Harvest Report 2012

I got back last night at midnight from the farm in Saskatchewan – another harvest in the books for another year.

I wish I could relate some analogy of harvest to marketing – but I am coming up short – but I can relate it to business in general. That would be – work hard and it gets done – and good things happen.

Harvest this year was a mixed bag.  Crops looked really good all year.  With excellent moisture conditions we put extra fertilizer on and changed up our rotation a bit to do almost all Canola. With record high prices going in to fall and an excellent stand – things were looking like this would be a year for the record books.

I would like to mention that I feel for all the farmers down in Eastern Canada and the states – fighting through one of the worst droughts ever.  I vividly remember the late 80’s when conditions in SK were terribly dry – and that is no picnic.

But the drought has had the impact of increasing the prices for the crop that does get to the bin.  That is different than the 80’s when the drought had little or no impact on the price.  Some of the worst prices in years were during the driest years.

Back to this year – swathing the canola crop was challenging as throughout the year heavy rains and even heavier winds had turned a heavy stand into a tangled mess that was laying down close to the ground.  Therefore this necessitated swathing close to the ground.

After swathing the rows looked pretty sweat.

I headed back to AB for a week and a half to let things dry down to be ready for harvesting – looking forward to some awesome combining.

Unfortunately – those nasty winds came back with a vengeance!

When I headed back to Saskatchewan, the lovely looking swaths were now in dis-array – scattered all across the fields.  In places there was almost nothing to be found.  In others we needed to run the combine over every inch between the swaths.

I estimated that approximately 40% of the crop was blown away by the wind.

The good thing was that the stand was very heavy to start with, so in the end we still had a reasonable yield.  No record books, but with the prices as high as they are, will pay the bills and have a little left over for the next rainy (or dry, or windy) day.

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