With the good weather continuing around the Lakeland for most of September, harvest 2020 may be the best seen in the region in the past several years.
“Compared to the last three or four years it’s going excellent,” said Elden Kozak, agricultural fieldman for the County of Two Hills. He said farmers in the Two Hills area are getting to be about two-thirds wrapped up and could be finished by early October.
“A lot of them aren’t going to spend until January drying grain this year. Most guys dried every bushel they combined last year. So definitely it’s going to be a middle of the road kind of a crop,” said Kozak.
He said roughly a third of the crop in Two Hills is canola, a third wheat, and the remaining third a mix of peas, flax, and barley.
“In the west end where we had lots of rain and lots of flooding the yields are pretty poor but as we go further east Two Hills is about average, Myrnam and out that way is a bit above average. Overall it’s going to be better than last year,” said Kozak.
According to the Sept. 22 provincial crop report, 34.8 per cent of all crops in the north east region are harvested, compared to 15.3 per cent at this time last year and an average of 26.6 per cent over the past five years.
One challenge which may impact yields for producers this year is weeds according to Kellie Nichiporik, the environmental program manager at Lakeland Agricultural Research Association.
“Weeds are competing for nutrients and space with your crop that you’re growing. It was really hard for people to get out there to control weeds this year because it was windy and wet. And so when your crop is not staged properly it’s really hard to get good control of weeds. With large instances of weeds you’ll have depressed yields that way,” said Nichiporik.
According to Nichiporik LARA has started harvesting their research crops but they haven’t done any data analysis of those crops yet because they are still waiting for their samples to dry. She said they’ll know more in the coming weeks.
For drivers in the area, Kozak warned to be aware of machinery moving on the roads.
“With the early harvest this year I think we’re going to see a lot of fertilizer, maybe fieldwork that hasn’t been done in the last few years. So I think we’re going to see a lot of farm implements on the roads this fall,” said Kozak.