Producers more than halfway done harvest in Sask.

Saskatchewan farmers are taking advantage of the sunny start to September and have put more than 50 per cent of the crop in the bin so far.

According to the government’s weekly crop report, 56 per cent of this year’s crop has been harvested, up from 36 per cent last week and well ahead of the five-year average of 35 per cent. According to a crop expansion specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture, the weather is a contributing factor.

“It’s the conditions right now that we are seeing that are just favorable to the harvest and also we started a lot sooner than we normally would. We started seeing crops become mature at the end of July, (beginning) of August and that’s two weeks earlier than normal,” said Matthew Struthers.

The province said the southwest region has made the most progress with 75 per cent of crop now combined and the northwest region has made the lease progress with 37 per cent.

The Ministry of Agriculture said producers have reported some fields to be in such poor condition they will not be able to be harvested. The majority of crop damage in the last week was attributed to strong winds, drought and hail.

Some areas of the province saw as much as 102 mm of rain, which resulted in flooding and standing water in fields

“In the last two weeks we’ve gotten a bit of rain, which is terrible timing now that its harvest. So that rain has not only delayed any producer but it is also downgrading any crop that is either standing or swathing in the field,” said Struthers

Despite last week's storms, local farmers are relishing the current weather.

“Many producers or most producers in the province just want to get this harvest over with as quick as possible, forget about it and get ready for next year and hope next year will be a better one,” said Struthers

The Ministry of Agriculture also wants to remind producers and drivers to exercise patience and use caution when traveling around or near the farm equipment and to give them space to avoid any accidents.