Snowfall delays harvest for local famers

By Nigel Maxwell
October 6, 2016 - 12:00pm

The recent snowfall could not come at a worse time, with many farmers in the Prince Albert and Shellbrook areas working frantically to get this year’s crop in the bin.

According to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly crop report, which covers the period from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, harvest is 78 per cent done in the northeast and northwest areas.

Kerry Peterson, who farms west of Shellbrook, said he is about 90 per cent done. The recent snowfall has not deterred him.

"We had this 20 years ago, it snowed a couple feet on Thanksgiving weekend, and we harvested after that one. I'm confident we'll get back out in the field this year,” he said.

Peterson said the problem will be any standing crop runs the risk of being lodged and and will require a big effort to be harvested.

Bob Reid, who farms in the Smeaton area, shares Peterson's enthusiasm.

"I've never seen winter come the third or fourth of October yet, hell I've seen combines going in November or December but this snow has to go," he said.

Reid said he had about four or five days left in the field, and so far this year his yield was "awesome."

Average yield estimates for most crops have decreased slightly over the past month.

Cropland topsoil moisture conditions are rated as 30 per cent surplus and 70 per cent adequate. Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as 25 per cent surplus and 75 per cent adequate.

Provincially, 80 per cent of the 2016 crop has been combined and 14 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut.

The five-year (2011-2015) average for this time of year is 86 per cent combined. 


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On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell


Harvest progress slow in province; P.A. less impacted

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