Saskatchewan farmers are gearing up for another growing season after an exceptionally difficult 2019.
Producers dealt with bad weather conditions and trade issues, and some still have crop to harvest.
Zach Rakochy’s family has been farming near Canora for generations, but last year’s harvest has been one of their hardest. The difficulties started last spring, when China stopped all imports of Canadian canola.
“That was definitely huge because you could see an instant drop in price. We actually moved over 300 acres that was supposed to be canola this year, we turned it over into flax this year just cause we didn't necessarily like where the market was going,” said Rakochy.
After a trying time at the markets, producers were then greeted with a less than ideal growing season.
It was too dry when we were seeding in this area, we got lucky with timely rain so we actually ended up having a decent crop,” said Rakochy. “In the fall time it kept on being bad and we just never really got a window to take off the crop. Luckily we did but I know that a lot of farmers out there didn't.”
With mild temperatures in the forecast, producers are hoping they will be able to harvest last year’s crop.
“You have to let all this snow dry right and let it warm up and once again that just leaves for sprouting and stuff like that it downgrades the quality,” said Rakochy.
Producers were then dealt another blow when CN Rail workers went on strike and shipping came to a standstill. Now they are dealing with delays once again because of rail blockades.
Rakochy said many producers hope a resolution will be reached soon, so they have a chance to recoup lost profits before spring seeding begins.