Saturday November 22, 2014

Crops progress nicely

Haying 60% done

Warm weather is helping many crops in the Weyburn region to advance and develop, with some rain received to help the crops mature and fill.

Haying operations are also well underway, with about 37 per cent of the crop baled or put into silage, and another 23 per cent cut and ready for baling.

Hay quality is rated as 11 per cent excellent, 82 per cent good, four per cent fair and three per cent poor.

Yields for hay are ranging from 1.5 tons per acre for brome/alfalfa and 1.3 for alfalfa, to 1.7 tons for greenfeed and 1.0 tons per acre for wild hay, and 1.2 tons for other tame hay.

For producer Jeff Gaab, who farms just south of Weyburn, he said all of his crops are doing well right now developmentally.

“Things have really progressed and developed. We’re probably a little bit behind where we had expected to be at this time of year,” said Gaab, adding that he is monitoring the crops right now for insects or diseases, and he isn’t really seeing any problems at this point. They have sprayed a fair bit of fungicide so far.

“Right now we’re letting the crops do its thing; this last bit of moisture was helpful,” said Gaab, noting they received around six-tenths of an inch from the storm that came through on Thursday.

“It was a nice shot of rain,” he said, adding he was happy there were no reports of hail that he heard from the storm.

Producer Randy Larsen, who farms in the Oungre area, said they were in need of rain recently, and over a three-night span received about an inch of rain, including about six-tenths from the storm on Thursday evening.

He is growing canola, winter wheat, some lentils and flax, and spring wheat. Of these, he said the winter wheat is a little behind than normal, but generally it looks very good right now.

“Everything seems to be generally pretty good, and lots of guys have been spraying fungicide. I haven’t noticed much for insects right now in our area,” said Larsen.

Up in the Creelman area, producer Marcel Van Staveren said their canola crops have been having the most struggle with the excess moisture, while the cereals and soybeans are on their way to an excellent crop.

With the land he farms with his two brothers, he estimates about 20 per cent of their land will be non-productive due to excess moisture, and the canola crops will be about average to slightly better than average.

He noted they planted more soybeans this year than ever before, about 20 per cent of their acres, and it is thriving with the excess moisture. Recently they received about an inch of rain in the last three to four days, and of all of his crops, the soybeans will benefit the most.

Overall, their farm has received between 13 and 15 inches of rain since April 28.

For their cereal crops, Van Staveren said it will much like last year when their cereals produced a record harvest.

“To me, this is almost a carbon copy of last year, with every day the temperature in the 20s. It doesn’t look to be a hot year, and that’ll help us,” said Van Staveren.

He estimates the earliest crop to be ready for harvest will be his winter wheat, guessing around Aug. 15-20 for that harvest to begin, which is ahead of normal.

“We did have some wheat midge,” he added, which was sprayed for, with no other insect issues at this time.


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