After a wild and crazy 2019, we finished up last Thursday, October 17th! I cannot remember a season with such extremes – with the extreme dry and cool conditions in May to mid June, then an extremely wet pattern for the next 4 weeks which dropped close to 240mm of rain in places (10″); then a near record cool temperatures during August and early September (with many nights getting to close to 0C or plus 1C). In the end we managed to get average to above average production, with quality being average to slightly below average.
It is during seasons like this that the planning and exceptional staff play a huge roll in the overall success of the operation. We have been very fortunate to have a great staff. There is no textbook or operators manual for running a farm operation. Plans can change minute by minute, with each decision having significant impacts to the outcome of the season! This season we had canola prices drop close to 20% due to the dispute with China – our biggest buyer of canola (over 40%). As a result we have been storing more grain rather than making sales during harvest season — with deferred pricing into the spring and summer period having a $0.50-$1.00/bu premium to fall delivery.
The remainder of this fall we will be finishing up any field work that needs to be completed and finishing up drying the balance of the grain that needs to be dried.