September snow unwelcomed, especially by farmers

Many farmers waiting for some warm, windy weather to dry crops for harvest

Not again. Snow in September?

Those hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s early snowfalls will be disappointed by Friday’s forecast calling for snow in central Alberta with highs a paltry 3 C and only single digits for the next few days following.

For farmers, the early snowfall comes at a time when they’re looking for some heat and wind to finish off and dry crops and allow harvesting to kick into high gear.

“Hopefully, we don’t get too much snow,” said Harry Brook, crop specialist with the Alberta Ag-Info Centre in Stettler, on Tuesday.

Heavy snowfalls can flatten crops to the ground, which makes it much more difficult for them to dry out.

“That creates several issues with harvest,” he said.

One of the problems is that crops can germinate, which immediately hurts their value.

Some farmers have begun swathing — which offer some protection from snow — to get ahead of the bad conditions.

Snow and cool conditions just set back the calendar further on harvest and brings it closer to a killing frost.

“If you look at the date on the calendar, it’s the last week in September. We haven’t had a killing frost yet. We’ve been lucky.

“But it’s coming. Every day is closer to that killing frost.”

Some of the bigger producers with many acres are harvesting now and putting their crops through dryers to get a head start.

So far, most of the crops coming off around central Alberta are peas, with a little wheat and barley as well.

“Certainly, the canola and the wheat — the vast majority is waiting to be dried down — same with a lot of barley too.

“There’s a lot of crop that still has to get cured to the point you can harvest it and put it in storage.”

The longer term forecast of single-digit highs will not help.

“You’re not going to really get any significant drying going on until you get some warmer temperatures. This 6 C, 7 C, 8 C is not doing the trick.”



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

COVID-19: First death confirmed in central zone, provincial cases reach 1,250

Alberta government confirmed a first death in the central zone Sunday. The… Continue reading

COVID-19 case reported at supermarket in Wetaskiwin

Sobeys will not release names to protect employees

WATCH: Red Deer emergency call centre hours change starting next week

Hours at the City of Red Deer’s COVID-19 emergency call centre will… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Quebec Walmart worker struck by driver allegedly angered by COVID-19 measures

SHERBROOKE, Que. — A Walmart security guard from southern Quebec was fighting… Continue reading

Boeing to continue production shutdown due to coronavirus

Company is extending its planned two-week shutdown

Bars, cannabis sector eligible for $40B credit program from government bank

Applicants must go through their own banks to access the program

Actress-activist Shirley Douglas, daughter of medicare’s Tommy Douglas, dies

‘Sadly she had been battling for her health for quite some time’

Canada looking to disinfect used masks, Tam asks they not be thrown away

Best defence against COVID-19 is to stay home as much as possible, wash their hands frequently

With workers at home, feds eye ways to fast-track training program, groups say

How to help workers stuck at home or out of work to prevent their skills from becoming

Most Read