Some Worse Some Better

FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, August 23, 2001
It was May 10th when this crop (above) was put in the ground as the dry prairie wind howled and drifted soil from fields to ditches. Through the growing season I have kept an eye on the field just South of town and on Wednesday afternoon two combines harvested the crop. The verdict was interesting because this was an exceptional crop compared with most others in the area, it was uniform and had a good start as the trash cover had retain moisture in the soil for germination but the yield was twenty-eight bushel to the acre. As a kid I remember well that twenty-eight bushel in Southern Saskatchewan was a solid good crop and would make that year's payments and then some but in the light of the huge crops of the last few years some up to seven and more bushel per acre this one seems marginal.

The good news is that it was top grade and was a low cost crop to grow. Just before harvesting the farmer gave it a quick dose of "Roundup" to end the growth of late germinating wheat that was green and emerging through the finished field and knocked down the weeds prior to straight combining. The farmer explained that this process has become standard practice in the past few years.

With more that four thousand acres in crop this year this farmer was 60% done Wednesday afternoon as their two combines refueled and set off for a quarter near Eldersley.

I asked him about the Canola crop seen below. This field was photographed on Tuesday morning and is a dry dusty gold colour but when I broke open the pods to see the oil seeds inside I discovered that they were still green. It was explained to me that on average Canola must be swathed and left in the field for about two weeks before it is ready for harvest and in that time the green dots in the pods will have matured and changed colour ready for harvest.

With over half of his harvest behind him he pointed out that this year's yields will be about half of last year. Barley crops that have been harvested were giving the same levels as Phillips Seeds reported in our Monday report at about forty to fifty bushel per acre right around half of what was harvested last year.