Saskatchewan

Harvest slowed significantly due to early arrival of winter storm

Saskatchewan's crop report for the week of Sept. 24-30 indicated roughly 47 per cent of the province's crops have been harvested, up from 39 per cent last week.

Harvest only at 45% combined compared to five-year average

According to Ian Mosby, rather than subsidizing big farming with more than $6 billion every year, the federal and provincial governments should encourage more small, local farms. (Tory Gillis/CBC)

Saskatchewan's harvest has been slowed substantially by the arrival of an early winter storm.

The province's crop report for the week of Sept. 24-30 indicated roughly 47 per cent of the province's crops have been harvested, up from 39 per cent last week.

That figure is well below the five-year average of 75 per cent for the same time frame.

"Much of the crop harvested so far is tough and is being put into grain dryers and aeration bins," the crop report said. "Farmers will need several weeks of warm and dry weather to get the crop off."

Harvest in Saskatchewan is most advanced in the province's southwest region, where 68 per cent of the crop is now combined, followed by the north and southeast regions at around 50 per cent.

Harvest is slowest in Saskatchewan's west, as the west-central region has 46 per cent combined, the northwest region has 34 per cent combined, with the east-central region at 33 per cent.

A combine harvests a field in Saskatchewan. (Mike Zartler/CBC)

"Farmers are busy drying grain and waiting for the weather to improve so they can continue with harvest operations," the crop report said.

Hail was responsible for the majority of reported crop damage this past week, with strong winds, lodging, localized flooding and frost all contributing.

Thirty-four per cent of the crop is swathed or ready to straight-cut, the report said.

Even crops that have been swathed are not out of danger, as geese and other wildlife have been feeding on the crops and causing damage.

Though the wet weather has slowed harvest, the precipitation is a positive for topsoil conditions across Saskatchewan, with the majority of topsoil moisture levels being listed as adequate or surplus.

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