|Weather Helps Harvest|
|Written by Neil Billinger|
|Monday, 24 September 2012 14:20|
The vast majority of the harvest in the Saskatoon area should be finished by the end of September.
Sunny and dry conditions have allowed growers to make good progress. However, it is taking longer than usual to combine crops affected by the very strong wind two weeks ago.
Rich Szwydky, an agronomist at the Saskatoon Co-op Agro Centre, says many canola swaths blew around and some heads broke on standing wheat and barley. Farmers tried to pick up material between the canola swaths, but in many cases the seeds had shelled out.
Szwydky says cereal yields were better than canola. He estimates spring wheat ranged between 35 and 45 bushels an acre. Canola averaged in the 25 to 28 bushel an acre range.
Fusarium was more noticeable than usual, especially in areas south of the Yellowhead Highway. Szwydky has heard reports of wheat being downgraded from a number one to a number two. He says farmers will have to be more aware of the timing of fungicide treatments.
"In previous years, we looked at controlling leaf disease thinking it was taking more yield than fusarium. As the fusarium incidence and levels start to increase, I think we are going to have start changing our philosophy on when to spray. It is a little later timing on spraying---more at the heading stage instead of the flag leaf stage."
With the harvest about 80 per cent complete in the Saskatoon area, some producers are beginning fall weed control.
"We are starting to see a lot of growers putting in a Group 2 or Group 4 (herbicide) in with their glyphosate to try and take care of some of that volunteer canola and a lot of the hard-to-kill weeds---narrow leaf hawksbeard, perennial sow thistle and canada thistle."
Szwydky says there hasn't been a hard enough frost to damage those weeds, so there is a good opportunity to take advantage and get some fall weed control while they can.