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Harvest 2007

Agriculture.com Staff 09/06/2007 @ 10:29am

Well, the above-normal rainfall was a welcome in month of May and June and farmers were actually feeling quietly optimistic in late June. It had been so long since a decent above normal crop was produced across the Prairies that happiness could be the farm feeling for most farmers.

Then, July hit and the temperature soared for the whole month to the upper 30s (Celsius), but there was high humidity, so most felt that the crops had done fairly well. Farmers sprayed for disease, bugs, etc. This spring also saw fertilizer prices go to unheard-of highs, but farmers kept pumping the inputs as if to try to make up for the losses of all the previous years.

Then as fast as the heat came into the month of July, the temperature changed again to cold and rainy weather for basically the whole month of August. Now we have had four nice days in September to harvest an average at best crop.

Most farmers dropped growing spring wheat due to poor performance by the CWB. The last few years saw poor price concerns, and therefore a lot of acreage was shifted to peas, oats, canola, barley (because, for a while, it looked like the CWB would be out of barley). Returns for these crops looked very promising. The stats Canada seeded acreage report confirmed this.

Now, reports from across the prairies can be summed up in one word average, and thank God prices are up.

Peas were seeded early and fared pretty well but there were no phenomenal yields. Durum is average at best. For HRS, the acreage was down, but midge damage and high heat took its toll on this crop, and will come in way below expectations. For oats, the rule seems to be nice yields, but low test weights. With barley, it's the same story -- test weights are low and there are extremely high protein levels.

Canola -- the crop of choice for most Canadian farmers to make some money -- is all over the map, from 12 to 40. But one thing is common: Extremely high dockage due to shriveled up seeds. In some instances, farmers are receiving 10% dockage for the small seeds. Canary seed looks excellent. The flax that was seeded looks excellent, too, but harvesting of that crop will start later this month.

So yes, we will again seed a crop in the spring of 2008 with hopes of one day achieving that dream of a bumper crop with high prices, the perfect storm.

Well, the above-normal rainfall was a welcome in month of May and June and farmers were actually feeling quietly optimistic in late June. It had been so long since a decent above normal crop was produced across the Prairies that happiness could be the farm feeling for most farmers.

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