<b>Bumper harvest</b> Farmers in southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba have been bringing in a bumper harvest this year. Not only are yields exceptional, but grains and oilseeds are coming in at high grades. This field was being harvested just north of Moosomin last week.

Near record harvest expected on Prairies

September 23, 2013 9:04 am
Kevin Weedmark

Farmers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba couldn’t have asked for a better harvest so far.

Exceptional growing conditions have led to a bumper harvest, and many crops are coming in at high grades as well.

Many farmers in the Moosomin area were taken off guard by the size of the harvest—employees at Flaman Sales and Service have been busy supplying bins to farmers who don’t have enough space to store their bumper crops.

“We’ve got lots of guys calling wanting bins,” said Flaman Moosomin manager Peter Nabholz.

“Yields are twice what they normally are, and it caught guys off guard. Grain bin sales are about twice what they would normally be, and we’ve sold more grain bags in the last week than ever before.

“It’s been good for business all around—aeration fans, bins, grain bags—it’s been busy.”

With harvest past the halfway point, farmers across Manitoba and Saskatchewan are reporting bumper crops.

Warm and dry weather until the middle of last week resulted in significant harvest progress being made.

Saskatchewan farmers had 55 per cent of the 2013 crop combined by Thursday, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report. Thirty per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Despite some late seeding because of a wet spring, harvest is actually ahead this year.

The five-year average (2008-2012) for this time of year is 44 per cent combined and 31 per cent swathed or ready to straight-cut.

Harvest is most advanced in the southwestern part of the province, where 69 per cent of the crop is combined. Fifty-five per cent is combined in the southeast; 45 per cent in the east-central region; 64 per cent in the west-central region; 39 per cent in the northeast and 48 per cent in the northwestern region.

Of the crops that have been harvested so far, 97 per cent of peas, 83 per cent of lentils and 70 per cent of durum is estimated to fall within the top two quality grades.

While overall yields are reported to be above average, they vary from region to region.

Wind in the southeastern and east-central regions caused some canola swaths to blow around. Light frost was reported in the southeastern and east-central regions as well; however, crops have matured enough that damage is expected to be minimal.

Across the province, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as one per cent surplus, 48 per cent adequate, 41 per cent short and 10 per cent very short.

Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 47 per cent adequate, 39 per cent short and 13 per cent very short.

Some farmers are bringing in 60 bushels per acre of canola, which is much higher than the usual 40.