By Shannon Friesen, PAg., Crops Extension Specialist, Moose Jaw
Do you always have an eye to the sky during the growing season? Do you ever wonder what others are finding in fields close to you or across the province? If so, consider joining Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Crop Reporting Service. We are always in search of volunteers to contribute local farming information to help fill in knowledge gaps about the current growing season. Many of our volunteers are producers, agrologists, and those who have an interest in their local farming community.
Many topics are discussed in the Crop Report, ranging from crop-related questions to hay quality and livestock feed supplies. It also includes information on weekly rainfall, weather conditions, seeding progress, crop development and conditions, harvest progress, and topsoil moisture conditions. As a volunteer Crop Reporter, you would be actively involved in gathering this important and relevant information about your surrounding agricultural community.
The Crop Report is well over 40 years old and has continued to be an important go-to source for media, policy makers, marketers, and researchers all over the world. Not only is the Crop Report vital to the provincial agriculture industry, it also helps to educate the general public about the challenges and triumphs facing producers throughout the year.
Today, the Crop Reporting Service is lucky enough to have more than 200 volunteers, many whom have volunteered for several decades. These volunteers call, fax, email or web-submit information each week to the Agriculture Knowledge Centre (AKC) in Moose Jaw. Resource Agents at the AKC transfer this information to a database that is in turn used by AKC crops specialists to write the weekly report. Although the AKC is the main hub for the Crop Reporting Service, we also rely on expertise from communication, policy and GIS specialists to verify data and provide input. Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) also plays an important role in the delivery of the program.
We are always looking for more volunteers, regardless of whether your Rural Municipality already has a Crop Reporter or not. We welcome anybody interested in contributing local information and learning more about their surrounding area. The more information that is gathered from around the province, the more accurate the report will be.
For more information on the Crop Report Service: