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Heat blasting during the critically important flowering stage was the top factor that negatively affected western Canadian canola yields in 2020.  | File photo

Prairie canola production dropped last year

Western Canadian canola yields were decent in 2020, but they might have been phenomenal if not for an intense heat wave in July that reduced yield potential in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Clint Jurke, agronomy director with the Canola Council of Canada, said heat blasting during the important flowering stage was the top factor that negatively […] Read more

Poor harvest conditions in the fall of 2019 meant an unusually large number of western Canadian canola acres could not be harvested before winter.
 The CGC’s latest study examined 106 spring harvested canola samples that were graded and analyzed for oil quality. | File photo

Problems confirmed in delayed canola harvest

For the second time in four years, the Canadian Grain Commission has conducted research on canola sown in spring and harvested the following spring. Poor harvest conditions in the fall of 2019 meant an unusually large number of western Canadian canola acres could not be harvested before winter. The CGC’s latest study examined 106 spring […] Read more

Barry Junop cleans a neighbour's yard southeast of Delisle, Sask., following the weekend storm. | Paul Yanko photo

Snowfall records set in Sask.

Kindersley, Sask., has set a new record for the most snowfall in a single day. The west-central town recorded 35.8 centimetres as of 10 a.m. Nov. 9, breaking the town’s March 17, 1974 record of 21.3 cm. Other snowfall observations reported so far include 37 cm at Prince Albert, 33 cm at Codette, 31 cm […] Read more


Environment Canada said Maple Creek, Sask., was the warmest, recording a new high of 23.6 C, up from the old record of 19.4 C set in 1949. Chris Solick shared this photo from central Alberta on November 3. | Twitter/@ChrisSolick photo

Temperature records broken across Prairies

Unseasonably warm air resulted in several new temperature records across the Prairies Nov. 3 as summer seemed to return for a brief time. Environment Canada said Maple Creek, Sask., was the warmest, recording a new high of 23.6 C, up from the old record of 19.4 C set in 1949. Records have been kept in […] Read more

A CP Rail train heads for the United States border along the Sooline.  I  Mike Raine photo

Railways insist they are prepared for winter

Government required capital spending justification for optimism

Canada’s major railways have filed their winter contingency plans as required by law. Since a new law was passed in 2018, Canada’s major rail companies are required to publish winter plans and can be forced to pay up if they fail to deliver on certain promises of rail cars. That law came into effect after […] Read more


It’s almost impossible to predict summer weather, but given climate change and the frequency of extreme weather events, canola growers may need hybrids that are more tolerant of severe summer heat. | File photo

Prairie breeders explore heat-tolerance rating

Regionally specific canola varieties may eventually become reality, but breeding for specific traits may not be the answer

Many farmers, especially in Saskatchewan, are blaming hot and dry weather for disappointing canola yields. Official numbers won’t be in for a while, but Saskatchewan Agriculture has pegged the provincial yield average at 35 bushels per acre. That’s much lower than average yields of 40 to 41 bu. per acre in recent years, based on […] Read more

Crops extension specialist Shannon Friesen said although the temperatures dropped quite low in some areas, the damage depends on how long the frost lasted and the location and maturity of the crop.
 | File photo

Many crops may have dodged frost

Crop damage from an overnight frost in Saskatchewan earlier this month is still being assessed but appears minimal for some crops and potentially crushing for others. Crops extension specialist Shannon Friesen said although the temperatures dropped quite low in some areas, the damage depends on how long the frost lasted and the location and maturity […] Read more

Environment Canada meteorologist Terri Lang said this morning that 20 records were broken and one tied. | File photo

Widespread frost blankets Prairies

UPDATED – to include record temps – Tuesday September 8, 2020 – 1300 CST Widespread frost advisories on the Prairies materialized through most of Saskatchewan’s agricultural area overnight Sept. 7, breaking records that were 100 years old in some cases. Environment Canada meteorologist Terri Lang said this morning that 20 records were broken and one […] Read more


Wade Simpson baled his straw as soon as he straight combined a crop south of Boissevain, Man., late last month. Simpson was reporting average yields.  |  Sandy Black photo

Fall weather forecast bodes well for harvest

Forecasters say western Canadian farmers are in for a much more benign fall than last year, which should help calm the harvest nerves. “You sleep a lot better at night if you put in a long day on the combine,” said Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan. “It’s a lot more […] Read more

Bumper crop? Not so fast, say some farmers

A prolonged heat wave has prevented cereal and canola crops from filling seed heads and pods, say crop watchers

Jim Doerksen scoffs at reports that a bumper crop is on the way for the Canadian Prairies. At one point he thought that was going to be the case on his son’s farm near Dalmeny, Sask. but a late-July/early-August heat wave has sapped yield potential and quality. “It had a terrific start but the last […] Read more