With this summer’s ever-changing weather, many local farmers are finding themselves in a good position for harvest.
“It’s been a bit of a unique year as the spring led to a stressed out seeding activity which means a stressed out harvesting activity but we’re coming along here fairly nicely,” says Chris Waldenberger of Dennis Waldenberger Farms near Tuxford which grows canola, flax, durum wheat, and green peas.
According to some local farmers, harvesting is well on its way for legume crops.
Waldenberger is finishing up with harvesting the green peas and says the rest of the crops will be ready for harvest within the next week to two weeks.
“We expect to get into durum wheat later this week... There are some green areas that one might need to go around but that’s kind of a nice alternative to last year where everything was dried up,” says Waldenberger.
He adds that he will just go back to harvest those green areas later once they’re ready.
This appears to be the case for many farmers in the area.
Nick Cornea with AND Farms Limited just west of Drinkwater grows small red and large green lentils as well as durum wheat, hard red spring wheat, and canola.
“We’ve got almost a section of our red lentils docked down here and in the bin. Another field is ready to rock and roll here as soon as we’re done this one and then probably a few days in between and we’ll hopefully get onto our green lentils,” says Cornea.
He adds that harvest won’t begin for the wheat fields for another seven to 10 days since he’s seeing a lot of green areas.
Canola fields were apparently having a hard time with the lack of moisture early on in the season but Cornea says his canola fields were saved by the recent rain the area has had.
“The canola kind of got a little stagnant. We were short on some moisture and then we ended up getting an inch and a half (of rain) one week and just over two inches the next week and that really fired that canola back up and it’s starting to play catch up right now,” he says.
Timing of the harvest has had a start time of roughly one to two weeks later than usual but it is starting to catch up.
Cornea shares though that the most difficult thing lately has been dealing with the humidity.
He says, “Right now we’re struggling with being able to start (working in the fields) real early and go very late with the heavy dews and high humidity. It gets real dewy real fast out here and we have to shut down, the crop doesn’t like to cut with the combine very well that way.”
Saskatchewan has seen a higher amount of precipitation this season compared to previous years.
However, this can prove to be beneficial for some farmers’ yields.
“We had some nice rains, I would say above average rainfall this year which correlates into healthier yields. Definitely, I would say we are at average maybe above average from what I’ve seen so far. So, we’re very happy with what we have this year compared to last year where yields were anywhere from 40 to 70 per cent of our expectations,” says Waldenberger.
While local farmers seem to be on a good track for their harvest, other farmers in areas who had a lack of rainfall during this season are seeing lesser yields.