Harvest in Southwest Saskatchewan
Since it rained, snowed and froze this fall, harvest was delayed. Usually by October most people are done or almost done, but this year some people had not even started by October tenth. Some lucky farmers were fortunate enough to get their crop off and in the bin before all this moisture moved in.
Crop grades were expected to be very good, but because of all the moisture, some of the wheat sprouted and reduced the number one wheat down to a number four, or feed wheat. Most farmers were happy to get what they did for their wheat but they were still unhappy to see all that good wheat ruined.
The bad weather caused more work for the farmers because they had to put objects like lifters on straight cut headers and swathers. They helped to pick up the lodged wheat that was flattened by the snow. If the crop had already been swathed, the farmers would have to turn their swath to help dry the wheat. In some cases, farmers used grain dryers or aeration to dry their wheat in the bin. This would allow farmers to take their wheat off when it was still tough. Tough is a term meaning moist wheat or unfit to combine because it is not dry.
At this time in the southwest, harvest is usually 100% complete. This year however, it is only 80% complete. We just had two weeks of good weather which allowed farmers to combine a good portion of their wheat. The anticipation of a great harvest has now past and now farmers are just glad to be finished.