The information the reporters provide go into the ministry’s weekly crop reports
By Diego Flammini
The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is looking for volunteer crop reporters for the 2022 season.
Volunteer crop reporters include farmers, agronomists, grain buyers and other members of the ag community.
They collect multiple pieces of ag data throughout the province’s rural municipalities (RMs). This includes rainfall information, topsoil conditions, seeding and harvest progress, crop damage and more.
“They gather the information from their farms and surrounding farms that we’re looking for depending on the survey week,” Matt Struthers, an extension specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture, told Farms.com. “They’re our boots on the ground and our eyes and ears.”
Once the crop reporters have collected the data, they send it to the ministry of agriculture. Staff there uses the information to create the weekly provincial crop reports.
But right now, there’s a shortage of reporters.
Currently, about 46 per cent of Saskatchewan’s rural municipalities aren’t covered by a crop reporter.
The ministry wants to fill those gaps and more, Struthers said.
“We’ll take as many as we can get,” he said. “Many RMs don’t have a reporter at all, and some municipalities that do have a reporter could use more. RMs are large and there’s a lot of acres to cover, so the more reporters we have, the better information we can provide.”
Having these reporters in the field is important to providing farmers and stakeholders with accurate information.
Coverage gaps are reflected in the weekly crop reports, Struthers said.
“If the southeast of the province doesn’t have that many crop reporters, that area will be misrepresented in the crop reports,” he said. “We’d love to have reporters in every RM to ensure an accurate picture of what’s going on.”
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer crop reporter is encouraged to contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Moose Jaw at 1-866-457-2377.