A dry spring followed by heavy rain delayed seeding for farmers, and now an early blast of winter is putting a damper on the harvest.
Local farmer Terry James says it’s nothing new to get a mid-October snow storm, but it’s usually followed, at least briefly, by warmer weather.
“I think what’s sort of scary is when I look at the forecast I don’t see any warm temperatures in the forecast. The highest I see is 10 degrees and that’s really not enough to dry anything. And I think you have to go back 30 years to find a year where we didn’t finish combining in the fall. We’re looking at that this year, maybe, that we might not finish. It’s a bit unprecedented to get this much snow and cold temperatures this early in the year.”
James says for those who were able to get their crop off early, it appeared to be good quality.
“I think, overall, probably for most people they’re better off this year than they were last year. Because, as near as I can understand, province wide we’re probably about three-quarters done. Although I know there’s some areas west of Edmonton . . . I have a friend that farms at Sylvan Lake — they’re only one-third done and their most valuable crops are still in the field, so for them it’s going to be really tough.”
He says, overall, farmers might have been better off to have harvested a few weeks ago when it was, at least, close to dry; adding there’s about a 20 percent drop in the value of the crop if it’s downgraded from milling grade wheat to feed. (Global News/td)