Rain delays harvest, quality deteriorates | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateMon, 06 Feb 2023 11am

Rain delays harvest, quality deteriorates

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    Area farmers seeing more rain coming down are getting anxious to get onto their fields.

    This fall harvest has slowed to a crawl as rain continues to make it impossible for farmers to begin pulling any crops off the land.  They are hoping for a respite from the weather.
    “It all depends on what kind of October we get,” said Starland County Ag Fieldman Al Hampton. “Some drying hot weather is going to speed things up… She’s going to be a little bit of a wait, but we have to cross our fingers and hope the weather cooperates. The days are getting a little bit shorter.”
    “It’s getting a little bit worrisome obviously, but it is not panic mode.”
    One concern he said is that some of the crops have not yet fully ripened, and it will take not only dry weather, but also some heat to get it moving. The recent frost also doesn’t help much.
    Bruce Sommerville Ag. Fieldman for Kneehill County said the recent weather and the inability for famers to take off their crop is leading to degradation.
    “Quality is definitely going down,” said Sommerville.
    He said because of the moisture, some of the crops that have been swathed are starting to sprout at the heads, which is a bad sign.
    “There has been some frost and that affects quality, but it doesn’t’ affect the yield,” he said. “A lot of farmers say October is harvest month, but we definitely need a good stretch of warmer weather and some wind to dry things off.”
    He says quantity this year appears to be good.
    “There has been some pea crops taken off that are excellent as far as quantity goes. “ I would say that 60-80 bushels isn’t uncommon in peas.”
    Hampton says so far in Starland only about two per cent of the crop has been taken off, where normally they would be at about 15-20 per cent.
    “There is normally a lot of harvest done in October, but this year all of it is going to be done in October, or November,” he said.
    “The cereal will tend to deteriorate because of the weather, canola and peas shouldn’t be too bad, we just have to be patient,” he said.
    Both agree that there is ample feed for livestock.
    “It is fantastic, and it has been tough for the cattle industry for quite a while,” said Hampton. “From a grain farmer standpoint, it’s just been slow.”

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