There were no harvest weather worries in Saskatchewan this week as the province basked in a September heat wave with temperatures more than 10 degrees above normal.
Saskatchewan Agriculture says 32 per cent of the provincial crop was combined as of Tuesday, Sep. 6. That's up from 21 per cent one week ago and on track of the five-year average. Another 34 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-cut.
Harvest progress varies across the province. Here are the numbers by region:
Southwest: 46 per cent combined
Southeast: 43 per cent combined
West central: 29 per cent combined
East central: 27 per cent combined
Northwest: 12 per cent combined"
Northeast: 19 per cent combined
The hot weather prompted the Canola Council of Canada to issue an advisory about storing the oilseed. The basic recommendation is to put canola into aeration bins immediately after harvest and turn the fans on until the canola has cooled to 15 C. If aeration bin space is not available, keep moving the canola from bin to bin until it cools. Another option is early delivery to the elevator or crushing facility.
"The first four to six weeks after putting the canola in the bin is the most critical time," says Kristen Phillips, a Canola Council of Canada agronomy specialist. "Don't forget about your stored canola while tending to your other harvest duties. It could be a very costly oversight."
Showers heading into the Labour Day weekend proved to be very beneficial. The Perdue area, about 60 kilometres west of Saskatoon, picked up eight millimetres of rain.
"Some of the canola was down around five per cent moisture, so it was a real benefit," says certified crop advisor Gaylord Dennis. "The rain brought it up closer to nine and ten per cent, so that will add some weight to the canola sample."
He adds more canola has been combined than wheat.
"Lots of canola went in early, so most of the cereals were seeded in the last half of May," Dennis says. Some cereals need a little more time to mature. Most of the pulse crops have been harvested, with average yields for lentils and slightly above average for peas.
Chad Doerksen, who farms about 25 kilometres north of Saskatoon, is pleased with the 2011 crop so far.
"My winter wheat went over 100 bushels an acre. Some of my Invigor canola should go over 60 bushels an acre. I haven't harvested it yet, but it looks really good," Doerksen says.
The 30 C temperatures are especially welcome in regions close to the United States border, which saw crops planted much later than usual. Grant McLean with Saskatchewan Agriculture says the heat is speeding up crop development.
"As you get closer to Assiniboia and certainly down to the U.S. border, there has been less combining done. Farmers were really late getting their seeding done because of the wet conditions this spring."