Farmers optimistic with crops nearly on schedule | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 21 May 2024 12am

Farmers optimistic with crops nearly on schedule


    Crops are looking better than last year in the counties surrounding Drumheller, has fieldmen say they are generally only a week behind schedule.

    “Overall, we’re not in dire straights like last year,” says Allan Hampton, agriculture fieldman for Starland County, who attributes the strong season to the recent heat the area has received.
    “Last year we were in a perpetual cool cycle and this year not so much. The days are getting a little warmer and it might be better growing conditions than last year.”
    He says the majority of the crops look in a “fairly decent state right now.”
    “There has been some early seeding done and those crops are looking excellent,” says Kneehill County ag. fieldman Bruce Sommerville.
    “Farmers are optimistic and things are looking good right now.”
    Last year, international train wrecks like Russia cancelled exports of grains after drought destroyed nearly a third of the country’s crops,  and the poor crop conditions here in Alberta, drove up prices for better quality grains and even saw a jump in the price of feed quality grains.
    “It worked out to increase crop prices even for poorer quality. This year, if we have another poor quality crop we won’t be quite as fortunate,” says Hampton.
    “Unless someone else is having misfortune, the trend is to keep prices at the low end. Typically what happens, is the seller needs to sell so the buyer tries to get it at the least price he can. As a grain marketer, if we can take the opportunity to catch some of the better prices on our marketing side. A lot of us tend to wait until we have something in the bin, and by that time you may have missed some opportunities unless you have a train wreck somewhere and prices go up.”
    Prices of commodities right now are decent, Hampton says. Prices for bushels of wheat were at $5.09 on Wednesday, July 6, with canola at $12.49/bushel and western barley $3.95/bushel.
    “We’re not looking bad right now, a week or so of decent heat and things won’t be too far off from normal. The price of crop looks good and the potential looks good,” says Hampton, adding farmers in Starland are generally happy with how things have come along this year.

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