Statistics Canada has released numbers that show just how much less grain and other crops are being harvested this year in Saskatchewan.
The drastically low yields are the result of the crippling drought over much of the summer when temperatures were reaching over 30 C.
Wheat is one of the province’s staple crops and is used in everything from bread to breakfast cereal.
StatsCan says total wheat production in the province will be down by nine million tonnes, or almost 45 per cent.
Harvest nears completion in Saskatchewan
However, Todd Lewis, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, says the numbers they project are still not on par with what producers already know.
“Stats Canada, they’re always a bit behind. They’re starting to catch up. The losses, I think, will be higher as we finally get harvest wrapped up,” Lewis said.
Numbers are not looking any better for canola, with yields expected to drop by almost 50 per cent.
Canola is used in products like cooking oil and margarine and has consistently been one of the province’s biggest cash crops.
‘Never seen a crisis like this’: Sask. cattle ranchers facing setbacks due to drought
The staggeringly low numbers do not come as a surprise, however, to agricultural journalist Kevin Hursh, considering Saskatchewan saw the worst drought this summer in nearly 30 years.
“There are producers that ended up with an average crop but there are producers who ended up with very little if any crop, and that’s why the stats show such a dramatic decline in average yields and in production,” said Hursh.
While the drop means less money in farmers’ pockets, it also means less money for all other industries who depend on farming, meaning there is a ripple effect bound to happen throughout the economy.
Drought providing challenging times for cattle ranchers in Saskatchewan
Considering these issues, there is a lot of uncertainty about what crops will look like next year, according to Hursh.
“When you’re looking at such a huge moisture deficit in many areas, that’s the difficult part because you’re not quite sure whether this is going to be a one year epic drought or whether the drought conditions are going to mess up 2022 production,” Hursh said.
With low yields and prices of supplies like seed skyrocketing, many producers are preparing to just get through the winter in hopes of a better crop season in 2022.
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