Range of conditions as Sask. farmers try to complete seeding
Some farmers seeding and harvesting simultaneously
It's been an unusual year for farmers in the province of Saskatchewan, to say the least.
While many are finishing their seeding on schedule, others were faced with harvesting before they could even start.
On CBC Radio's Blue Sky, one farmer from north of Moose Jaw, Sask., said it was the first time in three generations of farming that the combine, sprayer and air seeder were out in the field at the same time.
Lee Moats, who farms near Riceton, Sask., said the year has been one of mixed emotions.
His spring started off with what he called an "excellent seeding season." That was followed by an unexpected frost that took a hit to his canola crops. Moats said the temperature dipped to –7 C last week.
"The first field we had sowed was up. It looks like we're going to have to re-seed that. We've also suffered some damage on our winter cereals," he said.
"I've never experienced that in the 30-some years we've been growing them."
Other than the crops he needs to re-seed, Moats said seeding is complete. Now, his attention has turned to hoping for some moisture.
"We haven't had a rainfall all spring and rain would be very timely right now," he said. "I think there is some canola sitting in dry dirt. A little rain would just help everything get out of the ground."
Best conditions in 10 years, says one farmer
Kyle Heggie farms west of Ituna, Sask. Currently in the process of seeding canola, he said he would need at least one week to 10 days of sun to finish up.
For now, he said he's focused on getting as much done as he can before the rain that's forecast for Thursday.
"It's good conditions — better than we've had in probably the past 10 years," he said.
Heggie said he finished harvest in the middle of November.
"We took a lot of tough grain off last fall but we're glad we did. Otherwise, it probably would've still been out."
North of Nipawin, Sask., organic farmer Paul-Emile L'Heureux said he expects many fields in the northeast grain belt will not be seedable this spring.
The extreme flooding in the area started last fall with 35 centimetres of snow during the long weekend in October.
"The guys around here have just started seeding," he said. "I haven't even been able to work all my land up yet."
L'Heureux said farming has been extending further into the fall, which gives him about two weeks before he has to seed.
Those up north aren't the only ones facing wet conditions in the field.
Hunter Brothers sing about stuck machinery — again
The musical group Hunter Brothers farms near Shaunavon, Sask. While finishing up seeding on Saturday, one of their tractors, pulling an air seeder, got stuck.
This prompted a live video on Facebook.
"You just never know when you're going to get stuck and a lot of farmers around the province have run into that a lot, I think, in the last couple of years," said JJ Hunter.
The video has more than a million views already.
With files from CBC Radio's Blue Sky