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Alberta farmers race to harvest crops before killing frost

With the forecast calling for rain and snow by the end of the week, farmers in southern Alberta are working long hours to finish harvesting before the snow flies.

Rain and possible flurries expected as early as Thursday

Bob Izyk is trying to harvest as much of his barley and wheat crops near High River before the snow, predicted for the end of the week, arrives and makes the grains less valuable. (CBC)

With the forecast calling for rain and snow by the end of the week, farmers in southern Alberta are working long hours to finish harvesting before the snow flies.

Harry Brook, a crop specialist with the province, says everyone from the southern to the northern regions is running behind this year.

"If you can get your crop down to 20 per cent moisture in the seed, then you are basically safe from any quality losses due to a killing frost," he said.

"And that's kind of the race right now.… There's a lot of standing crop out there that's probably in that 30 per cent moisture range."

Farmers around southern Alberta are racing against time to bring in their crops before the weather conditions deteriorate. (CBC)

Rain and possible flurries are expected as early as Thursday in the southern part of the province.

Bob Izyk, a third generation farmer who lives near High River, has more than 5,000 acres (2,020 hectares) with his brother. He is hoping for a few more days of sunshine before it snows.

"We got a little bit of barley left, 1,200 acres of wheat, and we're trying to get most of the wheat off before the bad weather because it will lose grade if we don't get it in the bin. And grade is money."

Brook says there's still time for the situation to improve.

"We haven't got a killing frost yet so, and a lot of people, too, you know, they say October is our main harvest month, so we're hoping just for the weather to smarten up," he said.

​​​​​Izyk says the only thing he can do is keep pushing.

"We can get a lot done, but I don't think we're going to finish the wheat," he said.

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