Written by Glenda-Lee Vossler

It may be winter, but the Ministry of Agriculture is thinking about the 2022 growing season.

Crops Extension Specialist Matt Struthers says they are once again looking for people to help out as volunteer crop reporters.

He says ideally they'd like to have one in each R.M. noting that currently 46 per cent of the R M's in the province don't have a crop reporter.

Struthers says the information they supply is key in the development of the Weekly Crop Report.

"They report to us every week. It's a weekly questionnaire, we allow them to report online, by phone, or fax. It requires about 10 to 15 minutes every Wednesday of that week, you know, plus maybe the time that they take gathering the information that we seek. We ask questions on rainfall, topsoil moisture and field conditions pf a wide variety, crop yields and quality,and of course, you know, questions on damage. So they supply that information to us. We pull it all together, and we find out what's going on in the province."

He notes the information gathered in the report is extremely important.

"The values that we see coming out of the report are endless, not only for producers, but also all the way up in policymaking and then for business. This past summer that we just went through a drought, there was many, many grain buyers and marketers and other individuals all over the globe who were calling and seeking information from my reports."

With a key part of Saskatchewan's crops exported worldwide they've seen interest in the report's information not just from across Canada but from all over the U.S., Japan, China, and India.

In order to provide the best information on what's happening with the crop here, Struthers says, they are looking for more crop reporters especially in the southeast and southwest areas of the province.

"We have two large holes one is around the Estevan area and the other is around the Val Marie area. Northeast of Gull Lake is another gap, and then east of Swift Current is another large gap."

Anyone who is interested can reach out to the Ministry of Agriculture's Ag Knowledge Centre in Moose Jaw.