Manitoba

'It's definitely different,' says Manitoba farmer harvesting in January

Some Manitoba farmers are harvesting their crops in January, after dealing with a year of extreme weather.

Usual harvest season's extreme weather included 2nd-wettest September on record, October snowstorm

Soybeans are covered in snow on a Manitoba farm in this October 2019 photo. After a fall of extreme weather, some Manitoba farmers are harvesting their crops in January. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

After 40 years of farming, Andrew Saramaga is experiencing a first — he's harvesting in January.

"It's definitely different," Saramaga, who farms just east of Winnipeg near Hazelridge, Man., told CBC Radio Noon host Marjorie Dowhos on Tuesday.

He's not alone. After dealing with a year of extreme weather, some other Manitoba farmers are harvesting their crops this month. Saramaga said there's also harvesting being done in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

He said his farm just finished harvesting its last bundle of corn — a crop which is normally harvested in late summer or early fall.

"Conditions weren't right [then] for us to be harvesting it, so we had to delay harvest until now," Saramaga said.

Those conditions include the wettest September in Manitoba's history, and a massive October snowstorm that slammed the province.

On the positive side, the cold and snow do not appear to be affecting the corn crop, he said.

"In terms of the corn quality, it's pretty hardy and it can withstand different moistures," Saramaga said. "It's just a different handling process than we're normally used to."

Moving forward, the grain farmer said he's hopeful for the next season.

"That's all you can do. You just work with what's given to you and do the best you can with the situation you're dealt."

With files from Marjorie Dawhos

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