Harvest season finally coming to an end

Farmers have been busy in the fields for over two weeks now as weather forecasts have been
favourable. ECA Review/ Terri Huxley

Most farmers are breathing a sigh of relief as weather has changed for the better over the past two weeks.

As reported by the Provincial Government on Oct. 16, very small quantities of harvest progress were achieved as frost was prevalent.

Many who saw a small window of opportunity to continue combining were taking off tough or damp crops that kept the aeration bins busy.

Over 95 per cent of peas is in the bin with the exception of the Peace Region which has only 66.9 per cent as cold and snow kept most producers out of their fields.

However, this past week saw a large jump in numbers as 46.7 per cent of crops harvested in Alberta moved up to 78 per cent.

Region 2, the region that covers from Rimbey to Airdrie to Coronation to Oyen, reported 75 per cent of crops is off the ground as of Tues. Oct. 23.

Recent higher temperatures and warm winds helped aid farmers in their harvest, allowing them time to get into the fields. The fields that were previously flattened by snow are proving to be difficult to pick up and are slowing down machines.

Canola is on par with the major crops at 73 per cent harvested and 18 per cent swathed. Peas are essentially harvested.

Fall seeded crops are rated at 35 per cent fair and 63 per cent good or better.

Surface soil moisture rated as fair is at 14 per cent, good ratings are 60 per cent, and excellent ratings are 24 per cent, with two per cent rated as excessive.

Subsurface soil moisture rated poorly is 11 per cent, fair at 23 per cent, good ratings at 52 per cent, and excellent ratings are 14 per cent.

Livestock producers are happy to be able to finally turn cattle into stubble fields to augment their feed supply.

The moisture received in September and early October is now filtering down to a sub-surface level and ratings of good have increased four percentage points.

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