With recent wet weather

With recent wet weather

Bountiful crops have farmers scrambling for storage

We all have regrets.

We all have regrets.

For Rick Hoogewoonink, it’s that he didn’t order more grain bags this year.

His Clyde-based Amity Welding and Fabricating Inc. and Amity Ag-Enterprises Inc., which supply the big plastic storage bags to customers from Red Deer north, have sold some 2,000 units this year. That’s a 200 per cent increase over 2012, and the most Hoogewoonink has moved during his 21 years in the business.

The number could have been higher.

“We are right out of stock,” said Hoogewoonink, who grew up in Red Deer.

Keith Jones, manager of market strategy for grains and oilseeds with UFA Co-op Ltd., said UFA’s farm supply stores have also experienced a run on grain bags, as well as grain baggers, bins and bin rings.

“It’s the biggest grain storage year for quite a few years, for sure,” said Jones. “There’s no question.”

What’s got farmers scrambling to find places to keep their grain and oilseeds is one of the biggest crops in years.

Last week, Agriculture Financial Services Corp. (AFSC) reported that yields in Central Alberta were 20 to 30 per cent above the five-year average. And farmers across the province were enjoying similar results.

“Most guys that we talk to, when you ask them about yields they’re usually pretty happy to tell you about them,” said Mark Cutts, a crop specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s Ag Info Centre in Stettler. “So that tells you that they’re good.”

The bountiful results appear to apply to all crops, added Cutts, who has also been hearing from producers who have maxed out their bin space.

“Quite a few guys have moved to the grain bags for storage.”

Hoogewoonink said 80 per cent of the bags his companies sell hold between 12,000 and 15,000 bushels each. He noted that some farmers are turning to other alternatives.

“A lot of guys are putting bales in a circular fashion and then filling that with grain and covering it with a silage cover.”

Cutts estimated that harvesting in Central Alberta was more than 75 per cent complete when this week’s cool, wet weather halted combining. With Environment Canada forecasting a return to sunny conditions by Friday, he’s optimistic farmers will soon return to their fields. If that’s the case, crop quality shouldn’t suffer.

Right now, that quality looks very good. AFSC rated 90 per cent of the spring wheat, 92 per cent of the barley and 96 per cent of the canola in Central Alberta in the top two grades.

Prices have come down since last year, a consequence of the high yields and increased output of competing crops south of the border, like corn and soybeans. But the volumes Alberta farmers are enjoying should more than make up for the reduced values.

“If prices are down and yields are up, the math is probably still pretty favourable for most producers,” said Cutts.

He said the warm weather in recent weeks had a big impact on the 2013 crop — allowing it to mature quickly and giving producers a relatively uninterrupted harvest period.

“Once harvest started up, until basically this week, if you had something to combine the weather hasn’t delayed that one little bit.”

Hoogewoonink is happy for his customers, although he wishes he had more grain bags to offer them. But, a shortage of product beats the alternative.

“We’ve had years where we’ve been stuck with a lot of inventory.”

Jones foresees another issue that could arise as a result of the big harvest.

“It’s going to put lots and lots of pressure on the grain transportation system, for sure,” he said. “But in the short term, the good news is there’s lots and lots of product out there for farmers and ranchers to sell.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels defenceman Mason Ward battles with a Medicine Hat Tigers’ forward during the WHL Central Division season opener. (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers come back to spoil Red Deer Rebels home opener

It’s been nearly 345 days since the Red Deer Rebels last played… Continue reading

Students walk into Hunting Hills High School, which is one of the Red Deer Public Schools with solar panels on its roof. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)
Red Deer high school was placed in lockdown following potential threat

Hunting Hills High School was placed in a lockdown Friday after Red… Continue reading

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some details of the provincial government’s 2021-22 budget need to be ‘sorted out’ when it comes to the hospital expansion funding. (File photo by Advocate staff)
More detail needed regarding hospital funding, says Red Deer mayor

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer says some information is unclear regarding the… Continue reading

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Need a knife? There are knives of all shapes and sizes at The Kitchen Store.
Hints from Heloise: Finding a good set of kitchen knives

Dear Readers: A good set of knives in the kitchen is a… Continue reading

Runner Melissa Bishop-Nriagu speaks to the media at the opening news conference at the Canadian Track and Field Championships Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

Canadian athletes struggling to find competition as they try to qualify for Tokyo

New York Red Bulls midfielder Jared Stroud, right, vies for the ball against Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio during an MLS soccer match in Harrison, NJ., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. Entering his ninth season with Toronto FC, Jonathan Osorio said his off-season regimen was no different than in the past. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Veteran TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio looks to take it to the next level this season

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Powell, Lowry help depleted Raptors beat Rockets

Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen (19) makes the save on Toronto Maple Leafs' Zach Hyman (11) as Tyson Barrie (22) defends during third period NHL action in Edmonton, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. Toronto continues to lead the North Division standings, but hard-charging Edmonton is now just four points back on the all-Canadian circuit heading into a three-game series between the teams in Alberta's capital beginning Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Maple Leafs, Oilers set for key three-game series atop North Division

Angela James stands on centre ice in front of the Toronto Maple Leafs team after being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame before Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday November 6, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Hall of Famers James, Lowe, Hay named to Order of Hockey in Canada

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse talks to center Aron Baynes (46) and guard Norman Powell (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris O'Meara
Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Nurse, five Raptors assistants sidelined to due COVID-19 health and safety protocols

Most Read