As we inch further into the harvest season, be aware of heavy-duty farm equipment on the roads.
Marc Hutlet of Marc Hutlet Seeds in Ste. Anne says the harvest of spring wheat and barley has begun and notes yields appear to be above average so far. "I've only heard a couple reports so far but the quality and the weight seems to be good," says Hutlet who notes he's heard of some fields yielding 60 to 70 bushels an acre. "Some of the early barley was very good so those are all encouraging signs but like I said, we set the bar so high last year with cereals that it could hard to attain that again."
Hutlet says the timely rain over the long weekend was essential for soybeans as those pods will now begin to fill out. Hutlet adds corn could be a different story depending on where your fields are. He adds there's what he calls a micro area in the Grunthal, Kleefeld and St. Pierre area that has gotten significantly less rain than the rest of the region.
"Good potential on the guys that have been fortunate enough to get some rain. Again, that micro area where pollination has definitely been affected already. Some of the corn the kernels have aborted and there's some tip back so those areas the yields will be reduced but overall, the guys that had enough water through pollination, I think the yields can be very high here."
Hutlet adds, similar to last year, rainfall amounts have been very sporadic throughout the region noting that some areas were fortunate and got a couple more inches of rain. "Their bushels could be 15 to 20 more than the guy just a couple miles up the road so it's been kind of bizarre that way again this year."
He says wheat harvest will ramp up in the next week. With that, he notes more large farm equipment will be out on the roads and he encourages drivers to give farmers space on the roads as it can be more difficult to manoeuvre with larger equipment. Hutlet says one problem they see a lot is people with their heads down on their phone, and because farm vehicles travel a lot slower, there's potential for some serious collisions.