Davidson farmer waits for chance to finish harvest
Published Tuesday, September 17, 2019 6:31PM CST Last Updated Wednesday, September 18, 2019 10:33AM CST
After a farming season of extreme conditions, Davidson farmer Rob Stone has appreciated the recent warm weather.
“It’s been one of the most interesting seasons that we’ve had and farmers will say that every year that ‘oh we’ve never had one like this one,’ but it started out dry and it continued dry and cold,” Stone said.
“Emergence was poor, and then it started to rain mid-June and it really hasn’t quit. It’s been cool and rainy since, save a few breaks, so we’ve come into an extended period with no harvest.”
Stone grows three different crops: lentils, wheat and canola. With the moist conditions, Stone says the lentil crops suffer the most in quality. Stone’s canola crops have been delayed by six weeks from the time they were originally planted and he expects a difficult harvest.
“Now what we’re most concerned about is maturity and getting the harvest done in a timely fashion. For the most part we’re looking for quality and for an opportunity to get out there and get at it.”
Stone says he is nearly a month behind a typical harvest season. Compared to past years, it’s difficult to determine his output but the moisture from August was unlike the same in the past two years.
“2017 and 2018 were both dry years but we operated on sub-soil moisture. The crop emerged well, and for the most part we had average to above average crops.
“This year we don’t know what we’re going to have. We were thinking below average before we had some conditions this fall to cause further quality declines and yield declines. So it’s not going to go down in the record books as an excellent one.”
Stone says he still has a quite a bit of work ahead of him, having only harvested 15 per cent of his crops thus far. Stone is counting on warm weather throughout September to get back on track.