Last year at this time we were a few days from swathing canola and barley, and combining was a few days after that….this year we are likely 2 weeks away yet before we will start harvest. Its a combination of cooler spring/summer weather and more moisture available during the month of July. Last year the plants prematurely ripened from lack of moisture. With the first rain event not happening until mid-June – we have alot of growth that is later. The first growth is actually getting close, but the plants that didn’t germinate until the first rain (and the tillers), they are about 1.5-2 weeks behind. We will have no choice but to wait for them to mature as well.
We had another rain event 2 weeks ago – which was a welcome one – helps to finish filling the crop. It is actually getting dry again now but we are hoping it stays dry to force the plants to ripen sooner. We had some close calls on temperature already – two nights ago it got to Plus 1C and the prior week we had a night of Plus 1.6C and Plus 2.3C. That is way too cold for this time of year…we need daytime highs of 25-28C and overnight lows in the mid-teens to bring this crop along in time otherwise we will be at risk to damage especially if the growing season ends early than usual.
We had an opportunity to buy our fertilizer needs at a discount to what we paid last year, so we have been filling our fertilizer bins the last couple weeks as well. We usually like to use our fertilizer bins for surge storage at harvest – we have approximately 1400mt of room in our fertilizer bins, but with the prices discounted and the outlook for higher prices by fall – we decided to bring it all in now.