Harvest when you can

Forecasters are calling for rain, rain and more rain across the Prairies for the next two weeks. | D'Arce McMillan photo

Wet weather on the Prairies isn’t expected to go away any time soon, so producers should harvest the best crop they can when they can.

“The early crops will be maturing at a time when there is a strong potential for more rain,” said Drew Lerner of World Weather Inc. in Kansas City.

Lerner has had a relatively accurate take on the weather for the Prairies and Great Plains this year.

“That only means the chances I will be wrong are getting better,” joked the meteorologist, who provides daily forecasting for the agricultural community, including a prairie forecast and the Canadian Agricultural Weather Prognosticator newsletter.

He said it still appears that last season’s drought for some parts of the West was an anomaly in what he feels is a longer-term, multi-year wetter bias for the region.

“This year it is playing havoc with lentils and peas so far.… I don’t see drier weather coming in August. It might improve as we get further into September, but many crops can’t wait that long,” he said.

“Big parts of the Prairies are in the top 10 percent of their (record rainfall) — many exceed records.”

Wet soil is keeping longer-term high pressure ridges from establishing and setting up a blocking pattern that might dry out the area. As a result, a healthy jet stream keeps flowing moisture into the region.

Lerner suggests producers consider investing in drying early crops if they want to maintain quality.

“There might not be as much high quality grain out there as farmers or the markets planned for,” he said.

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