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Checking in on Prairie crops

Checking in on Prairie crops

Fields look good despite some challenging conditions, producers said

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Western Canadian farmers are content with the way their crops look given some difficult growing conditions.

Saskatchewan’s crops benefitted from good subsoil moisture during seeding. Now, farmers are hoping for moisture, said Trent Richards, a cash cropper from Assiniboia, Sask.

“We had good moisture (in the spring), but then we went dry for about six weeks,” he told Farms.com. “The crop looks late because of poor germination.”

But fields tell different stories depending on the timing of planting.

Durum fields, for example, show the differences between early and late-planted crops.

“Seeding timing was a big determinant of what the crop looks like,” Richards said. “If (durum) was planted in April, it looks like a good, average crop. But if it was planted late, like between May 15 and 20, it looks like an outstanding crop.”

Pulse crops look good and canola does too except for some patchiness, he said.

Alberta farmers are also seeing the effects of a challenging growing season.

Like in Saskatchewan, crops seeded later than usual in Alberta look better than those seeded on an earlier date, said David Bishop, a grower from Barons, Alta.

“There are some early crops that aren’t very good because it was too cold and dry” early in the season, he told Farms.com. “Moisture came for the later-seeded crops, so they look good.”

At this stage in the season, producers are limited in what they can do to improve crop quality.

Rather, Mother Nature will have to do most of that work, Bishops said.

“The crops have all been set and are all filling now,” he said. “They are just reflecting what the conditions were and there’s not much we can do about it now.”

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