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Agriculture

Prairie grain backlog easing

Just over a month after new regulations for the country's railroads came into force, farm groups say the shipping crisis is ebbing.
 
Grain Growers of Canada president Gary Stanford said the rules, which require the country's two major railways to move a million tonnes of grain a week or face fines, have helped ease a situation that saw 20,000 rail cars worth of product unable to get to port at the height of the crisis this winter.

Out of Your Tree brings pick-your-own to urban setting

A local grassroots group wants to make sure fruit in Saskatoon backyards doesn't go to waste.

Since 2011, Out of Your Tree has helped residents pick fruit from the trees in their yards. Volunteers are sent to homes to harvest the fruit.

The haul is then divided evenly among the homeowner, volunteers, and local charities.

"We donate to Lighthouse, Saskatoon Food Bank, Friendship Inn and sometimes other events like fundraiser events," organizer Flavio Ishii said. "As long as the fruit doesn't go to waste, that's our main goal."

Late blight popping in Sask. gardens

Wet weather and cooler temperatures at night is causing late blight to pop up in gardens across the province.
 
Rick van Duyvendyk with Dutch Growers Garden Centre in Saskatoon said that blight will start in the stems and then spread through the plant. Affected tomato and potato plants will have black and brown lesions on the leaves. Eventually tomatoes will get a brown, leathery look and the fruit will rot. Potatoes turn grey and brown on the skin and also rot.
 

Saskatoon berry at centre of naming spat

It has the potential of becoming a $10 billion market. But some think it needs a name change first.

Sandra Purdy with Saskatoon Berry Council of Canada says it started about six weeks ago. She got an email from a group in the US asking the council to adopt the name Juneberry.

"Well I told him that the Saskatoon berry has been named the

Saskatoon berry for as long as I knew, and as far back as Aboriginal history, and that it's not likely that that would happen," Purdy said.

That email came from Jim Ochterski with Cornell University's

Rain hampers Sask. harvest

The rainy weekend has turned the logistics of harvest into a tough slog for farmers in the southern part of the province.

“It’s going to make for a real tough go,” said Curtis Dobson, a farmer in the Rouleau area. “(There is) moisture getting us going early in the morning or late at night. It’s going to shorten our harvest days, and create a lot of logistic issues getting through the fields with loaded grain trucks on roads.”

Dobson says there is quite a bit of standing water in fields.

Cool weather a mixed bag for Sask. farmers

Cloudy, cool weather that has brought fall-like temperatures to Saskatchewan is a double-edged sword for farmers.

"It's perfect, actually, for the canola and the later-seeded barley, but it's not great for the peas," Clint Sira, who farms near Hanley, said.

Sask. crops barely behind 5-year average

Farmers are just getting into swathing and combining this week and are just barely behind the five-year average.
 
As of Thursday, just over one per cent of the crop in Saskatchewan has been combined and just over four per cent has been swathed; the southwest is furthest ahead. That's compared to the five-year average of two per cent and five per cent respectively.
 

Tough growing season for producers at Regina Farmer's Market

Fresh produce may have filled the tables at the Regina Farmer's Market on Wednesday, but it hasn't been an easy year for growers.

Potatoes, corn, peas, beans, cauliflower and much more were flying off the tables, even with a steady drizzle falling from the sky. But the wet weather is something producers have been dealing with all summer.

"It was a really slow start, with all the rain and the cold," said Chelsea Erlandson. She's with Spring Creek Garden, and travels to Regina from Outlook twice a week. "Everything was pushed back about a week or two."

Fewer hot days so far this year

People will be cranking up the air conditioning again this week in Saskatchewan.

Environment Canada has forecasted temperatures in the high 20's today. It will be even hotter tomorrow with forecasted highs expected to be in the low 30's. And when you factor in the humidity it will feel that much warmer.

And if you like it hot, enjoy it while you can. On average each year, Saskatoon has only about a dozen days like the ones we're seeing this week.

Family farm allowed to employ kids in chicken farm

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Labour has reached a compromise in the case of the Covlin family farm in Endeavour, Sask., who were employing kids in their poultry processing plant.

"What we decided to do was just treat this as a simple extension of a family farming operation," Saskatchewan Labour Minister Don Morgan told News Talk's John Gormley Live Monday, "We've told the occupational health workers, 'no more investigations, this is a family farm, leave it alone.'"

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