'Canola crop might not make it': Sask. farmers wary of potential frost
Published Monday, September 9, 2019 6:03PM CST
Last Updated Monday, September 9, 2019 7:08PM CST
Farmers are trying to beat the clock and get their crops in the bin before the rain falls.
A delayed harvest and increased economic pressures over the last several months are also adding to the stress.
The Dery family, whose farm is located near Saskatoon, is combining the last of their wheat – a crop that is matured and ready to harvest – but with rain in the forecast for Saskatoon they are simply trying to beat the clock.
"If it rains on this, there’s a good chance that this will start to sprout and that won’t be good," Derek Dery said.
While their wheat crop is doing well, their canola is another story. This time last year, they had finished harvesting the crop; this year, they have not swathed or desiccated it.
Adding to the pressures of a delayed harvest is risk of an early frost.
"We’re concerned that our canola crop might not make it if it were to freeze," Dery said.
In addition to the potential of frost is added stress with China’s ban on canola shipments.
With every month that passes, the strain on the family farm goes up with the value of the product going down, he said.
"Selling price for Canola has dropped by about a dollar fifty per bushel. It’s kind of around break-even right now. It’s not going to be our most profitable crop and usually it is."
China blocked imports of Canadian canola seeds earlier this year, alleging pests were found in some shipments.
The ban is believed to be in retaliation to the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
There is some hope that relief could be coming as Canada awaits a meeting with China at the World Trade Organization to resolve the ban.
For now, the Derys say they are thankful they have other crops such as rye, oats and wheat as a source of income.