The weather during the first half of September has been kind to farmers with higher-than-normal temperatures and at most spotty rainfall. After mainly dry weather for the past two weeks, some moderate to locally heavy rains fell during the past two days across southern areas and delayed the ongoing harvest.
After a questionable summer growing season for many areas, the late-summer warmth rushed crops to mature and allowed for a great beginning to harvest. Across Saskatchewan and Manitoba, harvest progress advanced from a little behind schedule a week ago to a little ahead of schedule at this time. For Alberta, most areas are still behind schedule, except for the southwest where reports show harvest to be closer to average. Crop yields continue to be above the 10-year averages throughout with good quality, according to reports.
Weather has played a big role in what is turning into a very good crop season for most areas. Adequate rains during summer and late summer allowed lagging crops as of mid-August to mature in recent weeks. Season-ending frosts and freezes have been later that normal and helped to allow late-filling crops to finish up. Many areas have not yet seen any significant frost or freezes, with only minor light frosts being reported across scattered locations during the past few days.
With crops mostly in the harvest phase now, low temperatures are becoming a moot point. The upcoming weather patterns continue to favor minimal cold weather threats, but since normal low temperatures are now moving close to freezing for some areas, it is inevitable that a killing frost will occur for areas that have yet to see one within the next week or so.
The upcoming weather pattern will continue to produce excellent harvest conditions for much of the remainder of the month, although temperatures will probably start to come down to more seasonable levels as we move deeper into next week and beyond. A mostly dry weather pattern should last through next week with any shower activity expected to be light and mostly scattered.
Doug Webster can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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