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Prairie frost is killing crops

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

September 15, 2010 — Harvest crops are still weeks behind schedule in the Prairies and the frosty conditions aren't helping.

Heavy rain has flooded fields in Saskatchewan
Heavy rain has flooded fields in Saskatchewan

There's signs of an early winter across the Prairies and that is spelling trouble for farmers.

First it was a wet and soggy spring and summer season and now single digit temperatures and frost are adding to the list of weather concerns.

The crop is already weeks behind schedule thanks to the persistent rain that's left fields completely swamped and saturated with water. Some farmers left their fields unseeded as the ground was just too wet to get into. Others faced severe damage.

I was hoping to grow malt quality barley and because of the rain it's stained and it may not qualify for malt, which will mean a substantial reduction in price for me, says Doug Faller, a farmer in Saskatchewan.

Killing frost expected later this week
Killing frost expected later this week

Now the big concern is the frost, which could kill the harvest crops. With temperatures dipping to the freezing mark overnight, Environment Canada has issued frost warnings over the last couple of weeks.

Temperatures of -2C or lower is what's considered a killing frost and could put an end to the growing season all together.

While some areas could still see a good yield, the quality of the crops will likely be poor.

For more forecast details in your area, click on the Canadian cities index. You can also tune into The Weather Network on TV, where your long range forecast comes up at :06 and :36 past each hour.

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