Farmers have harvested about 62 per cent of the province’s crops
By Diego Flammini
Todd Lewis remembers the last time he finished harvest in September.
“It was 1988. Another drought year,” he told Farms.com. “It’s the only time that’s happened (until now) in my farming career.”
The fourth-generation Gray, Sask. farmer and president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, wrapped up harvest across his approximately 9,500 acres of lentils, durum and canola last week.
“It’s about a month early,” he said. “Mid-October is quite common, so it’s like once in every 25 years we’re done this early.”
Saskatchewan farmers have completed more than half of the 2021 harvest.
About 62 per cent of the province’s crops have been harvested, a provincial crop report for the week of Sept. 7 to 13 says.
This includes 54 per cent of the province’s canola, 89 percent of Saskatchewan’s durum and 25 per cent of flax.
The mix of extreme heat and lack of moisture has led to the early harvest, Lewis said.
“We still had some rain, and we were fortunate for what we did get,” he said. “But the heat, with day after day of plus 30, just brought the crop on very quickly.”
Looking back on the 2021 harvest, Lewis’s yields were satisfactory but other factors took away from the crop.
“We’re happy with what we got given the challenges we had,” he said. “Canola crops weren’t as thick as usual, and it was quite evident we were going to have an average crop at best. We had above average yields and low bushel weights because the crop came along so quickly.”
The silver lining is strong commodity prices will help farmers navigate any harvest shortcomings brought on by the heat and drought, Lewis said.
The fall work continues on the Lewis farm.
Heavy harrowing and post-harvest herbicide applications are on the agenda.
Rebuilding soil moisture is too, but that’s up to Mother Nature.
“We recovered some of our soil moisture, but we’re going to need some rain now and good snowfall this winter to give us a good start for the 2022 crop,” Lewis said.