Wet chilly weekend expected for Saskatchewan

Roads and highways could be treacherous and many farmers face further delays to harvest with cooler temperatures expected to linger for several days in Saskatchewan.Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Natalie Hazell said a pair of low-pressure systems will bring colder air to the province through the weekend and into the early part of next week.The systems were expected to lead to lower than normal daytime highs, potentially causing some snow to fall.Hazell said a mix of rain and snow is likely, with any snow expected to melt through the day. Overnight lows are expected to stay at or below freezing through Tuesday in the Saskatoon and Regina areas.“Hopefully the ground is warm enough that this won’t be too much of a big deal. But considering there will be several nights in a row where the temperature is either hovering near 0 C or is well below 0 C, that might be enough to make the very top layer of the ground or the road cold enough to let things freeze,” Hazell said.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.Saskatchewan was largely expected to dodge snowfall predicted for parts of Alberta, with the exception of a few areas in the south of the province.Sunnier conditions are expected to return by Tuesday, but Hazell cautioned that below average temperatures are still likely to stick around through next week.Hazell said the chilly weather is a good reminder for people to begin preparing their homes and vehicles for winter. Moisture delays harvest, affects crop qualityContinued cool, wet conditions are unwelcome news for Chris Nielsen, who farms wheat and canola near Turtleford, Sask.He’d typically be nearly done harvest by this time of year, but said weeks of wet weather have meant he’s now only just over a third of the way to getting his crop off.Nielsen said it would likely be three to five days before he could get onto his fields again due to rain in his area. He said he’s confident he’ll eventually finish harvest, but anticipates all the moisture will affect the quality of his crops.“It’s going to get to the point of if we can put it through the combine, we’ll put it through the combine and we’ll spend November and December drying grain.”Nielsen’s experience is typical of what most farmers have been experiencing, according to the most recent provincial crop report.The Ministry of Agriculture reported harvest was 39 per cent complete provincewide, well off the five-year average of 62 per cent for this time of year.Harvest was furthest along in the southwest part of the province, at 58 per cent complete. The east-central region had the least amount of the crop in the bin, with harvest reported at 22 per cent finished.Many farmers around the province are reporting quality concerns, with much of the crop coming in tough and needing to be put in grain dryers or aeration bins.blevy@postmedia.comRelated Record-breaking low temperatures hit central Sask. Sask. farmland prices still a relative bargain Opinion: Sask. at the centre of a world-class ag innovation hub read more