Wild Rice picks down in north

By paNOW Staff
September 29, 2010 - 1:35pm Updated: September 30, 2010 - 3:22pm

By Brent Bosker

Wild rice harvest, like other crops this year in Saskatchewan, has been affected by the weather.

The Saskatchewan Wild Rice Council says it’s the worst crop in five years.

"Normally in La Ronge, we would expect a million- to a million-and-a-half pounds, we're looking at only just about 500,000," said Bill Plunz, general manager of the La Ronge Wild Rice Corporation.

Until the weather took a turn for the worst in August, growers were expecting an average harvest, said Plunz.

"We got hit with quite a number of severe rains, a lot of heavy winds," he said. "Wild rice doesn't like that very much. It comes right off the plant and falls back into the water so the harvesters aren't able to get it."

Plunz said an off year is made more challenging by the poor market conditions from the last year.

"It's my understanding that wild rice being one of those higher end food products is a little on the slow side because of the worldwide economic situation," he said.
"I think that were looking for improvement in that area for sure."

For rice growers still working to get their crop off, "a little bit of sunshine would help and a lack of frost," Plunz said.

Warm weather helping farmers

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