The Crop of 99

FTLComm - Tisdale
July 23, 1999

This year's crop is much more difficult to assess then was the case last year. With planting ranging over a very wide distance in time the fields lack the uniformity we saw last year and from one field to the next the conditions are remarkably different.

Canola seems definitely to be the king crop this year and the early planted crops are spectacular. One farmer showed me Canola plants from his field yesterday that stand eye level, with stalks

larger then my thumb. The farmer explained that he was concerned that the extreme length of the plant would limit its ability to fill in the upper most pods while the lower pods are already filling out nicely. I asked him about the threat of fungus to this year's crop and he said that in his early planted fields there was little indication of a problem with fungus and he could not determine if there was any economic profit in applying chemicals to the crop as there just wasn't enough evidence to support high yields when considering the cost of chemical application.
The situation is quite different with crops that were planted up to three weeks later as they are in full bloom now and are considerably shorter, just over waist high in the case of the one in these pictures, just North of Tisdale.

Chemical application continues as aerial sprayers are working every minute the wind settles down enough to let them get the chemical where they want it but much of the spraying going on right now is for wheat midge.

Wheat midge infestations also vary considerable from field to field and many farmers have decided that they cost of chemical application would be about the same as the loss in yield and have decided not to spray while others have high concentrations and are attaching the problem.

Almost no Durham is being grown in this area this year and from informal surveys it looks like the best crops in the area are right in the immediate area around Tisdale, East of Bjorkdale, South of Archerwell and West of Melfort do not have crops looking as those right around here. The only exception is the area East of Carrot River where crops were planted well ahead of this area and things are looking very good in that area equal to the ahead of schedule things we saw last year.

Farmers report expected wheat yields to be equal to or better then other years and for Canola they would like to see some cool wet weather for a while as that would help to fill out those pods and increase the production of this super oil seed.

There are some exceptional barley crops in the area this year but not a great deal was planted. Those that were are rich and grown tight like thick lawns three feet tall. Those farmers who planted barley can expect excellent yields in these fields.