Saskatchewan farmers have been waiting for weeks to get a stretch of hot, dry weather and may now have enough time to catch up on the harvest.
Norm Hall is the President of the Agriculture Producers Association of Saskatchewan and also farms in the Wynyard area.
“Where I am right now, it’s looking really good. Things are drying up pretty nice,” he said. “Just about everybody’s combining.”
The state of the harvest really depends on where you are in Saskatchewan. Hall noted that the southeast region is still very wet.
The sun and wind this week is a much needed change for farmers rushing to catch up on harvest.
Arlynn Kurtz farms near Stockholm, east of Regina and says the wet and cool weather has been a major setback for producers this year. This year’s harvest has been nothing like the records last year.
“Well it’s been grim in the area,” he told News Talk Radio while combining on Thursday afternoon.
He explains that a few days of dry weather aren’t always enough to dry out the fields enough to combine.
On a chilly September morning, Isabelle Wenc has the track to herself as she speeds around on a horse named Toast 'n' Tea with only the horse's hooves pounding on the soft dirt breaking the silence.
The calm surrounding this warm-up will disappear when Wenc loads into the starting gate Friday and Saturday night.
"In the gate is probably the most nerve-racking part and then the race feels like it's five seconds," she said.
At only 19 years old, Wenc is the youngest jockey at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon and the only woman.
A farm family in southwest Saskatchewan mourning the loss of three sons is finding light in the darkness by creating an opportunity for young people.
The Arnal family has set up the Arnal Boys Memorial Bursary for Young Farmers. It has been put together to remember and honour the lives of three brothers who were killed in two crashes six years apart.
The Ministry of Environment is looking to hunters to reduce the number of wolves in an area of Saskatchewan.
A wolf hunt will begin September 15 and run until March 31, 2015 in wildlife management zone 49, an area that runs south along the forest from Carrot River to Greenwater Lake Provincial Park, then east along the forest to Hudson Bay. The province is looking to target wolves after a high number of livestock kills were attributed to wolves.
Harvest is well behind the five-year average for this time of year and now early frost could pose a threat to some already-delayed crops.
About 14 per cent of the provincial crop has now been combined with a further 39 per cent swathed or ready to straight cut.
“So we are well behind our five year average of 26 per cent combined and we are behind where we were last year at this time which was 30 per cent,” said Shannon Friesen, Cropping Management Specialist for Saskatchewan Agriculture.
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.
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."
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.
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