With harvest nearing its end in Saskatchewan, many growers in the province are looking at record yields.
According to the most recent crop reports, about 79 per cent of the province’s crop is already in the bin which is just slightly ahead of the five-year average. But with rain and frost in many areas near Regina this week, most producers are looking at another ten days to finish up.
“(We've got) great crops this year, but it’s pushed us a little later into the season. So every day there’s a smaller window,” said Bill Aulie who farms in the Rouleau area.
The federal tree nursery program at Indian Head has been growing trees for farmers for 111 years but now the group trying to save it is out of time.
Norm Hall is President of the Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan. He also heads up the Western Canada Tree Nursery Coalition. The group submitted a business plan to the Ministry of Agriculture in early September with the goal of keeping the nursery running as a non-profit service.
It's shaping up to be a memorable year for Saskatchewan producers.
Across the province it appears to be a banner year, with both yields and quality reaching levels not seen for years.
Al called John Gormley Live on Monday to report on what he's seeing in the Balcarres area. The custom harvester has spent the summer working fields from the mid-western states back up to his home province.
"These are by far the best crops we've harvested all summer and in my 24 years of doing this these are the best crops I've ever harvested all summer."
Another round of rain has put a stop to the harvest across southern Saskatchewan as this week draws to a close.
It's the second week in a row where rain has hit towards the end of the week. Nonetheless, farmers made plenty of progress in the last seven days.
Sask Agriculture says 71% of the 2013 crop is in the bin. That is well ahead of the five year average of 60%.
Shannon Friesen of Sask Agriculture in Weyburn says the end is in sight for most producers.
"I would expect another two to three weeks and we should be good to go," she says.
Premier Brad Wall believes Country of Origin
Labelling (COOL) will hurt Canada--and Saskatchewan--by requiring American meat
packers to label all imported cattle and hogs.
He spoke during Tuesday's Tri-National Agricultural Accord meetings in Saskatoon, which included agriculture officials from Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Canada and Mexico continue to fight for looser regulations when it comes to exporting meat to the U.S., including a recent court battle to stop COOL.
It’s the most hectic time of the day, during the busiest season of the year on Blocka Farms outside Prince Albert.
“This is the busiest part of the day, getting ready to go,” Lynn Blocka said.
In the Blocka household, early on a Saturday morning, Lynn prepares lunches for her husband, Ken and their son, Garrett, who will be working in the field all day.
The rain of the last couple of days may be putting a bit of a damper on the harvest across the southern grain belt but it is hardly hurting farmers enthusiasm over that they are seeing this 2013 season.
The latest crop report from Saskatchewan Agriculture indicates 55 per cent of the crop over all is now in the bin, well ahead of the five-year average of 44 per cent.
"At the beginning of August no one could have predicted this," admitted Daphne Cruise with Sask Agriculture, "especially because we were so far behind with the cool July that we had."
As the days slip into fall the mercury is also falling, leading a forecast for frost on Thursday night.
"When we get these clear nights and the winds drop off there's a really good chance of frost forming," said John Paul Cragg, Environment Canada's warning preparedness meteorologist.
Residents in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park are being
asked to avoid doing any controlled burns.
Corman Park isn't issuing a fire ban yet, but administrator Adam Tittemore said they may need to if the area doesn't get some rain soon.
"We're advising residents to take extreme caution if they are doing any controlled burns and to wait, if possible," he said.
Tittemore said the rural municipality has been in contact with fire departments in Langham, Dalmeny, Martensville, Warman, Osler and Saskatoon.
From bins, bags and terminals, Saskatchewan is running out of grain storage with this year's bumper crop.
Despite the issue, the agriculture industry is calling it a good problem to have. Norm Hall farms in the Wynyard area and is the president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan. In many cases, the yield is almost double the average, he said.