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Sask. expects “above-average” crop

Saskatchewan’s farmers harvested an above-average crop this year, but expect that any added farm income will be tempered by high input costs, the province reported Wednesday.

In its final crop report for the month, the provincial ag ministry said fall harvest progress overall was “slightly ahead” of the five-year average.

Crop quality, the province said, was above average and the amount of harvested crop falling into the top two grades was above the 10-year average.

Forage yields varied throughout the province and were below average in the southwestern and west-central regions, the province reported.

Farmers in the province seeded an estimated 34.1 million acres this year, the ag ministry said. Seeding in the province began in the southwest by mid-April and was 99 per cent complete across the province by June 8. Crops were behind for much of the growing season, however, due to cool weather.

Harvest began in late July with some swathing in the southwest. Second growth from uneven germination and hail damage delayed the harvest of some crops, the ag ministry said Wednesday. By the end of August only 20 per cent of the 2008 crop had been harvested, but the harvesting pace had picked up “significantly” by mid-September.

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