September Harvest Reveals Surprising Yields Amid Saskatchewan’s Droughts and Infestations


As the dawn of September graces the horizon, swirling dust clouds often signify diligent farmers throughout the province tending their crops despite unfavorable growing conditions and simmering low expectations.

Certain regions, worst hit by drought and grasshopper infestations, have not been as fortunate as others. Ian Boxall, the president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, sheds light on this situation, offering reassurance. He claims there are pleasant surprises hidden among the hardships. Despite regret for the areas severely impacted, he is rather impressed with yields in the northeast, a result of sporadic rainfall.

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Grasshoppers, a predominant issue, have ravaged the province, their effects varying from the north to the south. Boxall notes that the situation is more regional. The northern grasshopper population inflicted considerably less damage than their southern counterparts. This sparks questions regarding the potential of these critters causing more harm next year. Particularly the southern regions, Weyburn and Radville for instance, bore the brunt of this scourge.

Smoke blankets hovering persistent across the province have restricted crop drying, creating an unfavorable situation. According to Boxall, “We need some heat, we need some sun to get it going; the heavy smoke from the past days has slowed drydown considerably.”

On a brighter note, farmers west of Saskatoon welcome the clear skies observed on Monday. Veteran farmer Mike Cote, associated with Ardell Seeds Ltd., finds today’s intense sun and ideal drying conditions refreshing. He acknowledges that smoke coverage hinders crop drying, but a brisk wind can offset this..

Cote, who has been farming in Saskatchewan since 1989, reveals that despite bleak expectations voiced at the onset of summer, this season is far removed from the worst he has endured. Recalling the varied outcomes each season, Cote cites 2021 as particularly dreadful, marked by drought and insufficient rainfall.

Boxall highlights the importance of crop insurance. Once the crops are logged after harvest, this data can reveal whether or not a claim may be issued. He places hope in the crop insurance not taking as severe a hit as predicted and appreciates its utility.

He further emphasizes that despite meticulous planning and execution, the success of a farming season hinges largely on nature’s whims. Boxall eloquently summarizes, “We plan on what we’re going to seed, we seed it, we spray it, and we harvest it. The rest is up to mother nature”. He remains hopeful for an average yield for the province and the continued demand for their product.