Har­vest held up by wet weather

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - The Drumheller Mail salutes the Agri­cu­tu­ral Com­mu­nity. See pages A4-6 Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

In a sea­son, that saw no wor­ries about crops get­ting enough rain, farm­ers are now hop­ing it stays dry to get their crops off.

Har­vest is in full bore, how­ever mois­ture is de­lay­ing it for many pro­duc­ers who have no choice but to wait for the sun and wind to dry the crop.

Agri­cul­tural Field­man for Star­land County Al Hamp­ton says with most of Septem­ber in the books, he is see­ing progress sti­fled.

“I imag­ine we are not even a third done yet,” he tells The Mail, ex­plain­ing that he is see­ing more progress made on the west end of the county.

“The weather hasn’t co­op­er­ated to the ex­tent that most farm­ers would like,” he said.

He ex­pects there may be a lit­tle bit of an im­pact on qual­ity.

“I think a lit­tle bit of the wheat will prob­a­bly bleach out a bit and the grade will suf­fer a lit­tle,” he said. “Bar­ley and all of the malt va­ri­eties are pretty sen­si­tive to the cool, wet con­di­tions, so this type of stuff could de­te­ri­o­rate into feed qual­ity.”

He ex­pects oil seeds to be fine, but there has been a lit­tle bit of dis­ease, which might af­fect yields.

With the mois­ture pro­duc­ers have seen this year, there were ex­pec­ta­tions of a strong yield. While for the most part he says yields ap­pear to be sat­is­fac­tory, they might not be what many were hop­ing for.

“Over­all un­for­tu­nately, is typ­i­cal of what goes on at har­vest,” he said. “If you have a good crop and have had good rain, you can’t al­ways ex­pect a per­fect fall. You’d like it, but gen­er­ally you don’t get it.”

Ja­son Regehr, as­sis­tant Ag Field­man for Wheat­land County, says the mois­ture has slowed down har­vest a bit in Wheat­land.

“There is lots of dew at night, so they are start­ing later,” he said, adding that while it looks like good progress was be­ing made, rain put a damper on it.

“Per­cent­age wise done? I’d say on the av­er­age we are 4045 per cent,’ he said.

He says so far the qual­ity ap­pears to be okay.

“I think it has ripened off okay, we haven’t had any sub­stan­tial frost,” he said. “I had a lit­tle bit of frost one morn­ing, but I don’t think it would have been enough to cause any­one concern.”

The bot­tom line for most is to look to the sky.

What we need is a cou­ple weeks of good of weather so they can knock this crop down,” said Hamp­ton.

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