After a severe drought this summer devastated Saskatchewan farmers, they are finding a silver lining.
This year’s crops came in early, which means that the winter cereal crops could be planted earlier.
Barley, rye, oats, and wheat are usually planted in late August in the Saskatoon area.
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Many growers had to harvest their summer crops almost a month earlier than usual due to drought conditions and low humidity levels.
However, it provided an opportunity to see winter cereals earlier than expected.
With almost 40mm of rain in August, any early-sown crop is already off to a good start.
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“If you had stitched winter wheat, you are off to a great start and you know we are confident that we expect significant rain and humidity in October and so on,” said Todd Lewis, president of the Saskatchewan Agricultural Producers Association.
Moisture is not the biggest concern for winter crops this year.
The province has struggled in recent years with a lack of snow coverage, according to Lewis.
“A good layer of snow insulates the crop from the cold weather that comes in January or February, so we’re sure we expect to see some snow to insulate these well-established crops here.”
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Saskatchewan growers typically plant between 110,000 and 140,000 acres of fall rye a year, but the amount of winter wheat planted has decreased significantly in recent years.
Lewis added that farming is far from a sure thing, as there is no certainty about the climate and crop growth.
However, he hopes the humidity will help fuel next year’s farming season and, in turn, Saskatchewan’s economy.
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