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  • Drought 2021

    These are trying times for many Prairie producers, with withered crops and parched pastures across wide swaths of the growing…


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Southwestern Ontario farmers saw strong wheat yields this year, despite the wet weather. | Jeffrey Carter photo

Ontario farmers hampered by excessive rain

Tomato yields were reduced by more than half and quality issues remain a possibility as rain continued into September

Ontario’s processing tomatoes and several other crops took a dramatic, weather-related hit this year, but it wasn’t about a lack of rainfall. Quite the opposite. On June 27, as much as 228 millimetres fell within a few hours in southwestern Ontario, transforming fields into shallow lakes and the rains continued afterward. One farmer near Dresden […] Read more

Summer heat takes a toll on canola flowering, with blossoms aborting in the damaging weather conditions.  |  Canola Council of Canada photo

Beating the heat by insuring the yield

How it works

There’s an old saying that goes: You can’t change the weather, but you sure can change the sails. Corteva heard that message and decided that if they can’t prevent heat blast, they can sure insure against it. Corteva has so much confidence in their Nexera canola that they’re willing to share the heat blast risk […] Read more

Daryl Beswitherick, program manager for national inspection standards with the Canadian Grain Commission, estimates 60 to 70 percent of  the prairie crop was still in the field  during the late-season downpour. | Twitter/@wxamorilla7 photo

Recent rain threatens grain quality

Western Canadian farmers can’t catch a break this year. It is bad enough that a severe lack of moisture in June and July decimated yields. Now there are mounting concerns that the rains that finally arrived in the last half of August are causing quality damage. “It is concerning for sure,” said Daryl Beswitherick, program […] Read more

WCWGA president Gunter Jochum, who farms west of Winnipeg, said his experience in dealing with grain companies has been positive.
 Grain buyers in his area have been reasonable and have shown some flexibility in cases where the amount of grain harvested by farmers has fallen short of contracted grain volumes.
 | File photo

Farmers urge grain companies to co-operate on contracts

Western Canadian Wheat Growers urges producers to honour contracts but also asks handlers for flexibility in some cases

The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association is encouraging farmers and grain companies to work together to find co-operative solutions in cases where producers don’t have enough grain to fill production contracts. WCWGA president Gunter Jochum, who farms west of Winnipeg, said his experience in dealing with grain companies has been positive. Grain buyers in his […] Read more

A tornado caused considerable damage on Trenton Zakaluzny’s farm near Hodgeville, Sask., last week. | Trenton Zakaluzny photo

Tornado latest challenge for young Sask. farmer

Debris was scattered for miles, grain bins punctured, equipment tossed and windows in most of the equipment and vehicles blown out

Trenton Zakaluzny’s plan to take over the family farm as his father eases up has been hit by one blow after another. Two floods, a devastating fire last winter, this year’s drought and then last week an EF-2 tornado that destroyed most of the yard and equipment on the farm south of Hodgeville, Sask., all […] Read more

If the early estimates are correct, Canada’s canola crop will be at least 10 bu. per acre below Agriculture Canada’s forecast and possibly a whole lot more. | File photo

Canola yields expected to be much worse than first thought

Ottawa’s optimistic forecast met with shock as those on the ground expect more dire outcome

Canada’s national average canola yield will be 10 to 20 bushels per acre below normal this year, according to estimates from farmers and provincial governments. Alberta is the first province to publish an official estimate. It is forecasting 24.9 bu. per acre, well below the previous five-year average of 41.7. It cautions that its estimate […] Read more

Lentils, Warner County, Alberta | photo by Adam Vossepoel (@voss_ag)

Drought 2021

These are trying times for many Prairie producers, with withered crops and parched pastures across wide swaths of the growing region. To help keep you informed about the issue this page will be continually updated with the latest drought-related news and solutions you can use, produced by The Western Producer’s team of professional reporters and […] Read more

Heat blast can have terrible effects on canola plants. The photo on the right shows what plants should look like, with pods forming, while the one on the left shows what happens with heat blast, when pods don’t form. | Robert Arnason photos

Precipitation statistics reveal year of struggles

Heat has also been a problem, and market analysts believe canola yields could be 50 percent of normal on many farms

Winnipeg is short an entire foot of moisture. In a normal year, the city and much of eastern Manitoba receives about 520 millimetres of precipitation in the form of rain and snow. However, from Aug. 1, 2020, to July 15, 2021, the Environment Canada weather station in Winnipeg has recorded 232 mm of precipitation, which […] Read more

Producers who irrigate say this year shows the value of having access to water. | File photo

Irrigation pivots work overtime this summer

Most irrigators have had adequate access to water during the drought, and many say their crops remain in good shape

Pivots have run nearly non-stop this summer on the portion of Anthony Eliason’s farm near Outlook, Sask., that is irrigated. About a quarter of Golden Dee Farms, or 1,250 acres, is irrigated and typically canola, dry beans, flax, fababeans and wheat are planted on that land. This year, Eliason said he seeded higher value crops […] Read more