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Home > Alberta's Resource Inventory > Soil and Agriculture > Resource Development > Harvesting > Harvest Conditions

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Harvest Conditions

Threshing, 1927There are many other factors that can affect how plentiful a harvest will be. Some losses can be minimized by combining as soon as the crop is ripe but not too dry. If the timing is not right or the signs given by the crops are misread, the crop may not be as plentiful and discoloration and sprouting in wet weather may occur. 

Many things can affect the loss of a harvested crop. Weather could be a major factor, such as rain, hail, snowfall, or wind. Insects could also adversely affect the crop. Some of these factors are beyond the farmer's control. Some other factors that affect grain losses, however, are timing, knowledge of when to harvest, knowing how to operate the equipment, and what processes of harvesting should be performed. 

A sense of timing is particularly important for a farmer. As a crop gets close to being ready for a harvest, it will also become more fragile. It is, therefore, important to harvest very carefully so the crop will not be damaged. Different grains, oilseeds or pulse grains exhibit differences in size and weight. Much of the equipment a farmer uses, therefore, is adjustable to both the crop and the conditions during harvesting. 

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