Environment Canada has issued overnight frost warnings for parts of Saskatchewan, adding to a basketful of woes for prairie farmers.
While frost is not an entirely unexpected weather event for mid-September, the 2010 harvest is lagging and there is concern about damage to crops from sub-zero temperatures.
Different parts of the province could expect overnight lows of –3 to just below freezing, Environment Canada said Thursday night. At 10 p.m. CST, frost warnings or watches had been issued for 32 forecast areas, from Moose Jaw to Prince Albert.
According to the most recent provincial crop report, only 14 per cent of the season's crop had been harvested in Saskatchewan, compared with a five-year average of 51 per cent by this time of the year.
The delay in harvesting has been blamed on a spate of rainy weather that has dragged on for about a week.
Unfortunately, the same weather system that clears out the skies also brings with it the risk of frost.
On Thursday night, a cold wind was noted by farmer Doyle Wiebe, just northwest of Saskatoon. Wiebe told CBC News he has been busy swathing in an attempt to get the crop in before a deep frost hits.
"Everything they are predicting for the week looks like it's coming to bear," Wiebe said. "The clouds have cleared off, the wind is blowing from the wrong direction and we will likely see frost on the pumpkins in the morning."
The crop report noted that among the crops being swathed or combined were canola, field peas, canary seed and chickpeas.