week.
“I’m quite pleased with everything,” said Eggum, who farms near Midale. “The late-seeded soybeans are finishing strong.” He said the seed quality should be excellent and that he plans to use most of the soybeans for 2014 seeds.
Eggum also grew some spring wheat and canola and said the yields were very good and that the quality was also pretty good, though the protein grades on the wheat were low.
Richard and Celine Wawro, near Cedoux, have also finished their harvest and reported good yields and quality all around. Richard knew before harvest even began that he would need grain bags to properly store his crop.
The Ministry of Agriculture reported on Thursday that producers were able to stay on the combines for most of the week as very little rain was reported in the region. As of Oct. 7, 85 per cent of the crop was combined and 10 per cent was swathed or ready to straight-cut. The five-year average (from 2008 to 2012) for that time of year is 87 per cent combined. Spring wheat was between 60 to 100 per cent combined; durum 70 to 100 per cent; barley 50 to 100 per cent; canola 70 to 100 per cent; and flax 20 to 100 per cent combined. Ten per cent of the canola, 17 per cent of the oats and eight per cent of the wheat is in the swath. One week of dry weather should get the majority of the crop off the field.
Spring wheat grades were rated as 47 per cent 1CW, 41 per cent 2CW, 11 per cent 3CW and one per cent feed and above-average yields are being reported. Yields for the region do however vary from area to area, depending on seeding conditions and growing season moisture.
The amount of rainfall reported in the region ranged from nil to 8 mm. Many areas reported no rainfall for the week. Topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as eight per cent surplus, 72 per cent adequate, 18 per cent short and two per cent very short. Hay land and pasture moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 68 per cent adequate, 25 per cent short and five per cent very short.
The ministry reported bleaching and sprouting of standing ripe and swathed crops occurred in some areas due to the rain that fell over the past three weeks. A hard frost on a couple nights was reported in most areas of the region, with temperatures falling to -3C to -5C for most of the night. Winter cereals are now emerging.