Ag Weather Forum

Showers Bring Light Annoyance to Prairies Harvest

Bryce Anderson
By  Bryce Anderson , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
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Heavy rain of 2 or more inches (50-plus millimeters) is indicated by the U.S. forecast model in the central and eastern Prairies next week. (NOAA Graphic by Nick Scalise)

The Canadian Prairies harvest has mostly been a more efficient affair than in 2015. This week's Saskatchewan crop report shows that comparison well. Sixty percent of all crops in the province have been combined as of Sept. 19. That is a big improvement compared with last year, when 52% of all crops were combined by the middle of the month. The report noted that "The majority of producers had good harvest weather for most of the week." Precipitation reports were generally 12 millimeters or less, which is basically a half-inch or less.

That trend does look to change over the next week. The Thursday run of the U.S. GFS forecast model puts some moderate to heavy rainfall into the central and eastern Prairies, covering most of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Rainfall totals suggested are in the 1- to 3-inch category or 25 to 75 millimeters. That's not as heavy as the flooding rains which occurred during Sept. 21-22 in northern Iowa, southern Minnesota and western through central Wisconsin; still, it's heavy enough to halt further harvest proceedings. With the good start to harvest, though, damage should be minimal.

Temperatures continue to be mild for the season pretty much region-wide. Overnight lows show a tendency to stay in the mid to upper 30s to low 40s Fahrenheit (1.6 to 4 Celsius). That's obviously not cold enough to bring on a hard freeze.

Bryce Anderson can be reached at

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