Harvest progress ranges from ahead of schedule in Alberta and Saskatchewan to over three weeks behind in Manitoba

(Paige Holmquist/RealAgriculture)

Farmers in the western half of the Prairie region have made good progress with harvest thus far, but it’s been a slow battle further east. Here’s a snapshot of where harvest is at, based on provincial crop reports and other sources:

Alberta

Harvest progress in Alberta increased from 76 to 88 per cent in the last week, according to Alberta Agriculture’s Sept. 30 crop report. The 10-year average for this point is just under 63 per cent.

Spring wheat, barley and dry peas are nearly done at 95, 95 and 99 per cent harvested respectively. Oats, at 86 per cent harvested, and canola, at 75 per cent harvested, are the major crops with significant acreage left, notes Alberta Ag. Over the past week, canola harvest progressed from 54 per cent to 75 per cent, with an additional 14 per cent swathed.

Saskatchewan

Provincial harvest progress in Saskatchewan reached 81 per cent this week, according to the provincial crop report published Sept. 29. That’s up from 73 per cent last week and still ahead of the five-year (2017-2021) average of 75 per cent. Many producers in the eastern and northern areas of the province are waiting for canola stems to dry down or for some warm, windy days to lower the moisture content of cereal grains.

Harvest is most advanced in southwest Saskatchewan, with 98 per cent of the crop combined. The west-central region is at 97 per cent, the southeast 74 per cent, the northwest 70 per cent, the northeast 69 per cent and the east-central has 65 per cent of their crop harvested.

Saskatchewan Agriculture notes the harvest of lentils and field peas across the province is virtually complete. Ninety-six per cent of durum, 94 per cent of chickpeas, 86 per cent of barley, 83 per cent of spring wheat and 66 per cent of canola has been harvested so far. There is an additional 26 per cent of canola ready to be swathed or straight-cut.

Manitoba

It’s a very different story in Manitoba, where more than half the crop has yet to be harvested, according to Manitoba Agriculture’s Sept. 27 crop report. The province estimates harvest progress sits at 47 per cent completed across the province, approximately three and half weeks behind the 5-year average of 79 per cent complete by this point in the season.

Regionally, the Interlake region, which has been dealing with flooding most of the year, is the furthest behind, at only 22 per cent harvested (see chart below.)

Wheat yield averages are reported between 60 to 70 bu/acre across the province, but higher near Swan Valley and Roblin, between 75 to 90 bu/acre. For canola, Manitoba Ag reports average yields vary, from in the mid-40 bu/acre range in the Southwest, and to the low 50s in the Central region. In the Northwest, early yields are below average, between 35 to 45 bu/acre, but expected to increase slightly. Interlake canola yields have been disappointing, averaging approximately 30 bu/ac in the Arborg area, and slightly below expectations at 40 bu/ac in the southern portion of region.

Ontario

Ontario doesn’t report harvest progress, officially. Overall, short-season soybean harvest is complete while longer-season varieties are just reaching maturity now in the southern portion of the province. Some areas, such as the eastern region, have faced wet conditions and soybean harvest is still on hold. Edible bean harvest is well underway and complete in some areas.

Silage corn has started to come off in nearly every region, with yields ranging from very poor in the dry areas to very good where moisture was not limiting. Early indications are that gibberella infection and resulting DON levels are not a large concern.