Crop can still be harvested: Sask. ag minister Stewart

Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart says he hopes a few weeks of good weather are ahead to allow farmers to bring in more crop.

Only 81 percent of this year’s crop is in the bin, with 15 percent more ready to be harvested.

However, last week’s snow and rain stalled harvest from a week earlier and continues to keep farmers off the fields.

“It causes anxiety, but there’s still time for some good weather,” Stewart told reporters this morning.

“In ’09 and 2010 we had more crop than this out at this time of the year and had some good weather in later October and early November and most of that crop came off.”

The five-year average for this time of year is 93 percent combined; last year 91 percent was off.

Farmers in the southeast are furthest advanced at 89 percent, followed by 85 percent in the southwest, 80 percent in the northeast, 79 percent in east-central, 78 percent in the northwest and 73 percent in west-central.

Lodging, bleaching and sprouting are all concerns for crop left out.

The province estimates all fall and winter crops are off, as are all the field peas.

Progress on other crops is: lentils, 95 percent; barley, 87 percent; spring wheat, 79 percent; mustard, 78 percent; canola, 77 percent; durum, 76 percent; oats, 75 percent; soybeans, 66 percent; flax, 49 percent; canaryseed, 46 percent; and chickpeas, 25 percent.

Stewart reminded producers they have until Nov. 15 to fill out production reports for crop insurance.

“Also, if they have crop left out in the fields by Nov. 15, they need to inform their crop insurance office that that is the case, and then they can obtain coverage for overwintering it in the field,” he said.

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. is forecasting payouts will be up $100 million from what was expected earlier in the year, but final numbers won’t be known until all the claims are in.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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