The rapid dry down continues, we have gone from 7-10 days behind average for crop maturity, to normal to slightly ahead of normal. The dry weather has really sped the crop maturity up – it will definitely take some of the yield away, how much is uncertain. The seeds will be smaller and lighter – if we get a rain in the next week it can still help to restore some of the damage the hot / dry weather. For some of our land it has been 6 weeks since the last measurable amount of rain! The crop still looks to be decent, but having that long of a dry spell has to have take its toll.
We are expecting harvest will start early next week – swathing of our earliest planted barley, and combining by mid to end of next week.
The past couple of weeks everyone has had a chance to take some time off and relax and get refreshed prior to the busy harvest season. With COVID-19 still a risk, people haven’t ventured too far, but still able to take in some of the scenery in Northern Saskatchewan as well as the Rocky Mountains in Alberta.
This week we are continuing to do the final preparation on harvest equipment. Most of the work was already done last fall at the end of harvest, so it is mainly minor check overs and getting familiar with everything again. Restocking the tool kits and parts kits and making sure people are familiar with the operation of the equipment.
The final few loads of fertilizer have finally arrived! We now have 98% of our 2021 fertilizer needs sitting on farm – the price has already gone up from the late June time-frame we made the decision to buy ours. Current prices are quoted at almost 20% higher – whether that price will hold or not remains to be seen. It is interesting to see that we are slowly having to prebuy our inputs earlier and earlier in order to secure competitive pricing. Prebuying fertilizer was usually done in December but rarely would you take delivery until closer to spring. Now we have enough storage for almost 100% of our needs – and actually take delivery a full 10-11 months ahead of time. That has a big effect on cashflow – as fertilizer is one of our larger cash costs.