Farmers Need a Break from the Rain

It’s been a wet end to spring, and it may carry over to the start of summer.

Showers and thunderstorms have been rolling through the province for much of this week, and more rain is possible this weekend. For many farmers who have yet to finish seeding, they are now looking for sunshine and warm weather to get back on track.

“It’s interrupted and in some cases, abbreviated their seeding progress and their ability to plant some spring crops,” said Grant McLean, Cropping Management Specialist with the provincial Ministry of Agriculture. “They’re looking at it now that maybe winter wheat is going to be an option later in the fall.”

McLean adds that the rain has also stopped progress for those working on spraying and controlling weeds, adding that since the seeding window was so tight, the in-crop spraying window has also shortened, putting increased pressure on farmers.

However, for those who still need the rain, it is a welcome sight.

“There are dry areas and individuals who are happy to see the rain,” he added. “But we see in a big province like this where there’s lots of variation and lots of different needs, but certainly lots of interest in the industry this year.”

Ninety-eight per cent of the provincial crop is in the ground according to the latest Crop Report released on Thursday with 99% of seeding complete in the southwest. The report also shows that topsoil moisture levels are rated as 18% surplus, 79% adequate and three per cent short. Also, 67% of fall cereals, 57% of spring cereals, 54% of oilseeds and 62% of pulses are at their normal stage of development.

The majority of crops are reported to be in fair to excellent condition, and farmers are also getting ready to start haying operations.

via Local News

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