Fall is on the horizon, and producers across southeast Saskatchewan are working to get the last of the crop off the field.  

For many farmers, it has meant a year of dry conditions at times, with some areas having received near-record low amounts of rainfall. It has also meant yields are expected to be down this year.  

For some of the farmers in the southeast, such as Adriaan Lievaart, who farms near Outram, east of Torquay, there were some good surprises for the year. 

"It was probably kind of below average on a whole,” Lievaart said. “But we were still pleasantly surprised with the yields on some fields for the amount of rain we had some of those fields that we had, like less than half an inch of rain all summer in the growing season. So we weren't expecting maybe as much as we got, but it wasn't stellar, that's for sure."  

For the various crops that were being grown, the moisture levels needed for a successful crop vary. Lievaart pointed out that chickpeas tend to thrive under drier conditions, compared to other crops such as canola. 

“Even the peas were probably better than expected,” Lievaart continued. “We had green peas and chickpeas. They weren’t, by any means, great crops but still amazed at how well they produced. The canola was probably the most disappointing, and kind of what we expected because it just didn’t fall. It just didn’t complete the season very well because a lot of it got burned off on the tops.” 

With the most recent edition of the provincial Ministry of Agriculture’s weekly crop report due out Thursday morning, coming into the week progress was fairly good in the southeast, with last week’s report showing two-thirds – 66 percent – of the overall crop in the bin. The report also showed the topsoil moisture levels were holding steady compared to the previous week. 

“There’s still harvest going on, some of the later canola crops are still standing,” Lievaart said. “The problem we’re having that’s going on right now is that some of the canola is regrowing from the bottom and so it’s not really very easy to harvest because you’re dealing with all this green material.” 

Lievaart pointed out that in some cases, some producers are actually hoping for a good frost, while others are waiting for some spray to kick in so they can wrap up the harvest.  

--with files from Discover Estevan/Scott Boulton

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