Harvest is just getting underway for farmers in southeastern Saskatchewan, as they hope for the best from their combine cabs after the extreme weather swings seen this spring and summer.
Alameda area producer Edgar Hammermeister has just started on a bit of winter wheat and barley, and will soon be digging into the rest. So far, however, the results have been 'nothing to brag about'.
"The first few fields were highly drought affected. It's a little counter-intuitive since we had a lot of rain, but a lot of that came in a very short spell and well into the growing season. For the winter wheat, the fields basically had drought in the first two weeks of it's growth, so it was severely affected. With the barley, with the big rain events that we had...that caused a lot of stress on the crop. Then, at my place anyways, we had nine tenths at the beginning of July and then nothing through the rest of the month, so that impacted the yields as well."
He noted that the crops seem to be relatively insect-damage free so far, the weeds caused more of a problem. They were harder to control, as they suffered the same stress as the other plants, thus they found ways to toughen up and be harder to kill.
"Setting aside my couple of my early fields, the rest are looking much better. Harvest is certainly going to get better, for me personally and I think generally in the area, for people who avoided the high volume rain. The yields should be reasonable," concluded Hammermeister adding that he doesn't expect bumper crops, but what is present will give producers a decent next year.