By Justin Seward
Local agronomist Gordon Reynolds says the farming season was “much improved” for dry land farmers this year in terms of rainfall over last year and the year before.
“Although throughout the region, it was somewhat variable,” said Reynolds.
“Some folks were saying they had an average crop. So people in some spots really didn’t have a great deal of extra rain. I think in general, the rain fall level was probably better than we’ve seen in the last couple years.”
However, hot and dry temperatures were experienced in the latter part of July and August, which Reynolds said was “Arguably, probably more normal over the long haul in this region.”
The heat gave farmers good harvest conditions, he added.
With very little interruptions, crops came off in good condition.
“I don’t know of too many people in this area that had to combine or harvest in the snow, other than the sugar beet growers. Hopefully they can get going again (this) week,” said Reynolds.
“The quick and easy answer to any question about this year is it was better than last year. For some, there (were) some bumper crops, and it was an average crop.”
Reynolds heard that yields were higher and quality varied.
“Some people had high protein, other people had exceptionally low protein. But in general better yields,” said Reynolds.
“When you look at canola, I think yields were fairly strong. But how much better than last year, is hard to say.”
Reynolds says the land he has direct knowledge of, that some of the grounding crops were at least double, almost triple of what they were last year for yields.
Reynolds’ hope is farmers can build on the improved moisture in some markets and the question will remain if that will be enough to sustain.
“It’s hard to say,” he said.
During COVID, farm supplies were deemed essential and Reynolds did not think it was a challenge for farmers to get items that were needed.
However, he did think there was slowness at times for freight.
“The actual supplies themselves- the fertilizer, chemicals- I don’t think anything was seriously impacted,” said Reynolds.
He said, “It’s been a pretty good year and this year, I don’t know if there is any potatoes left out. I’ve heard a vast majority of the crop is off and was in good condition.”